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have been apt to be deceived into an opinion, that there was a natural or divine right of primogeniture to both estate and power; and that the inheritance of both rule over men, and property in things, sprang from the same original, and were to descend by the same rules.
$ 92. Property, whose original is from the right a man has to use any of the inferior creatures, for the subsistence and comfort of his life, is for the benefit and sole advantage of the proprietor, so that he may even destroy the thing, that he has property in by his
use of it, where need requires : but government being for the preservation of every man's right and property, by preserving him from the violence or injury of others, is for the good of the governed: for the magistrate's sword being for a “ terror to evil doers," and by that terror to enforce men to observe the positive laws of the society, made conformable to the laws of nature, for the public good, i. e. the good of every particular member of that society, as far as by common rules it can be provided for; the sword is not given the magistrate for his own good alone.
$ 93. Children, therefore, as has been showed, by the dependence they have on their parents for subsistence, have a right of inheritance to their fathers' property, as that which belongs to them for their proper good and behoof, and therefore are fitly termed goods, wherein the first-born has not a sole or peculiar right by any law of God and nature, the younger children having an equal title with him, founded on that right they all have to maintenance, support, and comfort from their parents, and on nothing else. But government being for the benefit of the governed, and not the sole advantage of the governors, (but only for theirs with the rest, as they make a part of that politic body, each of whose parts and members are taken care of, and directed in its peculiar functions for the good of the whole, by the laws of society) cannot be inherited by the same title that children have to the goods of their father. The right a son has to be maintained and pro
vided with the necessaries and conveniencies of life out of his father's stock, gives him a right to succeed to his father's property for his own good; but this can give him no right to succeed also to the rule which his father had over other men. All that a child has right to claim from his father is nourishment and education, and the things nature furnishes for the support of life: but he has no right to demand rule or dominion from him : he can subsist and receive from him the portion of good things and advantages of education naturally due to him, without empire and dominion. That (if his father hath any) was vested in him, for the good and behoof of others: and therefore the son cannot claim or inherit it by a title, which is founded wholly on his own private good and advantage.
$ 94. We must know how the first ruler, from whom any one claims, came by his authority, upon what ground any one has empire, what his title is to it, before we can know who has a right to succeed him in it, and inherit it from him : if the agreement and consent of men first gave a sceptre into any one's hand, or put a crown on his head, that also must direct its descent and conveyance; for the same authority, that made the first a lawful ruler, must make the second too, and so give right of succession : in this case inheritance, or primogeniture, can in itself have no right, no pretence to it, any farther than that consent, which established the form of the government, hath so settled the succession. And thus we see the succession of crowns, in several countries, places it on different heads, and he comes by right of succession to be a prince in one place, who would be a subject in another.
$ 95. If God, by his positive grant and revealed declaration, first gave rule and dominion to any man, he that will claim by that title, must have the same positive grant of God for his succession : for if that has not directed the course of its descent and conveyance down to others, nobody can succeed to this title of the first ruler. Children have no right of inheritance to this ; and primogeniture can lay no claim to it, unless God,
the Author of this constitution, hath so ordained it. Thus we see the pretensions of Saul's family, who received his crown from the immediate appointment of God, ended with his reign; and David, by the same title that Saul reigned, viz. God's appointment, succeeded in his throne, to the exclusion of Jonathan, and all pretensions of paternal inheritance: and if Solomon had a right to succeed his father, it must be by some other title than that of primogeniture. A cadet, or sister's son, must have the preference in succession, if he has the same title the first lawful prince had : and in dominion that has its foundation only in the positive appointment of God himself, Benjamin, the youngest, must have the inheritance of the crown, if God so direct, as well as one of that tribe had the first possession.
$ 96. If paternal right, the act of begetting, give a man rule and dominion, inheritance or primogeniture can give no title; for he that cannot succeed to his father's title, which was begetting, cannot succeed to that power over his brethren, which his father had by paternal right over them. But of this I shall have occasion to say more in another place. This is plain in the meantime, that any government, whether supposed to be at first founded in paternal right, consent of the people, or the positive appointment of God himself, which can supersede either of the other, and so begin a new government upon a new foundation; I say, any government began upon either of these, can by right of succession come to those only, who have the title of him they succeed to: power founded on contract can descend only to him who has right by that contract: power founded on begetting, he only can have that begets; and power founded on the positive grant or donation of God, he only can have by right of succession to whom that grant directs it.
$ 97. From what I have said, I think this is clear, that a right to the use of the creatures, being founded originally in the right a man has to subsist and enjoy the conveniencies of life; and the natural right children have to inherit the goods of their parents being founded
in the right they have to the same subsistence and commodities of life, out of the stock of their parents, who are therefore taught by natural love and tenderness to provide for them, as a part of themselves; and all this being only for the good of the proprietor or heir; it can be no reason for children's inheriting of rule and dominion, which has another original and a different end. Nor can primogeniture have any pretence to a right of solely inheriting either property or power, as we shall, in its due place, see more fully. It is enough to have showed here, that Adam's property or private dominion could not convey any sovereignty or rule to his heir, who not having a right to inherit all his father's possessions, could not thereby come to have any sovereignty over his brethren: and therefore, if any sovereignty on account of his property had been vested in Adam, which in truth there was not, yet it would have died with him.
$ 98. As Adam's sovereignty, if, by virtue of being proprietor of the world, he had any authority over men, could not have been inherited by any of his children over the rest, because they had the same title to divide the inheritance, and every one had a right to a portion of his father's possessions : so neither could Adam's sovereignty by right of fatherhood, if any such he had, descend to any one of his children: for it being, in our author's account, a right acquired by begetting, to rule over those he had begotten, it was not a power possible to be inherited, because the right being consequent to, and built on, an act perfectly personal, made that power so too, and impossible to be inherited: for paternal power, being a natural right rising only from the relation of father and son, is as impossible to be inherited as the relation itself; and a man may pretend as well to inherit the conjugal power of the husband, whose heir he is, had over his wife, as he can to inherit the paternal power a father over his children: for the power of the husband being founded on contract, and the power of the father on begetting, he may as well inherit the power obtained by the conjugal contract, which was only personal, as he may the power obtained
by begetting, which could reach no farther than the person of the begetter, unless begetting can be a title to power in him that does not beget.
$ 99. Which makes it a reasonable question to ask, Whether Adam, dying before Eve, his heir, (suppose Cain or Seth) should have by right of inheriting Adam's fatherhood, sovereign power over Eve his mother? for Adam's fatherhood being nothing but a right he had to govern his children, because he begot them, he that inherits Adam's fatherhood, inherits nothing, even in our author's sense, but the right Adam had to govern his children, because he begot them: so that the monarchy of the heir would not have taken in Eve; or if it did, it being nothing but the fatherhood of Adam descended by inheritance, the heir must have right to govern Eve, because Adam begot her; for fatherhood is nothing else.
$ 100. Perhaps it will be said with our author, that a man can alien his power over his child ; and what may be transferred by compact, may be possessed by inheritance. I answer, a father cannot alien the power he has over his child: he may perhaps to some degrees forfeit it, but cannot transfer it; and if any other man acquire it, it is not by the father's grant, but by some act of his own. For example, a father, unnaturally careless of his child, sells or gives him to another man; and he again exposes him; a third man finding him, breeds him up, cherishes, and provides for him as his own: I think in this case, nobody will doubt, but that the greatest part of filial duty and subjection was here owing, and to be paid to this foster-father; and if any thing could be demanded from the child by either of the other, it could be only due to his natural father, who perhaps might have forfeited his right to much of that duty comprehended in the command, “ Honour your parents," but could transfer none of it to another. He that purchased and neglected the child, got by his purchase and grant of the father no title to duty or honour from the child; but only he acquired it, who by his own authority, performing the office and care