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Of the Conveyance of Adam's sovereign monarchical
$ 78. Sir Robert, having not been very happy in any proof he brings for the sovereignty of Adam, is not much more fortunate in conveying it to future princes; who, if his politics be true, must all derive their titles from that first monarch. The ways he has assigned, as they lie scattered up and down in his writings, I will set down in his own words: in his preface he tells us, that “Adam being monarch of the whole world, none of his posterity had any right to possess any thing, but by his grant or permission, or by succession from him.” Here he makes two ways of conveyance of any thing Adam stood possessed of; and those are grants, or succession. Again he says, “ All kings either are, or are to be reputed, the next heirs to those first progenitors, who were at first the natural parents of the whole people,” p. 19.“ There cannot be any multitude of men whatsoever, but that in it, considered by itself, there is one man amongst them, that in nature hath a right to be the king of all the rest, as being the next heir to Adam," 0. 253. Here in these places inheritance is the only way he allows of conveying monarchical power to princes. In other places he tells us, O. 155, “ All power on earth is either derived or usurped from the fatherly power," 0. 158.
“ All kings that now are, or ever were, are or were either fathers of their people, or heirs of such fathers, or usurpers of the right of such fathers,” 0. 253. And here he makes inheritance or usurpation the only way whereby kings come by this original power: but yet he tells us, “ this
fatherly empire, as it was of itself hereditary, so it was alienable by patent, and seizable by an usurper,” 0.190. So then here inheritance, grant, or usurpation, will convey it. And last of all, which is most admirable, he tells us, p. 100, “ It skills not which way kings come by their power, whether by election, donation, succession, or by any other means; for it is still the manner of the government by supreme power that makes them properly kings, and not the means of obtaining their crowns.” Which I think is a full answer to all his whole hypothesis and discourse about Adam's royal authority, as the fountain from which all princes were to derive theirs: and he might have spared the trouble of speaking so much as he does, up and down, of heirs and inheritance, if to make any one properly a king needs no more but “ governing by supreme power, and it matters not by what means he came by it."
§ 79. By this notable way, our author may make Oliver as properly king as any one else he could think of: and had he had the happiness to live under Massaniello's government, he could not by this his own rule have forborne to have done homage to him, with “0 king live for ever,” since the manner of his government by supreme power made him properly king, who was but the day before properly a fisherman. And if Don Quixote had taught his squire to govern with supreme authority, our author no doubt could have made a most loyal subject in Sancho Pancha's island; he must needs have deserved some preferment in such governments, since I think he is the first politician who, pretending to settle government upon its true basis, and to establish the thrones of lawful princes, ever told the world, that he was “properly a king, whose manner of government was by supreme power, by what means soever he obtained it;" which in plain English is to say, that regal and supreme power is properly and truly his, who can by any means seize upon it: and if this be to be properly a king, I wonder how he came to think of, or where he will find, an usurper.
$ 80. This is so strange a doctrine, that the surprise of it hath made me pass by, without their due reflection, the contradictions he runs into, by making sometimes inheritance alone, sometimes only grant or inheritance, sometimes only inheritance or usurpation, sometimes all these three, and at last election, or any other means, added to them, the ways whereby Adam's royal authority, that is, his right to supreme rule, could be conveyed down to future kings and governors, so as to give them a title to the obedience and subjection of the people. But these contradictions lie so open, that the very reading of our author's own words will discover them to any ordinary understanding; and though what I have quoted out of him (with abundance more of the same strain and coherence, which might be found in him) might well excuse me from any farther trouble in this argument, yet having proposed to myself to examine the main parts of his doctrine, I shall a little more particularly consider how inheritance, grant, usurpation, or election, can any way make out government in the world upon his principles; or derive to any one a right of empire, from this regal authority of Adam, had it been ever so well proved that he had been absolute monarch, and lord of the whole world.
Of Monarchy by Inheritance from Adam.
$ 81. Though it be ever so plain, that there ought to be government in the world, nay, should all men be of our author's mind, that divine appointment had ordained it to be monarchical; yet, since men cannot obey any thing that cannot command; and ideas of government in the fancy, though ever so perfect, though ever so right, cannot give laws, nor pre
scribe rules to the actions of men; it would be of no behoof for the settling of order, and establishment of government in its exercise and use amongst men, unless there were a way also taught how to know the person, to whom it belonged to have this power, and exercise this dominion over others. It is in vain then to talk of subjection and obedience without telling us whom we are to obey: for were I ever so fully persuaded that there ought to be magistracy and rule in the world; yet I am nevertheless at liberty still, till it appears who is the person that hath right to my obedience; since, if there be no marks to know him by, and distinguish him that hath right to rule from other men, it may be myself, as well as any other; and therefore, though submission to government be every one's duty, yet since that signifies nothing but submitting to the direction and laws of such men as have authority to command, it is not enough to make a man a subject, to convince him that there is regal power in the world; but there must be ways of designing, and knowing the person to whom this regal power of right belongs; and a man can never be obliged in conscience to submit to any power, unless he can be satisfied who is the person who has a right to exercise that power over him. If this were not so, there would be no distinction between pirates and lawful princes; he that has force is without any more ado to be obeyed, and crowns and sceptres would become the inheritance only of violence and rapine. Men too might as often and as innocently change their governors, as they do their physicians, if the person cannot be known who has a right to direct me, and whose prescriptions I am bound to follow. To settle therefore men's consciences, under an obligation to obedience, it is necessary that they know not only that there is a power somewhere in the world, but the person who by right is vested with this power over them.
$ 82. How successful our author has been in his attempts to set up a monarchical absolute power in Adam, the reader may judge by what has been already said; but were that absolute monarchy as clear as our author would desire it, as I presume it is the contrary, yet it
could be of nó use to the government of mankind now in the world, unless he also make out these two things.
First, that this power of Adam was not to end with him, but was upon his decease conveyed entire to some other person, and so on to posterity.
Secondly, that the princes and rulers now on earth are possessed of this power of Adam, by a right way of conveyance derived to them.
$ 83. If the first of these fail, the power of Adam, were it ever so great, ever so certain, will signify nothing to the present government and societies in the world; but we must seek out some other original of power for the government of polities than this of Adam, or else there will be none at all in the world. If the latter fail, it will destroy the authority of the present governors, and absolve the people from subjection to them, since they, having no better claim than others to that power, which is alone the fountain of all authority, can have no title to rule over them.
$ 84. Our author, having fancied an absolute sovereignty in Adam, mentions several ways of its conveyance to princes, that were to be his successors; but that which he chiefly 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 rise f