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whenever the heirs of Jacob had not supreme power! I fear, supreme patriarchal jurisdiction was not only intermitted, but from the time of the Egyptian bondage quite lost in the world; since it will be hard to find, from that time downwards, any one who exercised it as an inheritance descending to him from the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I imagined monarchical government would have served his turn in the hands of Pharaoh, or any body. But one cannot easily discover in all places what his discourse tends to, as, particularly in this place, it is not obvious to guess what he drives at, when he says, “ the exercise of supreme patriarchal jurisdiction in Egypt,” or how this serves to make out the descent of Adam's lordship to the patriarchs, or any body else.
$ 153. For I thought he had been giving us out of Scripture proofs and examples of monarchical government, founded on paternal authority, descending from Adam; and not an history of the Jews : amongst whom yet we find no kings, till many years after they were a people: and when kings were their rulers, there is not the least mention or room for a pretence that they were heirs to Adam, or kings by paternal authority. I expected, talking so much as he does of Scripture, that he would have produced thence a series of monarchs, whose titles were clear to Adam's fatherhood, and who, as heirs to him, owned and exercised paternal jurisdiction over their subjects, and that this was the true patriarchal government: whereas he neither proves that the patriarchs were kings, nor that either kings or patriarchs were heirs to Adam, or so much as pretended to it: and one may as well prove that the patriarchs were all absolute monarchs; that the power both of patriarchs and kings was only paternal; and that this power descended to them from Adam: I say
: all these propositions may be as well proved by a confused account of a multitude of little kings in the West-Indies, out of Ferdinando Soto, or any late histories of the Northern America, or by our author's 70 kings of Greece, out of Homer, as by any
thing he brings out of Scripture, in that multitude of kings he has reckoned up.
$ 154. And methinks he should have let Homer and his wars of Troy alone, since his great zeal to truth or monarchy carried him to such a pitch of transport against philosophers and poets, that he tells us in his preface, that “ there are too many in these days who please themselves in running after the opinions of philosophers and poets, to find out such an original of
government as might promise them some title to liberty, to the great scandal of Christianity and bringing in of atheism.” And yet these heathens, philosopher Aristotle, and poet Homer, are not rejected by our zealous Christian politician, whenever they offer any thing that seems to serve his turn : whether “ to the great scandal of Christianity and bringing in of atheism," let him look. This I cannot but observe in authors who it is visible write not for truth, how ready zeal for interest and party is to entitle Christianity to their designs, and to charge atheism on those who will not, without examining, submit to their doctrines, and blindly swallow their nonsense.
But to return to his Scripture history, our author farther tells us, p. 18, that " after the return of the Israelites out of bondage, God, out of a special care of them, chose Moses and Joshua successively to govern as princes in the place and stead of the supreme fathers.” If it be true that they returned out of bondage, it must be in a state of freedom, and must imply, that both before and after this bondage they were free; unless our author will say that changing of masters is returning out of bondage; or that a slave returns out of bondage when he is removed from one gally to another. If then they returned out of bondage, it is plain that in those days, whatever our author in his preface says to the contrary, there was a difference between a son, a subject, and a slave; and that neither the patriarchs before, nor their rulers after this “Egyptian bondage, numbered their sons or subjects amongst their possessions, and disposed of them with as absolute a dominion, as they did their other goods.
$ 155. This is evident in Jacob to whom Reuben offered his two sons as pledges; and Judah was at last surety for Benjamin's safe return out of Egypt: which all had been vain, superfluous, and but a sort of mockery, if Jacob had had the same power over every one of his family as he had over his ox or his ass, as an owner over his substance; and the offers that Reuben or Judah made had been such a security for returning of Benjamin, as if a man should take two lambs out of his lord's flock, and offer one as security that he will safely restore the other.
$ 156. When they were out of this bondage, what then ? “ God out of a special care of them, the Israelites." It is well that once in his book he will allow God to have any care of the people: for in other places he speaks of mankind as if God had no care of any part of them, but only of their monarchs, and that the rest of the people, the societies of men, were made as so many herds of cattle, only for the service, use, and pleasure of their princes.
$ 157. “ Chose Moses and Joshua successively to govern as princes ;" a shrewd argument our author has found out to prove God's care of the fatherly authority, and Adam's heirs, that here, as an expression of his care of his own people, he chooses those for princes over them that had not the least pretence to either. The persons chosen were Moses, of the tribe of Levi, and Joshua of the tribe of Ephraim, neither of which had any title of fatherhood. But, says our author, they were in the place and stead of the supreme fathers. If God had any where as plainly declared his choice of such fathers to be rulers, as he did of Moses and Joshua, we might believe Moses and Joshua were in their place and stead: but that being the question in debate, till that be better proved, Moses being chosen by God to be ruler of his people, will no more prove that government belonged to Adam's heir, or to the fatherhood, than God's choosing Aaron of the tribe of Levi to be priest, will prove that the priesthood belonged to Adam's heir, or the prime fathers; since God would choose Aaron to be priest, and Moses ruler in Israel,
though neither of those offices were settled on Adam's heir or the fatherhood.
$ 158. Our author goes on, " And after them likewise for a time he raised up judges, to defend his people in time of peril," p. 18. This proves fatherly authority to be the original of government, and that it descended from Adam to his heirs just as well as what went before: only here our author seems to confess that these judges, who were all the governors they then had, were only men of valour, whom they made their generals to defend them in time of peril; and cannot God raise up such men, unless fatherhood have a title to government ?
$ 159. But says our author, “ when God gave the Israelites kings, he re-established the ancient and prime right of lineal succession to paternal government." p. 18.
§ 160. How did God re-establish it? by a law, a positive command? We find no such thing. Our author means then, that when God gave them a king, in giving them a king, he re-established the right, &c. To re-establish de facto the right of lineal succession to paternal government is to put a man in possession of that government which his fathers did enjoy, and he by lineal succession had a right to: for, first, if it were another government than what his ancestor had, it was not succeeding to an ancient right, but beginning a new one: for if a prince should give a man, besides his ancient patrimony, which for some ages his family had been disseised of, an additional estate, never before in the possession of his ancestors, he could not be said to re-establish the right of lineal succession to any more than what had been formerly enjoyed by his ancestors. If therefore the power the kings of Israel had were any thing more than Isaac or Jacob had, it was not the re-establishing in them the rightof succession to a power, but giving them a new power, however you please to call it, paternal or not: and whether Isaac and Jacob had the same power that the kings of Israel had, I deșire any one, by what has been above said, to consider;
and I do not think he will find that either Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, had any regal power at all.
$ 161. Next, there can be “no re-establishment of the prime and ancient right of lineal succession” to any thing, unless he that is put in possession of it has the right to succeed, and be the true and next heir to him he succeeds to. Can that be a re-establishment which begins in a new family? or that the “ re-establishment of an ancient right of lineal succession,” when a crown is given to one who has no right of succession to it; and who, if the lineal succession had gone on, had been out of all possibility of pretence to it? Saul, the first king God gave the Israelites, was of the tribe of Benjamin. Was the “ ancient and prime right of lineal succession re-established" in him? The next was David, the youngest son of Jesse, of the posterity of Judah, Jacob's third son. Was the “ ancient and prime right of lineal succession to paternal government reestablished in him?" or in Solomon, his younger son and successor in the throne ? or in Jeroboam over the ten tribes ? or in Athaliah, a woman who reigned six years, an utter stranger to the royal blood ? “ If the ancient and prime right of lineal succession to paternal government were re-established” in any of these or their posterity, “ the ancient and prime right of lineal succession to paternal government” belongs to younger brothers as well as elder, and may be re-established in any man living : for whatever younger brothers, " by ancient and prime right of lineal succession,” may have as well as the elder, that every man living may have a right to by lineal succession, and Sir Robert as well as any other. And so what a brave right of lineal succession to his paternal or regal government our author has re-established, for the securing the rights and inheritance of crowns, where every one may have it, let the world consider.
$ 162. But says our author, however, p. 19, “ Whensoever God made choice of any special person to be king, he intended that the issue also should have benefit thereof, as being comprehended sufficiently in