Abbildungen der Seite

tion of his fatherly authority, as it 1 1. The sovereignty of Adam, belies scattered up and down in his ing that on which, as a sure basis, writings, which he supposes was first our author builds his mighty absovested in Adam, and by right be- Jute monarchy, I expected, that in longs to all princes ever since. This his Patriarcha, this his main suppofatherly authority then, or right of sition would have been proved, and fatherhood, in our author's sense, is established with all that evidence of a divine unalterable right of sove arguments, that such a fundamental reignty, whereby a father or a prince tenet required; and that this, on hath an absolute, arbitrary, unli- which the great stress of the busimited, and unlimitable power over ness depends, would have been made the lives, liberties, and estates of his out with reasons sufficient to justify children and subjects ; so that he the confidence with which it was asmay take or alienate their estates, sumed. But in all that treatise, I sell, castrate, or use their persons as could find very little tending that he pleases, they being all his slaves, way; the thing is there so taken for and he lord or proprietor of every granted, without proof, that I could thing, and his unbounded will their scarce believe myself, when, upon law.

attentive reading that treatise, I 10. Ourauthor having placed such found there so mighty a structure a mighty power in Adam, and upon raised upon the bare supposition of that supposition founded all govern- this foundation : for it is scarce crement, and all power of princes, it dible, that in a discourse, where he is reasonable to expect, that he pretends to confute the erroneous should have proved this with argu- principle of man's natural freedom, he ments clear and evident, suitable to should do it by a bare supposition of the weightiness of the cause; that Adam's authority, without offering since men had nothing else left them, any proof for that authority. Inthey might in slavery have such un- deed he confidently says, that Adam deniable proofs of its necessity, that had royal authority, p. 12, and 13. their consciences might be convinced, absolute lørdship and dominion of life and oblige them to submit peaceably and death, p. 13. an universal monar. to that absolute dominion, which chy, p. 33. absolute power of life and their governors had a right to exer- death, p. 35. He is very frequent in cise over them. Without this, what such assertions; but, what is strange, good could our author do, or pre- in all his whole Patriarchu I find not tend to do, by erecting such an un- one pretence of a reason to establish limited power, but flatter the natural this his great foundation of govern. vanity and ambition of men, too apt ment; not any thing that looks like of itself to grow and increase with an argument, but these words : to the possession of any power; and by confirm this natural right of regal persuading those, who, by the con- power, we find in the decalogue, that sint of their fellow-men, are ad- the law which enjoins obedience to kings, vanced to great, but limited degrees is delivered in the terms, honour thy of it, thai by that part which is father, as if all power were originally given them, they have a right to all, in the father. And why may I not that was not so ; and therefore may add as well, that in the decalogue, do what they please, because they the law that enjoins obedience tu have authority to do more than others, queens, is delivered in the terms of and so tempt them to do what is nei- honour tity mother, as if all power ther for their own, nor the good of were originally in the mother? The those under their care; whereby argument, as Sir Robert puts its grcat mischiefs cannot but follow. will held as well for yoe as the

other : but of this, more in its due course made on purpose, to set up place.

- the absolute monarchical power of 12. All that I take notice of here Adam, in opposition to the natural is, that this is all our author says freedom of mankind, has said so in this first, or any of the following little to prove it, from whence it is chapters, to prove the absolute power rather naturally to be concluded, of Adam, which is his great prin- that there is little to he said. ciple: and yet as if he had there set. 14. But that I might omit no care tled it upon sure demonstration, he to inform myself in our author's full begins his second chapter with these sense, I consulted his Observations words, by conferring these proofs and on Aristotle, Hobbes, &c. to see whereasons, drawn from the authority of ther in disputing with others he made the scripture. Where those proofs use of any arguments for this his and reasons for Adam's sovereignty darling tenet of Adam's sovereignty ; are, bating that of honour thy father, since in his treatise of the Natural above mentioned, I confess, I can- Power of Kings, he hath been so not find; unless what he says, p. sparing of them. In his observations 11. In these words we have an evi- on Mr. Hobbes's Leviathan, I think dent confession, viz. of Bellarmine, he has put, in short, all those arguthat creation made man prince of his ments for it together, which in his posterity, must be taken for proofs writings I find him any where to and reasons drawn from scripture, make use of: his words are these : or for any sort of proof at all: though If God created only Adam, and of a from thence by a new way of infer- piece of him made the woman, and if ence, in the words immediately fol- by generation from them two, as parts lowing, he concludes, the royal au- of them, all mankind be propagated : thority of Adam sufficiently settled if also God gave to Adam, not only in him.

the dominion over the woman and the 13. If he has in that chapter, or children that should issue from them, any where in the whole treatise, but also over all the earth to subdue it, given any other proofs of Adam's and over all the creatures on it, su royal authority, other than by often that as long as Adam lived, no man repeating it, which, among some man could claim or enjoy any thing men, goes for argunent, I desire any but by donation, assignation or perbody for him to shew me the place mission from him, I wonder, sc. Ob. and page, that I may be convinced servations, 165. Here we have the of my mistake, and acknowledge my the sum of all his arguments, for oversight. If no such arguments Adam's sovereignty, and against na. are to be found, I beseech those men tural freedom, which I find up and who have so much cried up this book, down in his other treatises : and they to consider, whether they do not give are these following; God's creation the world cause to suspect, chat it of Adam, the dominion he gave him is not the force of reason and argu- over Eve, and the dominion he had ment, that makes them for absolute as father over his children : all which monarchy, but some other bye in- I shall particularly consider. terest, and therefore are resolved to

CHAPTER III. applaud any author, that writes in Of Adam's Title to Sotereignty by favour of this doctrine, whether he

Creation. support it with reason or no. But 15. Sir Robert, in his preface to I hope they do not expect, that ra- his Observations on Aristotle's politional and indiferent men should be tics, tells us, A natural freedom of brought over to their opinion, because mankind cannot be supposed without this their great doctor of it, in a dis- the denial of the creation of Adam: but how Adam's being created, which by God's appointment: but I suppose was nothing but his receiving a it cannot be meant here in the first being immediately from omnipotence sense, i, e. by providence; because and the hand of God, gave Adam a that would be to say no more, but sovereignty over any thing, I cannot that as soon as Adam was created he see, nor consequently understand, was de facto monarch, because by how a supposition of natural freedom right of nature it was due to Adam, is, a denial of Adam's creation, and to be governor of his posterity. But would be glad any body else (since he could not de facto be by proviour author did not vouchsafe us the dence constituted the governor of the favour) would make it out for him: world, at a time when there was acfor I find no difficulty to suppose tually no government, no subjects the freedom of mankind, though I to be governed, which our author have always believed the creation of here confesses. Monarch of the world Adam. He was created, or began is also differently used by our author; to exist by God's immediate power, for sometimes he means by it a prowithout the intervention of parents prietor of all the world exclusive of or the pre-existence of any of the the rest of mankind, and thus he does same species to beget him, when it in the same page of his preface before pleased God he should; and so did cited. Adam, says he, being commanded the lion, the king of beasts, before to multiply and people the earth, and him, by the same creating power of to subdue it, and having dominion given God: and if bare existence by that him over all creatures, was thereby power, and in that way, will give the monarch of the whole world ; none dominion without any more ado, of his posterity had any right to posour author, by this argument, will sess any thing but by his grant or make the lion have as good a title to permission, or by succession from him. it, as he, and certainly the antienter. 2. Let us understand then by moNo! for Adam had his title by the narch, proprietor of the world, and by appointment of God, says our author appointment God's actual donation, in another place. Then bare cream and revealed positive grant made to tion gave him not dominion, and Adam, Gen.'j. 28. as we see Sir one might have supposed mankind free Robert himself does in this parallel without the denying the creation of place; and then his argument will Adam, since it was God's appoint- stand thus: by the positive grant of ment, inade him monarch.

God, as soon as Adam was created, 16. But let us see, how he puts he was proprietor of the world, because his creation and this appointment to- by the right of nature it was due to gether. By the appointment of God, Adam to be governor of his posterity. says Sir Robert, as soon as Adam In which way of arguing there are was created, he was monarch of the two manifest falsehoods. First, it world, though he had no subjects; for is false, that God made that grant though there could not be actual go- to Adam, as soon as he was created, vernment till there were subjects, yet since, though it stands in the text by the right of nature it was due to immediately after his creation, yet it Adam to be governor of his posterity: is plain it could not be spoken to though not in act, yet at least in habit Adam, till after Eve was made and Adam was a king from his creation. brought to him: and how then could I wish he had told us here, what he he be monarch by appointment as soon meant by God's appointment : for as created, especially since he calls, whatsoever providence orders, or the if I mistake not, that which God law of nature directs, or positive re- says to Eve, Gen.jii. 16. the original velation declares, may be said to be grant of government, which not being till after the fall, when Adam was he was governor in habit, and not in somewhat, at least in time, and very act: a very pretty way of being a gomuch distant in condition, from his vernor without government, a father creation, I cannot sce, how our au- without children, and a king withthor can say in this sense, that by out subjects. And thus Sir Robert God's appointment, as soon as Adam was an author before he writ his was created, he was monarch of the book ; not in act it is true, but in world. Secondly, were it true that habit ; for when he had once pubGod's actual donation appointed Adam lished it, it was due to him by the monarch of the world as soon as he right of nature to be an author, as was created, yet the reason here given much as it was to Adam to be go. for it, would not prove it; but it vernor of his children, when he had would always be a false inference, begot them : and if to be such a that God, by a positive donation, monarch of the world, an absolute appointed Adam monarch of the world, monarch in habit, but not in act, will because by right of nature it was due serve the turn, I should not much to Adam to be governor of his poste- envy it to any of Sir Robert's friends, rity : for having given him the right that he thought fit graciously to beof government by nature, there was stow it upon, though even this of no need of a positive donation ; at act and habit, if it signified any thing least it will never be a proof of such but our author's skill in distinctions, a donation.

be not to bis purpose in this place. 17. On the other side the matter For the question here is not about will not be much mended, if we un- Adam's actual exercise of governderstand by God's appointment the ment, but actually having a utle to law of nature, (though it be a pretty be governor. Government, says ovir barsh espression for it in this place) author, was due to Adam by the right and by monarch of the world, sove- of nature : what is this right of nareign ruler of mankind : for then ture? A right fathers have over the sentence under consideration their children by begetting them ; must run thus : by the law of nature, generatione jus acquiritur parentibus as soon as Adam was created he was in liberos, says our author out of Grogovernor of mankind, for by right of tius, Ohservations, 223. The right nature it was due to Adam to he go then follows the begetting as arising vernor of his posterity; which amounts from it; so that, according to this to this, he was governor by right of way of reasoning or distinguishing nature, because he was governor by of our author, Adam, as soon as he right of nature : bui supposing we was created, had a title only in habit, should grant, that a man is by na- and not in act, which in, plain Engture governor of his children; Adam lish is, he had actually no title at all. could not hereby be a monarch as : 19. To speak less learnedly, and soon as created ; for this right of na- more intelligibly, one may say of ture being founded in his being their Adam, he was in a possibility of father, huw Adam could have a na- being governor, since it was possible tural right to be governor, before he he might beget children, and thereby was a father, when by being a father acquire that right of nature, be it only, he had that right, is methinks, what it will, tu govern them, that hard to conceive, unless he will have accrues from thence :--but what him to be a father before he was a connection has this with Adam's creafather, and to have a title before he tion, to make him say, that, as soon had it.

as he was created, he was monarch 18. To this foreseen objection, of the world? for it may be as well our author answers very logically, said of Noah, that as soon as he was


born, he was monarch of the world, creation made man prince of his possince he was in possibility (which tery? how farther can one judge of in our author's sense is enough to the truth of his being thus king, till make a monarch, a monarch in habit;) one has examined whether king be to outlive all mankind, but his own to be taken, as the words in the leposterity. What such necessary con- ginning of this passage would pernection there is betwixt Adam's crea- suade, on supposition of his private tron and his right to government, so dominion, which was, by God's po• that a natural freedom of mankind sive grant, monarch of the world by cannot be supposed without the denial appointment ; or king on supposition of the creation of Adam, I confess for of his fatherly power over his offmy part I do not see; nor how those spring, which was by nature, due words, by the appointment, &c. Ob- by the right of nature ; whether, I servations, 254, however explained, say, king be to be taken in both, or can be put together, to make any one only of these two senses, or in tolerable sense, at least to establish neither of them, but only this, that this position, with which they end, creation made him prince, in a way viz. Adam was a king from his crea- differently from both the other? For tion ; a king, says our author, not though this assertion, that Adam in act, but in habit, i. e. actually no was king from his creation, be true king at all.

in no sense, yet it stands here as an 20. I fear I have tired my reader's evident conclusion drawn from the patience, by dwelling longer on this preceding words, though in truth it passage, than the weightiness of any be but a bare assertion joined to argument in it seems to require; but other assertions of the same kind, I have unavoidably been engaged in which confidently put together in it by our author's way of writing, words of undetermined and dubious who, huddling several suppositions meaning, look like a sort of arguing, together, and that in doubtful and when there is indeed neither proof general terms, makes such a medley nor connection: a way very familiar and confusion, that it is impossible with our author: of which having to shew his mistakes, without exa- given the reader a taste here, I shall mining the several senses wherein as much as the argument will permit his words may be taken, and with- me, avoid touching on hereaster; out seeing how, in any of these va- and should not have done it here, rious meanings, they will consist were it not to let the world see, how together, and have any truth in them: incoherences in matter, and supposifor in this present passage before us, tions without proofs put handsomely how can any one argue against this together in good words and a plauposition of his, that Adam was a sible stile, are apt to pass for strong king from his creation, unless one reason and good sense, till they come examine, whether the words, from to be looked into with attention. his creation, be to be taken, as they may, for the time of the commencement of his government, as the fore

END OF CHAPTER III. going words import, as soon as he was created he was monarch ; or, for the cause of it, as he says, p. 11.

[To be continued.]

« ZurückWeiter »