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the fierce and favage kind, and the ravenous tender and liberal.
§. 57. But if the-example of what hath been done, be the rule of what ought to be, history would have furnished-oär author with instances of this "absolutë fatherly power in its height and perfection, and he might have thewed us in Peru, people that begot children on purpofe to fatten and eat them. The story is fo remarkable, that I cannot but set it down in the author's words. « In some
provinces, says be, they were so liquorish “ after man's flesh, that they would not have “ the patience to stay till the breath was
out of the body, but would suck the blood as it ran from the wounds of the dying man ; they had public shambles of man's
flesh, and their madness herein was to “ that degree, that they spared not their
own children, which they had begot on
strangers taken in war : for they made “ their captives their mistresses, and choicely “ nourished the children they had by them, “ till about thirteen years old they butchered “ and eat them; and they served the mo“ thers after the same falhion, when they
grew past child bearing, and ceased to “ bring them any more roasters,” Garcilaso de la Vega bist. des Incas de Peru, I. i. c. 12.
S. 58. Thus far can the busy mind of man carry him to a brutality below the level of beasts, when he quits his reason, which F
places him almost equal to angels. Nor can
farthest out of the way, is thought fattest to lead, and is sure of most followers : and when fashion hath once established what folly or craft began, custoin makes it sacred, and it will be thought impudence, or madness, to contradict or question it. He that will impartially survey the nations of the world, will find so much of their religions, governinents and manners, brought in and continued amongst them by these means, that he will have but little reverence for the prac- , tices which are in ufe and credit amongst men ; and will have reason to think, that the woods and forests, where the irrational untaught inhabitants keep right by following nature, are fitter to give us rules, than cities and palaces, where those that call themselves civil and rational, go out of their way, by the authority of example. If precedents are fufficient to establish a rule in this case, our author might have found in holy writ" children sacrificed by their parents, and this
amongst the people of God themselves : the Psalmist tells us, Psal. cvi. 38. They sed inRocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they facrificed unto the idol's of Canaan. But God judged not of this by our author's rule, nor allowed of the autho. rity of practice against his righteous law; but as it follows there, the land was polluted with blood; therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, infomuch that be abhorred his own inberitance. The killing of their children, though it were fashionable, was charged on them as innocent blood, and so had in the account of God the guilt of murder, as the offering them to idols had the guilt of idolatry.
§. 59. Be it then, as Sir Robert says, that anciently it was usual for men to sell and castrate their children, Observations, 155. Let it be, that they exposed them ; add to it, if you please, for this is still greater power, that they begat them for their tables, to fat and eat them : if this proves a right to do so, we may, by the same argument, justify adultery, incest and sodomy, for there are examples of these too, both ancient and modern; fins, which I suppose have their principal aggravation from this, that they cross the main intention of nature, which willeth the increase of mankind, and the continuation of the species in the highest perfection, and the distinction of families, with
the security of the marriage bed, as necessary thereunto.
§. 60. In confirmation of this natural authority of the father, our author brings a lame proof from the positive command of God in scripture : his words are, To confirm the natural right of regal power, we find in the Decalogue, that the law which enjoins obedience to kings, is delivered in the terms, Honour thy father, p.23. Whereas many confess, that. government only in the abstract, is the ordinance of God, they are not able to prove any such ordinance in the scripture, but only in the fatherly power; and therefore we find the commandment, that enjoins obedience to superiors, given in the terms, Honour thy father; so that not only the power and right of government, but the form of the power governing, and the person having the power, are all the ordinances of God. The first father bad not only fimply power,
but power monarchical, as he was father immediately from God, Observations, 254. To the same purpose, the same law is cited by our author in several other places, and just after the same fashion; that is, and mother, as apochryphal words, are always left out ; a great argument of our author's ingenuity, and the goodness of his cause, which required in its defender zeal to a degree of warmth, able to warp the sacred rule of the word of God, to make it comply with his present occasion ; a way of proceeding not unusual
to those, who embrace not truths because reason and revelation offer them, but espouse tenets and parties for ends different from truth, and then resolve at any rate to defend them; and fo do with the words and sense of authors, they would fit to their purpose, just as Procruftes did with his guests, lop or stretch them, as may best fit them to the fize of their notions : and they always prove like those fo ferved, deformed, lame, and useless.
S. 61. For had our author set down this command without garbling, as God gave it, and joined mother to father, every reader would have seen, that it had made directly against him ; and that it was so far from establishing the monarchical power of the father, that it set up the mother equal with him, and enjoined nothing but what was due in common, to hoth father and mother : for that is the constant tenor of the scripture, Honour thy father and thy mother, Exod. xx. He that smiteth his father or mother, shall surely be put to death, xxi. 15. He that curseth his father or mother, pall surely be put to death, ver. '17. Repeated Lev. xx. 9. and by our Saviour, Matth. xv. 4. Ye Shall fear every man his mother and his father, Lev. xix. 3. If a man have a rebellious fon, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of bis mother ; then shall bis father and his mother lay böld on bim; and say, This-our. fon is fub