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of a father to the forlorn and perishing infant, made himself, by paternal care, a title to proportionable degrees of paternal power. This will be more easily admitted, upon consideration of the nature of paternal power, for which I refer my reader to the second book.
$ 101. To return to the argument in hand; this is evident, That paternal power arising only from begetting, for in that our author places it alone, can neither be transferred nor inherited: and he that does not beget, can no more have paternal power, which arises from thence, than he can have a right to any thing, who performs not the condition, to which only it is annexed. If one should ask, by what law has a father power over his children? it will be answered, no doubt, by the law of nature, which gives such a power over them to him that begets them. If one should ask likewise, by what law does our author's heir come by a right to inherit ? I think it would be answered, by the law of nature too: for I find not that our author brings one word of Scripture to prove the right of such an heir he speaks of. Why then the law of nature gives fathers paternal power over their children, because they did beget them: and the same law of nature gives the paternal power to the heir over his brethren who did not beget them: whence it follows, that either the father has not his paternal power by begetting, or else that the heir has it not at all; for it is hard to understand how the law of nature, which is the law of reason, can give the paternal power to the father over his children, for the only reason of begetting; and to the first-born over his brethren without this only reason, i. e. for no reason at all : and if the eldest, by the law of nature, can inherit this paternal power, without the only reason that gives a title to it, so may the youngest as well as he, and a stranger as well as either; for where there is no reason for any one, as there is not, but for him that begets, all have an equal title. I am sure our author offers no reason; and when any body does, we shall see whether it will hold or no.
$ 102. In the mean time it is as good sense to say, that by the law of nature a man has right to inherit the property of another, because he is of
kin to him, and
, is known to be of his blood; and therefore, by the same law of nature, an utter stranger to his blood has right to inherit his estate; as to say that, by the law of nature, he that begets them has paternal power over his children, and therefore, by the law of nature, the heir that begets them not, has this paternal power over them: or supposing the law of the land
power over their children, to such only who nursed them, and fed their children themselves, could any body pretend that this law gave any one, who did no such thing, absolute power over those who were not his children?
$ 103. When therefore it can be showed that conjugal power can belong to him that is not an husband, it will also I believe be proved, that our author's paternal power, acquired by begetting, may be inherited by a son; and that a brother, as heir to his father's power, may have paternal power over his brethren, and by the same rule conjugal power too: but till then I think we may rest satisfied that the paternal power of Adam, this sovereign authority of fatherhood, were there any such, could not descend to, nor be inherited by his next heir. Fatherly power, I easily grant our author, if it will do him any good, can never be lost, because it will be as long in the world as there are fathers: but none of them will have Adam's paternal power, or derive theirs from him; but every one will have his own by the same title Adam had his, viz. by begetting, but not by inheritance or succession, no more than husbands have their conjugal power by inheritance from Adam. And thus we see, as Adam had no such property, no such paternal power, as gave him sovereign jurisdiction over mankind; so likewise his sovereignty built upon either of these titles, if he had any such, could not have descended to his heir, but must have ended with him. Adam therefore, as has been proved, being neither monarch, nor his imaginary monarchy hereditable, the
power which is now in the world is not that which was
Adam's; since all that Adam could have, upon our author's grounds, either of property or fatherhood, necessarily died with him, and could not be conveyed to posterity by inheritance. In the next place we will consider whether Adam had any such heir to inherit his power as our author talks of.
Of the Heir to Adam's monarchical Power. $ 104. Our author tells us, 0. 253, “ That it is a truth undeniable, that there cannot be any multitude of men whatsoever, either great or small, though gathered together from the several corners and remotest regions of the world, but that in the same multitude, considered by itself, there is one man amongst them that in nature hath a right to be king of all the rest, as being the next heir to Adam, and all the other subjects to him: every man by nature is a king or a subject." And again, p. 20,*“ If Adam himself were still living, and now ready to die, it is certain that there is one man, and but one in the world, who is next heir." Let this multitude of men be, if our author pleases, all the princes upon the earth, there will then be, by our author's rule,“ one amongst them that in nature hath a right to be king of all the rest, as being the right heir to Adam;" an excellent way to establish the thrones of princes, and settle the obedience of their subjects, by setting up an hundred, or perhaps a thousand titles (if there be so many princes in the world) against any king now reigning, each as good, upon our author's grounds, as his who wears the crown. If this right of heir carry any weight with it, if it be the ordinance of God, as our author seems to tell us, O. 244, must not all be subject to it, from the highest to the lowest ? Can those who wear the name of princes, without having the right of being heirs to Adam, demand obedience from their subjects by this title, and not be bound to pay it by the same law ? Either governments in the world are not to be claimed, and held by this title of Adam's heir ; and then the starting of it is to no purpose, the being or not being Adam's heir signifies nothing as to the title of dominion: or if it really be, as our author says, the
, true title to government and sovereignty; the first thing to be done is to find out this true heir of Adam, seat him in his throne, and then all the kings and princes of the world ought to come and resign up their crowns and sceptres to him, as things that belong no more to them than to any of their subjects.
§ 105. For either this right in nature of Adam's heir to be king over all the race of men, (for all together they make one multitude) is a right not necessary to the making of a lawful king, and so there may be lawful kings without it, and then kings' titles and power depend not on it; or else all the kings in the world but one are not lawful kings, and so have no right to obedience : either this title of heir to Adam is that whereby kings hold their crowns, and have a right to subjection from their subjects, and then one only can have it, and the rest being subjects can require no obedience from other men who are but their fellow-subjects; or else it is not the title whereby kings rule, and have a right to obedience from their subjects, and then kings are kings without it, and this dream of the natural sovereignty of Adam's heir is of no use to obedience and government: for if kings have a right to dominion and the obedience of their subjects who are not, nor can possibly be, heirs to Adam, what use is there of such a title, when we are obliged to obey without it? If à kings, who are not heirs to Adam, have no right to sovereignty, we are all free, till our author, or any body for him, will show us Adam's right heir. If there be but one heir of Adam, there can be but one lawful king in the world, and nobody in conscience can be obliged to obedience till it be resolved who that is; for it may
be any one, who is not known to be of a younger house, and all others have equal titles. If there be more than one heir of Adam, every one is his heir, and so every one has regal power: for if two sons can be heirs together, then all the sons equally are heirs, and so all are heirs, being all sons, or sons' sons of Adam. Betwixt these two the right of heir cannot stand; for by it either but one only man, or all men are kings. Take which you please, it dissolves the bonds of government and obedience; since if all men are heirs, they can owe obedience to nobody; if only one, nobody can be obliged to pay obedience to him till he be known, and his title made out.
Who Heir ?
$ 106. The great question which in all ages has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it. The settling of this point being of no smaller moment than the security of princes, and the peace and welfare of their estates and kingdoms, a reformer of politics, one would think, should lay this sure, and be very clear in it: for if this remain disputable, all the rest will be to very little purpose; and the skill used in dressing up power with all the splendor and temptation absoluteness can add to it, without showing who has a right to have it, will serve only to give a greater edge to man's natural ambition, which of itself is but too keen. What can this do but set men on the more eagerly to scramble, and so lay a sure and lasting foundation of endless contention and disorder, instead of that peace and tran