Page images

for from him every one, who would be as fashionable as French was" at court, has learned, and runs away with this short system of politics, viz. Men are not born free, and therefore could never have the liberty to choose either governors, or forms of government. Princes have their power absolute, and by divine right'; for slaves could never have a right to compact or confent. Adam was an absolute monarch, and so are all princes ever since.


[ocr errors]

Of Paternal and Regal Power.
IR Robert Filmer's great position is,

that men are not naturally free. This is the foundation on which his absolute monarchy stands, and from which it erects itself to an height, that its power is above every power, caput inter nubila, so high above all earthly and human things, that thought can scarce reach it; that promises and oaths, which tye the infinite Deity, cannot confine it. But if this foundation fails, all his fabric falls with it, and governments must be left again to the old way of being made by contrivance, and the consent of men ('Avg potriva ztiois) making use of their reason to unite together into society. To prove this grand position of his, he tells us, p. 12. Men

B 3


[ocr errors][merged small]

are born in fubje£tion to their parents, and
therefore cannot be free. And this autho-
rity of parents, he calls rayal authority, p.
12, 147: Fatherly authority, right of father-
hood, p. 12, 2015 One would have thought
he would, in the beginning of such a work
as this, on which was to depend the autho-
rity of princes, and the obedience of sub-
jects, have told us exprelly, what that fa-
therly authority is, have defined it, though
not limited it, because in foine other treatises
of his he tells us, it is unlimited, and * un-
limitable ; he should at least have given us
such an account of it, that we might have
had an entire notion of this fatherhood, or
fatherly authority, whenever it came in our
way in his writings : this I expected to have
found in the first chapter of his Patriarcha.
But instead thereof, having, 1. en passant,
made his obeysance to the arcana imperii;
p. 15. 2. made his compliment to the rights:
and liberties of this, or any other nation,
P 6. which he is going presently to null and
destroy; and, 3. made his leg to those learned
men, who did not see so far into the matter
as himself, p. 7. he comes to fall on Belt,




grants and gifts that have their original from God or nature, as the power of the father hath, no inferior power of man can limit, nor make any law of prescription against them. , Observations, 158,

The fcripture teaches, that fupreme power was originally the father, without any limitation. Observations, 245.

larmine, p. 8. and, by a victory over him, establishes his fatherly authority beyond any question. Bellarmine being routed by his own confession, p. 11. the day is clear got, and there is no more need of any forces : for having done that, I observe not that he states the question, or rallies up any arguments to make good his opinion, but rather tells us the story, as he thinks fit, of this strange kind of domineering phantom, called the fatherhood, which whoever could catch, presently got empire, and unlimited absolute power. He assures us how this fatherhood began in Adam, continued its course, and kept the world in order all the time of the patriarchs till the flood, got out of the ark with Noah and his sons, made and supported all the kings of the earth till the captivity of the Israelites in Egypt, and then the poor fatherbood was under hatches, till God, by giving the Israelites kings, re-established the ancient and prime right of the lineal succesion in paternal government. This is his business from p. 12. to 19. And then obviating an objection, and clearing a difficulty or two with one half reason, p. 23. to confirm the natural right of regal power, he ends the first chapter. I hope it is no injury to call an half quotation an half reason; for God says, Honour thy father and mother ; but our author contents himself with half, leaves out the



[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

mother quite, as little serviceable to his pure pose. But of that more in another place.

$. 7. I do not think our author" so little skilled in the way of writing discourses of this nature, nor so careless of the point in hand, that he by over-light commits the fault, that he himself, in his Anarchy of a mixed Manarchy, p. 239. objects to Mr. Hunton in these words: Where first I charge the author, that he hath not given us any definition, or description of monarchy in general; for by the rules of method be fould have first defined. And by the like rule of method Sir Robert should have told us, what his fatherhood or fatherly authority is, before he had told us, in whom it was to be found, and talked so much of it. But

perhaps Sir Robert found, that this fatherly authority, this power of fathers, and of kings, for he makes them both the same, p. 24. would make a very odd and frightful figure, and very disagreeing with what either children imagine of their parents, or subjects of their kings, if he should have given us the whole draught together in that gigantic form, he had painted it in his own fancy; and therefore, like a wary physician, when he would have his patient swallow some harsh or corrosive liquor, he mingles it with a large quantity of that which may dilute it; that the scattered parts may go down with less feeling, and cause less averfion.

$. 8,

[ocr errors]

$. 8. Let us then endeavour to find what account he gives us of this fatherly authority, as it lies scattered in the several parts of his writings. 'And first, as it was vested in Adan, he says, Not only' Adam, but the fucceeding patricrchs, had, by right of fatherbood, royal authority over their children, p. 12. This lordship which Adam by command bad over the whole world, and by right descending from him the patriarchs did enjoy, was as large and ample as the absolute dominion of any monarch, which bath been fince the creation, p. 13. Dominion of life and death, making war, and concluding peace, p. 13: Adam and the patriarchs had absolute power of life and death, p. 35. Kings, in the right of parents

, fucceed to the exercise of supreme jurisdi&tion, p.' 19. As ķingly power is by the law of God, fo 'it hath no inferior law to limit it; Adam was lord of all, p. 40. The father of a family governs by no other law, than by his own will, p. 78. The fuperiority of princes is above laws, p. 79. The unlimited jurisdiction of kings is so amply described by Samuel, p. 80. Kings are above the laws, p. 93. And to this purpose see a great deal more which our author delivers in Bodin's words : It is certain, that all laws, privileges, and grants of princes, have no force, but during their life; if they be not ratified by the express confent, or by sufferance of the prince following, especially privileges, Obseryations, p. 279. The reason why laws have

« PreviousContinue »