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insists on, is that of inheritance, which occurs so often in his several discourses; and I having in the foregoing chapter quoted several of these passages, I shall not need here again to repeat them. This sovereignty he erects, as has been said, upon a double foundation, viz. that of property, and that of fatherhood. One was the right he was supposed to have in all creatures, a right to possess the earth with the beasts, and other inferior ranks of things in it, for his private use, exclusive of all other men. The other was the right he was supposed to have, to rule and govern men, all the rest of mankind.
$. 85. In both these rights, there being supposed an exclusion of all other men, it must be upon some reason peculiar to Adam, that they must both be founded.
That of his property our author supposes to arise from God's immediate donation, Gen. i. 28. and that of fatherhood from the act of begetting : now in all inheritance, if the heir succeed not to the reason upon which his father's right was founded, he cannot succeed to the right which followeth from it. For example, Adam had a right of property in the creatures upon the donation and grant of God almighty, who was lord and proprietor of them all: let this be so as our author tells us, yet upon his death his heir can have no title to them, no such right of property in them, unless the same reason, viz. God's
donation, vested a right in the heir too: for if Adam could have
had no property in, nor use of the creatures, without this positive donation from God, and this donation were only personally to Adam, his beir could have no right by it; but upon his death it must revert to God, the lord and owner again; for positive grants give no title farther than the express words convey it, and by which only it is held. And thus, if as our author himfelf contends, that donation, Gen. i. 28. were made only to Adam personally, his heir could not succeed to his property in the creatures ; and if it were a donation to any but Adam, let it be shewn, that it was to his heir in our author's sense, i. e. to one of his children, exclusive of all the rest.
S. 86. But not to follow our author too far out of the way, the plain of the case is this. God having made man, and planted in him, as in all other animals, a strong desire of self-preservation ; and furnished the world with things fit for food and raiment, and other neceffaries of life, subfervient to his design, that man fhould live and abide for fome time upon the face of the earth, and not that so curious and wonderful a piece of workmanship, by his own negligence, or want of necessaries, should perish again, presently after a few moments continuance ; God, I say, having made man and the world thus, spoke to him, (that is) directed him H 3
; OF GOVERNMENT. by his senses and reason, as he did the inferior animals by their sense and instinct, which were serviceable for his fubsistence, and given him as the means of his prefervation. And therefore I doubt not, but before these words were pronounced, i. Gen. 28, 29. (if they must be understood literally to have been spoken) and without any such verbal donation, man had a right to an use of the creatures, by the will and grant of God: for the desire, strong desire of preserving his life and being, having been planted in him as a principle of action by God himself, reafon, which was the voice of God in him, could not but teach him and assure him, that
pursuing that natural inclination he had to preserve his being, he followed the will of his maker, and therefore had a right to make use of those creatures, which by his reason or fenfes he could discover would be ferviceable thereunto. And thus man's property in the creatures was founded upon the right he had to make use of those things that were necessary or useful to his being.
§. 87. This being the reason and foundation of Adam's property, gave the same title, on the same ground, to all his children, not only after his death, but in his life-time: so that here was no privilege of his heir above his other children, which could exclude them from an equal right to the use of the inferior creatures, for the comfortable preservation
of their beings, which is all the property man hath in them; and so Adam's sovereignty built on property, or, as our author calls it, private dominion, comes to nothing.
Every man had a right to the creatures, by the fame title Adam had, viz. by the right every one had to take care of, and provide for their subsistence : and thus men had a right in common, Adani's children in common with him. But if any one had began, and made himself a property in any particular thing, (which how he, or any one else, could do, Ìhall be shewn in another place) that thing, that poffeffion, if he disposed not otherwise of it by his positive grant, descended ratu- rally to his children, and they had a right to succeed to it, and possess it.
§. 88. It might reasonably be asked here, how come children by this right of poffefsing, before any other, the properties of their parents upon their decease ?' for it being personally the parents, when they die, without actually transferring their right to another, why does it not return again to the common stock of mankind ? It will perhaps be answered, that common consent hath disposed of it to their children. Common practice, we see indeed, does so dispose of it; but we cannot say, that it is the common consent of mankind; for that hath never been asked, nor actually given ; and if common tacit . consent hath established it, it would make
but a positive, and not a natural right of children to inherit the goods of their parents : but where the practice is universal, it is reasonable to think the cause is natural. The ground then I think to be this. The firft and strongest desire God planted in men, and wrought into the very principles of their nature, being that of self-preservation, that is the foundation of a right to the creatures for the particular support and use of cach individual perfon himself. But, next to this, God planted in men a strong desire also of propagating their kind, and continuing themselves in their posterity; and this gives children a title to Thare in the property of their parents, and a right to inherit their pofseffions. Men are not proprietors of what they have, meerly for themselves; their chil. dren have a title to part of it, and have their kind of right joined with their parents, in the possession which comes to be wholly their's, when death, having put an end to their parents use of it, hath taken them from their poffeffions; and this we call inheritance: men being by a like obligation bound to preserve what they have begotten, as to preserve themselves, their issue come to have a right in the goods they are possessed of That children have such a right, is plain from the laws of God; and that men are convinced that children have such a right, is evident from the law of the land; both