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our-author pleafes, all the princes upon the earth, there will then be, by our author's rule, one among 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 beir carry any weight with it, if it be the ordinance of God, as our author seems to tells us, Observations, 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 beirs 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 fovereignty, the first thing to be done, is to find out this true heir of Adam, feat him in his throne, and then all the kings and princes of the world ought to come and resign up their crowns and scepters 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 kings, who are not heirs to Adam, have no right to sovereignty, we are all free, till out author, or any body for him, will shew us Adam's right heir.' If there be but one heir of Adam, there can be but one lawful king in the world, and no body in conscience can be obliged to obedience till it be resolved
who that is ; for it
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 are equally heirs, and so all are heirs, being all fons, or fons fons 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 diffolves the bonds of govern, ment and obedience; since, if all men are heirs, they can owe obedience to no body; if only one, no body can be obliged to pay obedience to him, till he be known, and his title made out.
CH A P. XI.
§. 106. T
HE 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 shewing who has a right to have it, will serve only to give a greater edge to man's natural ambition, which of its self 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 tranquillity, which is the business of government, and the end of human fociety >
$. 107. This designation of the person our author is more than ordinary obliged to take care of, because he, affirming that the af: fignment of civil power is by divine institution, hath made the conveyance as well as the power itself sacred : so that no consideration, no act or art of man, can divert it from that person, to whom, by this divine right, it is assigned; no neceslity or contrivance can substitute another person in his room : for if the assignment of civil power be by divine institution, and Adam's heir be he to whom it is thus afligned, as in the foregoing chapter our author tells us, it would be as much facrilege for any one to be king, who was not Adam's heir, as it would have been amongst
the Jews, for any one to have been priest, who had not been of Aaron's posterity: for not only the priesthood in general being by divine inAtitution, but the asignment of it to the sole line and posterity of Aaron, made it impoffible to be enjoyed or exercised by any one, but those persons who were the off-spring of Aaron : whose succession therefore was carefully observed, and by that the persons who had a right to the priesthood certainly known.
S. 108. Let us see then 'what care our author has taken, to make us know who is this beir, who by divine institution has a right to be king over all men. The first account of him we meet with is, p. 12. in these words: This subjection of children, being the fountain of all regal authority, by the ordination of God himself; it follows, that civil power, not only in general, is by divine institution, but even the afhgnment of it, Specifically to the eldest parents, Matters of such consequence as this is, should be in plain words, as little liable, as might be, to doubt or equivocation ; and I think, if language be capable of expressing any thing distinctly and clearly, that of kindred, and the several degrees of nearness of blood, is
It were therefore to be wished, that our author had used a little more intelligible expressions here, that we might have better known, who it is, to whom the afhgnment of civil power is made by divine institution ; or at least would have told us what he meant by