Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. II.: Observations on the Directions for Obedience in doubtful times, and other places of his Patriarcha, and other Treatises. - Patriarcha non monarcha. The Patriarch unmonarch'd
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CHAP. II.: Observations on the Directions for Obedience in doubtful times, and other places of his Patriarcha, and other Treatises. - James Tyrrell, Patriarcha non monarcha. The Patriarch unmonarch’d 
Patriarcha non monarcha. The Patriarch unmonarch’d: Being Observations on a late treatise and divers other miscellanies, published under the name of Sir Robert Filmer Baronet. In which the falseness of those opinions that would make monarchy Jure Divino are laid open: and the true Principles of Government and Property (especially in our Kingdom) asserted. By a Lover of Truth and of his Country (London: Richard Janeway, 1681).
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Observations on the Directions for Obedience in doubtful times, and other places of his Patriarcha, and other Treatises.
BUT since this Author, rather than the disposal of a Crown shall fall to the decision of the People, or States of the Kingdom, will give an Usurper a good Right to it against all persons but him that hath the Right; we will now examine how much of that is true which he lays down in his Directions for Obedience to Governours in doubtful times, and how far men are bound in Conscience to obey an Usurper, whilst he that hath Right is kept out by him. First, he takes it for granted, that all those that so eagerly strive for an original Power to be in the People, do with one accord acknowledge that originally the Supream Power was in the Fatherhood,Vid. Mezeray Abregé Chron. An. 1318. and that the first Kings were Fathers of Families; which if granted, yet will not prove that this proceeded from that natural perpetual subjection which Children owe their Parents; or that because they are Parents, they are therefore Lords and Kings over them: So that this being the Groundwork of whatever he says in this Discourse, p. 67. if this be faulty (as I hope I have proved it to be) all that he builds upon this foundation, signifies nothing. Secondly, he assumes that this Paternal power cannot be lost; it may be transferr’d or usurped, but never lost, or ceaseth — But as the power of the Father may be lawfully transferred or aliened, so it may be unjustly usurped; and in Usurpation the Title of the Usurper is before and better than the Title of any other than him that had a former Right: for he hath a possession by the permissive Will of God, which permission how long it will last, no man ordinarily knows; every man is to preserve his own life for the service of God, and of his King or Father: and is so far to obey an Usurper, as may tend not onely to the preservation of his King and Father, but sometimes even of the Usurper himself, when probably he may be thereby preserved to the correction or mercy of his true Superiour. And though by humane Law a long Prescription may take away a Right, yet divine Right never dies, nor can be lost or taken away. The same he says p. 70. That in Grants and Gifts that have their original from God or Nature (as the power of the Father hath) no inferiour power of man can limit nor make any Prescription against them. Upon this ground is built that Maxime, That Nullum tempus occurrit Regi, no time bars a King. Which second assumption is likewise false: for I have already proved that all Fatherly power ceases with the life of the Father, as Motherly power with the life of the Mother; or else in the state of Nature a man must be left like other Cattle, to be pickt up and markt by whoever can first seize him. And secondly, that it is false that this power and authority of a Father can be transferred to, or usurped by another; or that the Son owes the person to whom his Father transfers or sells him, any other duty than as his Assignee performs the Office of a Father towards him. Much less that an Usurper acquires any Right over the person of the Son in the state of Nature; for otherwise if a Thief should procure strength enough to drive a Master of a separate Family out of doors, and so this Rogue could subdue the whole House, and set up for Lord and Master of it, that then the Wife, and Children, and Servants, were immediately bound to obey him, because he hath a possession, and is in by the permissive Will of God, and so hath a better Right than any body else, but the Master himself. It is true indeed, in this case every Member of this Family is bound to preserve his own life, and may yield a passive Obedience to this Rogue, for fear of his power, and as far as he thinks it will conduce to his preservation; but I do not see any obligation he hath from Conscience or Reason, to obey this Robber farther than as he cannot help it, but may take the first opportunity to drive him out of the House, and call in his true Father or Master; unless he hath made him any promise to be quiet and not assault him, for then he is in the same state with a Prisoner upon parol: for all Writers on this subject, hold that nothing but a lawful War can give any man a Right over the person of another, unless he become his Servant by some voluntary act of his own; or otherwise the Slaves taken by the Argter-Pyrates were in a sad case, for they were bound in Conscience never to escape, without the consent of their Masters. Nor upon the Authors principles, is there any difference between a Father of a Family, in the state of Nature, and a Prince, since he tells us more than once, that a Kingdom is but a large Family: And consequently no difference between an Usurper of the Fatherly power, and that of a Monarch; onely the Rogue that usurped the one, could call himself but Master of the Family; but the other would stile himself King, Emperour, or Protector. Nor will the place of St. Paul, Rom. 13. v. 1. oblige any man in this case: for though it is said, that St. Paul wrote this Epistle, Nero an Usurper being Emperour of Rome; I deny that Nero was an Usurper: for though it is true that Claudius left a Son, yet since by the Roman Law a man might make whom he pleased his Son by Adoption, which Son so adopted was in all respects looked upon as the true Heir of the adopting Father, and Nero was so adopted by Claudius; and so being elder than his own Son Germanicus,Tacit Annal. 12. c. 25, 26. would succeed before him. And besides, the Adoption being confirmed and passed into a Law by the Senate, Nero was as truly Claudius’s Son by the Roman Law, as Britannicus himself. So that an Usurper hath at first no better Right than another: For Gods permitting a wicked act to be done, as a Banditi or Pyrate to take a man Prisoner, does not therefore confer on this Thief or Pyrate any Right over a mans person. So that the instance the Author gives, p. 73. will not hold, That Usurpers have such a qualified Right to govern, as is in Thieves who have stolen Goods, and during the time they are possessed of them, have a Title in Law against all others but the true Owners; and so such Usurpers, to divers intents and purposes, may be obeyed: For first, this is no Law of Nature or Reason, but onely a positive Law of England; where, for the avoiding of perpetual violence and strife, and for the better securing of Property, they have made possession even in Thieves to confer a Temporary Right against all but the true Proprietor: Whereas in the state of Nature, a Thief by invading another mans Goods unjustly, and taking them away by violence, becomes an Enemy to all Mankind; and so may lawfully be killed, or have what he hath so possessed taken from him by any other. Secondly, Neither does the parallel between the possession of Goods, and that of a Kingdom, hold: for Goods may be possessed by the first Occupant; but Government, which is an Authority over the person of a man can never be seized, since a man without his own act or consent can never lawfully fall into the power or possession of another (as I have already proved:) So that I know not to what purpose this Treatise of the Authors could serve, but to make all men obliged in Conscience to yield not onely a passive but an active Obedience to all the Commands of Cromwel and the Rump, not onely in things lawful and necessary, but indifferent ones too, p. 74. in which consists all Obedience, since all the Authority, even of lawful Powers, extends onely to indifferent things; all other actions being sufficiently setled by the Law of God or Nature.
But the Author perceiving this difficulty, endeavours to extricate himself, by saying, p. 75. That though granting in things indifferent, an Usurper may be obeyed as well as a lawful Prince, yet that it does not therefore follow that there is as much Obedience due to an usurped Power as a lawful; but that herein lieth a main difference between them, that some things are indifferent for a lawful Superiour, which are not indifferent but unlawful for an Usurper to enjoyn. Usurpation is the resisting and taking away the Power from him who had such a former Right to govern the Usurper, as cannot lawfully be taken away. So that it cannot be just for an Usurper to take advantage of his own unlawful act, or create himself a Title by continuation of his own Injustice. And if it can never be an act indifferent for the Usurper to disobey his lawful Soveraign, much less can it be indifferent for him to command another to do that to which he hath no Right himself. It is onely then a matter indifferent for an Usurper to command another when the actions enjoyned are such as the lawful Superiour is commanded by the Law of God to provide for the benefit of his Subjects, by the same or the like restrictions of such indifferent things; and it is to be presumed, if he had not been hindered, would have commanded the same or the like Laws.
Let us now see how far this distinction will serve his turn. I should in the first place be glad to know what he means by these words, lawful Soveraign or Superiour: If he means such a Superiour who was particularly appointed by God, God never since David and Solomon expresly appointed a King in any Nation. Secondly, If one who was elected by the People, or whose possession is confirmed by their acknowledgement publickly declared, and so passed into a Law; this were to set up what he so much abhors, an elective King, who must claim by Law. If by lawful, he means such a one who upon a bare possession, hath by his own power alone made a Law declaring himself to be the lawful Superiour; this Law is unlawful for him to make, or for the Subjects to obey: And if it be such a one to whom possession gave a Right (as he will have it) being in possession by the permissive Will of God, though at first an Usurper; Why hath not this second Usurper as good a Title to take the Government from the former, as he or his Ancestors had to take it from him that had it before? But indeed Occupancy onely confers a Right in the state of Nature to such things as are meerly necessary for a mans subsistence; but Government is an Office of Trust and Power, and which the Usurper might very well have lived without: And why should a bare possession of this, though of three or four hundred years, confer a better Right than that of a year or two? for this last possession seems, according to the Authors principles, to be the better Title. For he says, a little before, p. 69. That the first Usurper hath the best Title, being now in by the permissive Will of God: And if so, may not the last Usurper use the like Argument, since he tells us, p. 67. That this last Usurper hath a better Title than any other, except him who had a former Right; for he hath a possession by the permissive Will of God: which permissionhow long it may endure, no man ordinarily knows? Now which is best, a Right which once a man onely had by the permissive Will of God, but is now ended (God having otherwise declared himself,) or a present possession which he hath by the same permissive Will; which when it will have an end, no body knows? But if he answers, as he does, p. 69. That this Usurper is onely then to be obeyed and reputed by the Subjects for the true Heir, where he hath continued so long that the knowledge of the right Heir is lost by all the Subjects; for no man hath an infallible certainty, but only a moral knowledge, which is no other than a probable Perswasion grounded on a peaceable Possession; which is a Warrant for Subjection to Parents and Governours: I know not what the Author means here by true Heir, and as little when he will have this knowledge to be lost. If he means by right Heir, the Son or descendant of the first Usurper, I should be glad to know how he that had no Right himself, could confera Title upon another; or by what Law his Son had a Right to succeed him? If by the consent of the People, this were to grant that which he before denies as at all necessary to any Princes Title. If because he or his Descendants have an uninterrupted long possession, the difficulty still remains, how this long possession can confer a Right, for the Reasons already given. But if it be said that the Heir of this Usurper hath a better Right than any body else, as having possession, and that it were destructive to the Peace of the Commonwealth to put him out, after so long an enjoyment of the Crown: it’s true, this were a good Argument not to make any alteration in the Government, as it is setled; but they must likewise consider, that the same may be as well made use of by the last Usurper and his Party, since he having now the possession in as full a manner as he that had it before, cannot perhaps be put out of it, without involving the Nation in a tedious bloudy War. It is likewise as uncertain, when the knowledge of this right Heir of the first Usurper shall be said to be lost by all the Subjects. If he means personal knowledge, when all the people that could remember the Prince that was turned out are dead, and none left alive that certainly know who is his next Heir, the Right of this true Heir will quickly be lost in one Generation: but if he means a traditional moral knowledge (as he seems to do) then this can never be lost as long as there is any Authentick or Historical Tradition of the Descent of this Heir; which Tradition may be continued for a thousand years together: during all which time, the Princes that succeed being Heirs of such Usurpers, can never require a perfect Right to their Crowns, the Author holding it an undoubted truth, p. 60. That though Prescription may take away a common Right, yet divine Right (or that to a Crown) never dies, or can be taken away thereby. And upon this ground the common Maxime is built, Nullum tempus occurrit Regi. So that as long as this kind of moral knowledge of this right Heir can be had from any Authentick History or Record, the Prince in being hath onely a Right from Possession, and can never create himself a Title by the continuation of his own Injustice, or command any of his Subjects to fight against this true Heir, since they are to obey this Usurper, (p.72.) or his Heirs, onely in such things as tend to their own preservation, and not to the destruction of the true Governour. By which Principle, the Author at once renders the Titles of all the Crowns in Europe disputable, and all Allegiance uncertain and questionable by their Subjects; as I shall shew in several instances, as I shall prove from Histories of unquestionable credit. I shall begin with our own Country, England. If therefore, as the Author will have it, p. 69. the Usurper is onely then to be taken for the true Heir, when the knowledge of the right Heir is lost by all the Subjects; it will follow, that all the Kings and Queens that reigned in England until the coming in of K. James, were Usurpers: for the Right of Succession to the Crown of England, could not be obtained by Conquest alone. (And I suppose this Authour does not allow it to be bequeathable by Will) as long as the right Heir was in being, and could be known from authentick Histories and Traditions. Now the Right of the Crown by Descent belonging, after the death of Edward the Confessor, to Edgar Atheling his Cousen; he dying without Issue, the Right fell to Mawd his Sister, who married Malcolm III,Buchanan de Rebus Scoticis, lib. 7. King of Scotland; and though her Daughter Mawd was married to Henry the first, King of England, from whom all our Kings are descended, yet the Right was not in her, but in Edgar King of Scotland, her Brother, from whom all the Kings of Scotland to King James were descended. It is true, the Kings of Scotland were too wise ever to set up this Title, because they knew the Norman Race were quietly possessed of the Throne, and had been admitted and confirmed for lawful Kings by many great Councils or Assemblies of the Clergy, Nobility, and People: yet did not this absolve the People, who might very well retain the traditional knowledge of this right Heir; For divine Right never dies, nor can be lost or taken away, or barr’d by Prescription. So that all Laws which were made to confirm the Crown either to Henry I. or any of his Descendants, were absolutely void and unlawful, by our Authors principles; and so likewise all Wars made against the King of Scotland in person, were absolutely sinful and unlawful, since (according to this Authors principle) the command of an Usurper is not to be obeyed in any thing tending to the destruction of the person of the true Governour. So by the same Principle, all Laws made in France about the Succession of the Crown, are absolutely void: and it would be a mortal sin in the French Nation to resist any King of England of this Line, if he should make War in person upon the French King then in being, since according to the ancient Laws of Descent in that Kingdom, he is true Heir of the Crown of France. Nor can the French here plead ignorance, since there is scarce a Peasant there but knows our King stiles himself King of France, and quarters the Arms of that Kingdom; and so ought to understand the justness of his Title.Mariana de Rebus, Hisp. lib. 13. cap. 7. So likewise in Spain, all the Kings of Castile are likewise by this Rule Usurpers, since the time of Sancho III, who succeeded to the Crown after the death of Alphonso V his Father, who had bequeathed it to Alphonso and Ferdinand de la Cerda, his Grandsons by Ferdinand his eldest Son, who died before him: Yet notwithstanding this Testament, and their Right, as representing their Father the elder Brother, Sancho their Uncle was admitted as King by the Estates of Castile; and his Descendants hold that Kingdom by no better Right to this day. Nor is this a thing stale or forgotten; for the Dukes of Medina Cæli, on whom (by Marriage of the Heiress of the House de la Cerda) the right descends, do constantly put in their Claim upon the death of every King of Spain; and the answer is, The place is full. Nor can those of this Author’s opinion plead possession, or the several Laws that have been made to confirm the Crown to the first Usurpers and their Descendants: for it will be replied out of this Author, p. 70. That the right Heir having the Fatherly Power in him, and so having his Authority from God, no inferiour Power can make any Law of Prescription against him, and Nullum tempus ocurrit Regi: And this were to make the Crown elective and disposable according to the Will of the Estates or People. I shall now return to the Author’s distinction, and shew that his distinguishing the Laws or Commands of Usurpers into indifferent or not indifferent, signifies nothing: for suppose that an Usurper, as several have been in England and other Kingdoms, either dares not, or thinks it not for his interest to alter the form of the Government, but is contented for his own safety to govern upon the same Terms his Predecessors did, and so will not raise any Money, or make new Laws without the consent of the Estates, whom he summons for that purpose; Now they must either obey his Writs of Summons, or they must not: if they do not obey them, he will perhaps be encouraged to take their Goods by force (perhaps by a standing Army which he may have ready in pay) and then say it is long of their own stubbornness, who would not give it him freely when they might have done it; and they shall likewise be without these good Laws the Author supposes he may make: but if they meet, he will not let them sit, unless they first by some Oath or Recognition acknowledge his Title to be good, and own him as their lawful Prince. Now what shall they do in this case? they must either lose their Liberties, and alter the form of the Government, or acknowledge him to the prejudice of their lawful Prince. But if the Laws are once made, and they appear evidently for the good of the Commonwealth, they then are no longer indifferent, since all private Interests are to give place to the publick Good of the Commonwealth; since in the instance before given of the Father of a Family’s being driven out of doors by a Robber, no doubt but every Member of the Family ought to obey this Rogue in case the house should be on fire or ready to fall, and he would take upon him to give orders for the quenching or securing it from falling; for they did this not to own his Authority, but from the obligation they owe to their Father or Master, who would have done the same, had he been at home. So to obey Laws made by an Usurper that tend to the apparent benefit of the Commonwealth, is not to acknowledge these usurped Powers as lawful. I do less understand the force of another distinction he makes use of, p. 155. That an Usurper is so far to be obeyed, as may tend to the preservation of a mans King and Father, nay sometimes even to the preservation of the Usurper himself; when probably he may thereby be reserved to the correction or mercy of his true Superiour. For how Obedience to an Usurper can tend to the preservation of the lawful Prince, I understand not. And as for the other instance of preserving the person of the Usurper for the mercy or correction of the true Superiour, it had been a very good pretence for Obedience to Cromwel and the Rump; nay, to fight for them, since this was but to preserve them for his Majesties mercy or correction another time, though their Power might have continued until now; since they had a Possession by the permissive Will of God, which how long it would endure, no body could tell. Such untoward things are Arguments drawn from false Principles, that they flie in the faces of those that make use of them, and will either reduce them to absurdities, or else prove weapons against themselves.
But I shall now come to his last Refuge, when he can no longer evade, but that by the Peoples ignorance of Adam’s right Heir, or of the Heirs to the last Prince, the supreme Power is devolved upon the People, who may chuse what kind of Government they please, (Patriarch. p. 21.) This he denies, saying, [That in such cases the Kingly Power escheats to the Fathers or independent Heads of Families. The same Answer he gives to this Objection in his Anarchy of a limited Monarchy, p. 272. where he replies (very pleasantly) That no King can die without an Heir, as long as there is one man living in the world; it may be the Heir may be unknown to the People, but that is no fault in Nature, but the negligence of the People whom it concerns.] So that it seems the next Heir being often not to be known, any man, when the Prince dies, may step into the Throne; and if he have Power enough, is next Heir: for a King can never die without an Heir, as long as any one man is left alive in the world; and who can disprove him that he is not the man? So that the power he hath given to his Masters of Families to chuse an Heir, or one to ease them of their Fatherly Power, signifies nothing: For this Usurper that can first seize it, may be right Heir to Adam for ought any body knows. And certainly having Possession, which is the permissive Will of God, he hath a better Right than any other, as we have often heard before: And are told farther in the Anarchy of a limited Monarchy, p. 273. That if the true Heir of the Crown come to be dispossessed, in such cases the Subjects Obedience to the Fatherly Power must go along and wait upon Gods Providence; who onely hath Right to give and take away Kingdoms, and thereby adopt Subjects into the Obedience of another Fatherly Power. So that Man is not onely a Creature who is his Goods that can first catch him, but, according to this Author, is in a worse condition than Brutes: for whereas if a Dog be taken up by a Stranger, and a Collar clapt about his neck, and so led away, it is left to Jowler’s discretion how far he will obey his new Master; and as he may either stay with him, if he likes his Quarters, & finds himself well used, so surely he may without any sin, knaw his halter (nay bite the fingers of this Usurper of his Liberty) and run away. But poor Man does not onely fall to the first Occupant, whom he may not either obey or disobey, as he finds it most conduce to his interest and preservation, but is peg’d down to an absolute Obedience, and obliged in Conscience to obey this Usurper (let him use him well or ill) with the same respect and duty as if he were his Father: Which I think God was a better friend to Mankind than ever to intend. But to return to the subject from whence we digressed, our Author, for fear he should seem by admission of a Power in Fathers of Families to chuse a Head or Prince over them, and to have granted it to them as the whole People, he distinguishes, saying,Anarchy of limited Monarchy, p. 272.It does not escheat to the whole People, but onely to the supream Heads and Fathers of Families; not as they are the People, but quatenus Fathers of the People, over whom they have a supream Power devolved unto them after the death of their Soveraign. Chief Fathers in Scripture are accounted all the People, as all the Children of Israel, as all the Congregation, as the Text plainly expounds it self, 2 Chron. 1. 2. where Solomon speaks to all Israel, that is, to the Captains, the Judges, and to every Governour, the chief of the Fathers; and so the Elders of Israel are expounded to be the Chief of the Fathers of the Children of Israel, 1 King. 8. 1. and 2 Chron. 5. 2.
By all which it appears, that the Author allows in this case the Government escheats to part, but not to all the People, or whole multitude of Men, Women and Children taken together, to chuse what Government they please. And indeed in this sence there was never any Democracy or Government of the People in nature: for though a Democracy may be defined to be that kind of Government where the supream Power is in a Council or Assembly consisting of all the Citizens: And although it does not less concern the Women and Children in that kind of Government to be happier than in others, yet who ever thought it a new sort of Commonwealth, and not a perfect Democracy, though Women, Children, and Slaves were excluded the publick Councils and Assemblies? And therefore if it be esteemed a perfect Democracy (and was so at Athens, which all must grant to have been so) where onely Free men, or at their own dispose, and such who were supposed at first to have by their meeting together instituted this Government, which is likewise continued by those who have succeeded into their Places and Rights: I see no reason why these should not be looked upon as representing the whole promiscuous body of the People, to whom the Power devolves upon the want of a Successour. For it is likely that Commonwealths were first instituted by Fathers of Families, having Wives, Children, and Slaves under their Domestick Government; whom nevertheles they would neither equal with themselves, by admitting them to a Vote in the Government, neither yet would abdicate their power over them. But then the Author urges,Anarchy of a limited Monarchy, p. 270, 271.If Infants and Children be concluded by the Votes of their Parents, this destroys the whole Cause: for if it be allowed that the Acts of Parents bind their Children, then farewel the Doctrine of the natural freedom of Mankind. Where subjection of Children to Parents is natural, there can be no natural freedom: and if any reply, that all Children shall not be bound by their Parents consents, but onely those that are under age; it must be considered, that in Nature there is no Nonage. If a man be not born free, she doth not assigne him any other time when he shall attain his freedom: or if she did, then Children attaining that age, should be discharged of their Parents contract. So that in conclusion, if it be imagined that the People were but once free from subjection by Nature, it will prove a meer impossibility ever lawfully to introduce any kind of Government whatsoever, without apparent wrong to a multitude of People. It is fartherobservable, that ordinarily Children and Servants are a far greater number than Parents and Masters; and for the major part of these to be able to vote and appoint what Government or Governours their Fathers and Masters shall be subject to, is most unnatural, and in effect to give the Children the government over their Parents.
To which Objection I reply, 1. That the Author is here mistaken, and that there is really an Age of Nonage in nature (as hath been already proved) in which though the Child be indeed free, yet (by reason of his own want of strength and discretion to judge what is necessary for his own good and preservation) is obliged to submit himself to his Parents judgment in all things conducing to that end. 2. That Children, neither Infants or others, are obliged to the Acts or Agreements of their Ancestors in the state of Nature, farther than it conduces to their benefit or preservation. So that if a married man out of a Commonwealth, should sell or yield himself to a Master of a Family for a Slave, upon condition that his Master should provide him all the necessaries of life (without which such a grant or sale of a mans self cannot be supposed good) certainly if he had then no Children, this could not bind his Issue that was to be born, so that they should be perpetual Slaves to all Generations; since natural Equity, and the favour of Liberty, will interpret, that the Aliment which the Master affords the Children of this Slave, are understood to be contained under that provision which the Master is obliged to make for him and his, by vertue of their Contract. Or admit that there was no express provision made in the Conditions for the maintenance of the Children, yet in this case, I see no Right the Master can claim in the persons of these Children, longer than ’till he hath satisfied himself out of their labour for the charges he hath been at in feeding and providing for them; which may very well be by twenty five years of age (as I have already proved.) So that about that time I see no reason why such Children may not lawfully shift for themselves, if they do not like their Master. And if any Friend of theirs undertake to satisfie their Master before that time, I think they are free, though he should refuse to accept it, since it was lawfully tendered. Indeed for Slaves taken in a just War, there may be some appearance of reason, why their Children should also be Slaves, since the Parents accepted of their lives upon that condition that they should live in perpetual servitude, and their Master undertook to maintain them upon no other consideration: So that these Children do implicitely owe their lives to their Master, since he might by the Laws of War have slain their Parents, and so they could never have been born. But I will not assert, that even this slavery is perpetual in relation to the Children: But as for Subjects, though they are not directly or expresly bound by the Acts or Consents of their Ancestors, who first instituted the Government, yet indirectly or consequentially they are obliged to stand to what their Ancestors have done: For since, as I said before, no man will deny to accept of the Promise or Conditions of his Ancestor, if it be for his advantage, and since the Institution of Government was for the common good of mankind in general; so this or that particular Government being for the preservation and security of every Subject that enjoys the priviledges thereof, no man can believe that the Posterity of those that first instituted this Government, will go about to undo what their Ancestors have done so much for their benefit, and reduce all things to the state of Nature again. So that as long as they submit to, and enjoy the benefits of the Government which was first establisht by the consent of their Forefathers, they are supposed to yield a tacite Assent to those Compacts which they long since made, and implicitely become Subjects to that Government under which they were born. So that those that first instituted Government in any Country, have no necessity expresly to promise or engage for the Subjection and Obedience of their Children, or those who should succeed them. And if any private persons will not own this Government, and so take upon to resist it, pretending they are not obliged by the Compacts of their Forefathers to obey it as established by them; such persons, if they enter into a state of War, or make Confederacies to that end, may justly be looked upon as Enemies to the Government, and punished accordingly, since they will go about to disturb the common Peace and Tranquility of the Nation for their own private Discontents or Advantage: for the People being once entred into Society, can never be supposed to alter their Judgments all at once without very good cause, much less to die, though the particular persons that constituted it do: for as a River is still esteemed the same as long as the water runs in the same Channel, though the same individual water never stays in the same place, but one part still pushes out another; so those are not less to be esteemed in the politick capacity (of a Civil State) the same people, than those by whom the Commonwealth was at first founded. And though it is true that Governments may have been at first begun by Fathers of Families and other Freemen, who first submitted their Wills to that of one person or more, and so the Women, Children, and Servants, who had had no Votes in its Institution, might be supposed as represented by their Husbands, Fathers, and Masters: And since they enjoy all the common benefits of the Commonwealth, and are likewise capable of enjoying all those priviledges and advantages which are proper and peculiar to Free Subjects, whenever they come to be at their own disposal, and that they owe their breeding up and preservation to its protection; they may well be lookt upon as under an higher Obligation in Conscience and Gratitude to this Government, than Strangers of another Country, who onely staying there for a time to pursue their own Occasions, and having no Right to the same priviledges and advantages of the Commonwealth, do onely owe a passive obedience to its Laws.
But to let you see more plainly, that upon such a devolution of the Government as the Author grants, not onely the Masters of Families, as Fathers, ought to have Votes, but all others that are at their own dispose; I will ask any of his opinion, what he thinks of a single man living in a house alone, or with a Wife, without either Children or Servants, or perhaps boarding in another mans house for their money, why they should not have Votes as well as those that are his independant Fathers and Masters? I can see no reason, nor I believe they neither. So though the Author by the words Supream and Independant Heads of Families, seems to exclude all Sons from having Votes whilst their Fathers are alive, although they are married, and have separated into distinct Families; yet since I have proved that neither Paternal Authority nor Filial Subjection is absolute or perpetual in the state of Nature (into which the Commonwealth is by the death of the Prince now supposed to be resolved) and if it were otherwise, yet unless they will void all those Laws and Constitutions that have been before settled both for descent of Inheritances, and the distinguishing of Property. So that if these Laws stand in force during this interregnum (unless they will fall to absolute confusion) these Sons so making divers Families, and having Estates distinct from their Fathers, ought likewise to have Votes in the Government, upon the Authours own principles, since the Laws of the Country have set them free from all Paternal subjection, more than what the Rules of Piety and Gratitude oblige them to. And as for such Sons as (though of mature age, yet) remain as Servants in their Fathers Families, and so are under a greater subjection than those that are separated from it; I see no reason why they may not appoint their Father, as him they could best trust, to vote for them, and represent them in the choice of a Governour; and then they are as much obliged as any man can be by the act of a person whom he hath impowered to act for him, or as these Fathers of Families would be by Representatives of their own chusing: it being morally impossible, if this devolution of the Government should happen in a populous Country, for all the Authors independent Heads or Fathers of Families, ever to meet in Person to chuse a King; these being vastly numerous, and divided from each other at great distances.Anarchy of a mixt Monarch. p. 269 So that all the Author’s Objections against a mixt Popular Election will prove as strong against this of Fathers alone: For how, except by some secret miraculous instinct, should they all meet at one time and place? What one Head of a Family or Company, less than the whole Body of these Fathers of the People, can have power to appoint either time or place of Election, where they are all free and independant by Nature? and without a lawful Summons, it is most unjust to binde those that are absent. So neither can the whole Body of the Fathers of Families summon it self: One man is sick, another is lame, a third is aged, and a fourth (though a Father of a Family, may be under years of discretion, or not in his right senses) and many more may have business of their own which they cannot leave, to run two or three hundred miles up to the chief City to chuse a King. So that either the People may elect, or else his Fathers of Families cannot, for the same reasons. And if the major part of these Fathers should agree to chuse Representatives, how can this Agreement of the major part bind the minor that did not consent, since according to the Authors principles,Patriarcha, pag. 44. Where the Arguments against Elections by a major part, are proposed at large. in Assemblies that take their original from the Law of Nature, no one man or multitude can give away the Right of another? So that though the Author seems to have been so good-natured as to have given these independent Fathers of Families a Power in this case of Escheat to chuse a Governour, yet all this signifies nothing, since they can never all meet or agree to chuse Representatives: They are still like to be his Slaves who can make a Party strong enough to seize the Government, and usurp an Authority over them: Whom yet they must obey, since he either is or represents the right Heir of Adam; and so no body hath a better Right than himself, who is in by the permissive Will of God; which how long it will last, no body can tell. And God does but adopt Subjects into the obedience of another Fatherly Power, or else they must fall into a down-right Anarchy, and every Father of a Family may set up for an absolute Prince. But to return whither we have digressed; for I have said this, onely to shew that this Authors principles (as well as those of others) contradict themselves in this subject; and either these Fathers of Families are the People, and consequently cannot, according to this Authour, ever meet or agree to chuse a Prince; or else the whole People may as well. But since it may be objected, that it does not serve to find out truth, or settle the Question in hand, barely to recriminate and shew the same flaws in his Principles as he finds in those of others;Patriarcha, p. 41. let us see if his Objections against Bellarmine and Suarez, and all those who place Supream Power in the People, be such terrible things, that the poor Jesuits are absolutely run down in this Dispute. He therefore first asks, If their meaning be, that there is but one and the same Power in all the People of the World, so that no Power can be granted, except all the men upon the Earth meet and agree to chuse a Governour? To which Suarez answers, That it is scarce possible, nor yet expedient, that all the men in the world should be gathered together into one Community. It is likelier that either never, or for a very short time, this Power was in this manner in the whole Multitude of men collected together; but a little after the Creation men began to be divided into several Commonwealths, and this distinct Power was in each of them. To which our Author replies, That this Answer of scarce possible, nor yet expedient, &c. begets a new doubt how this distinct Power comes to each particular Community, when God gave it to the whole Multitude onely, and not to any particular Assembly. Can they shew or prove, that ever the whole Multitude met, and divided this Power which God gave them in gross, by breaking it into parcels, and by appointing a distinct Power to each Commonwealth? Without such a Compact, I cannot see (according to their own Principles) how there can be an Election of a Magistrate in any Commonwealth, but a meer Usurpation upon the Priviledge of the World. If any think that particular Multitudes at their own discretion had power to divide themselves into several Commonwealths, those that think so, have neither Reason nor Proof for so thinking: and thereby a Gap is opened for every petty factious Multitude to make more Commonwealths than there be Families in the world.
In which Dispute I conceive the Jesuit hath gone too far, in asserting an undivided Soveraignty in the whole Multitude collected together before any Civil Government instituted; That being onely the Compact or Agreement of those that entred into it, and binding none else at first. So likewise this is a meer Chimera of the Author’s, that Adam or Noah were absolute Monarchs and Heirs of the World; so that no man could withdraw themselves from the Obedience of their right Heirs, without being guilty of Rebellion. Whereas I have already proved, that all the Sons of Noah, and their Descendants, were independant Governours of their Families, without any subordination to the eldest Son or Heir. And if every Brother had a Right to set up an Independant Family or Principality distinct from that of the eldest, I would fain know what became of this absolute Right of Adam or Noah, and by what authority this undivided Soveraignty which God had conferred on Noah, was thus crumbled into parcels. If by Gods appointment, then it seems God did not countenance this notion of the right Heir of the world: If they did it of their own heads, then all the ancient Patriarchs, or first Peoplers of the world, were guilty of Rebellion and Usurpation against their elder Brother and his Descendants. But if the Author’s Friends think he hath the advantage, because I grant that the World was peopled after the Flood under the conduct or government of distinct Heads or Fathers of Families; this does not grant any natural Right in those Heads of Families to have an absolute power over their Descendants, since perhaps God divided the Language of the World by so many Tribes or Families, for the better conservation of the mutual Love and Concord of neer Relations, since men would more readily obey their Ancestor or common Father, than a meer stranger; or for other reasons best known to his infinite Wisdom. So that there was a necessity that those of the same Stock should upon the dispersion march off together, since none else understood one another. Yet the Scripture does not tell us whether in this division and plantation of the World, the Headship of these Families was according to eldership of birth, or whether they elected the fittest man of their Tribe or Family to be their Leader: And if the eldest were the man, it was not from any Right over them, but either of reverence to his Wisdom, or to avoid the Dissentions that might arise by other kind of choice on Eldership; though indeed it confers no Right of it self, yet is often preferred as a kind of natural Lot. So that every one of these Heads of Families being independant from each other, they could never agree upon a Ruler over them, but by Compact among themselves: And if so, he was their Leader that all the rest liked and agreed upon. So that there needed no Compact of all the People of the world, since every Father of a Family being independant upon any man else, had a power to confer his Authority of governing himself and his Family upon whom he pleased: which Power, whether, and how far it was from God, and what kind of Authority it was, we shall examine hereafter. So that though I grant all Government might be at first instituted by Fathers of Families, yet this does not prove any despotick Power that such Fathers had over their Children or Descendants; and so consequently could confer no such Authority over them. So that all the rest of the Authors Queries about the distinct power of the Multitude vanish, since though there never was any Government where all the promiscuous Rabble of Women and Children had Votes, as being not capable of it, yet it does not for all that prove all legal. Civil Government does not owe his Original to the consent of the People, since the Fathers of Families, or Freemen at their own dispose, were really and indeed all the People that needed to have Votes; since Women, as being concluded by their Husbands, and being commonly unfit for civil business, and Children in their Fathers Families being under the notion of Servants, and without any Property in Goods or Land, had no reason to have Votes in the Institution of the Government.
So likewise all the Authors Objections and Cavils, p. 44. how the greater part of a Multitude could overrule the rest in the state of Nature, signifie nothing; since if many men meet to chuse a Governour, the first Question must be, whether the Votes of the major part shall not conclude the rest; and then all that agree that they shall, are bound by their own consent; and those that will not agree to it, are still in the state of Nature toward all the rest, and are free to go and set up a Government by themselves, that they all can agree to Nemine Contradicente. And if they disturb those that have agreed, that they will be concluded by the majority, they may be lawfully used as Enemies. And for Proxies or Representatives, though the beginnings of most Kingdoms and Commonwealths, like the head of Nilus, are hard to be traced up to their Heads or Fountains, and no man can positively tell the manner of their beginning; yet if they began from some small quantity of men collected into one Army or City, there needed no Proxies at all, since every man might give his Vote himself. But since the Author puts me to name any Commonwealth out of History, where the Multitude, or so much as the greatest part of it ever consented, either by Voice or Proxies, to the election of a Prince; I will name him two Commonwealths: The first was Rome, where all the People or Freemen consented to the election of Romulus, being formerly proposed. See Dionysius Halicarnasseus, lib. 3. And the second shall be that of Venice, where though it is true the whole promiscuous Rabble did not chuse a Prince, yet all the Masters of Families, or Freemen at their own dispose, had a Vote in the choice of the first Duke and Senate; which plainly proves some Governments to have had their beginning by the consent of the People. And though some Governments have begun by Conquest, yet since those Conquerours could never perform this without men over which they were not always born Monarchs, it must necessarily follow, that those Souldiers or Volunteers had no obligation to serve them, but from their own agreements with their General, and for those advantages he proposed to them in the share of those Conquests they should make.Read likewise our Historians of the manner of Will the Conquerors coming over, and you will finde those that helped him in that expedition were Volunteers, to whom he promised a share of his Conquests; which he after made good to them. Thus were the Goths, Vandals, and our Saxon Kingdoms erected by such Generals of Armies, who not being Kings at home, nor able to subsist there, were forced to seek their fortunes abroad; which when they had obtained, they could have no farther Right over the men they brought with them, than what sprung from their mutual Compacts and Consents. And as for Proxies, as there was no need of them in the instituting of those Commonwealths we read of, since taking their Original from all the People of one City or Army, they might easily give their Votes themselves; but where the People or Masters of Families are more numerous and dispersed than can well meet all together, it is impossible, upon the Authors Concession of an Escheat of the Crown, that ever a new Monarch can be chosen without their making Representatives. As for what he says about the silent Acceptation or tacite Consent (or non-contradiction) of the People, no man will say that it alone confers a Right, where there was none before; as in the case of Conquerours or Usurpers, whom perhaps People dare not speak against: So likewise a tacite Consent to a Government, whether Paternal or Civil, justly instituted, does confer a Right, as I have already granted, and shall now farther shew in answer to the Authors Objections. The Author urges farther, That if Children under years of discretion, and Servants, are not absolutely and in Conscience obliged to submit to the Votes of their Fathers and Masters in the choice of the Government, farther than they receive benefit and advantage by it; then every man is at liberty that does not like the Government,Anarchy of a mixt Monarchy, p. 268.to be of what Kingdom he pleases: and so every petty Company hath a Right to make a Kingdom by it self; and not onely every City, but every Village, and every Family, nay, and every particular man would have a liberty to chuse himself to be his own King if he pleased; and he were a madman, that being by Nature free, would chuse any man but himself to be his Governour; and so no man would be tyed to obey the Government farther than he found it for his interest and advantage, and consequently would think he might lawfully resist it whenever he found it impose upon him what he did not like, or was contrary to his interest.
In answer to which, I grant, first, That every Possessor of a propriety in Land or Goods in any Government, is not onely bound to obey, but likewise to maintain it; since those that first instituted the Government, did likewise tye themselves and all those that should at any time possess those Lands or Goods, to the maintenance of the Government which they had establisht: And it is just and reasonable, that those that claim under such first possessors, should, if they like to enjoy the Lands or Goods, perform the Conditions annexed to them; since men may by their own private Deeds, much more by a common consent, change their Estates with what Conditions they please; which those that afterwards come to enjoy the same under their Title, are certainly bound in Law and Conscience to make good. Secondly, As for all others who possessing no share in the Lands or Goods of a Kingdom, yet enjoy the common benefits of the Government, I conceive they are likewise bound to obey and maintain it as first instituted, for the reasons before given. So on the other side, if they do not like the Government they live under, the world is wide enough, and they may remove themselves elsewhere: for I cannot think that the positive Laws of any Government do oblige any man in Conscience (who is not a slave by his own act or fault) never to go out of the Country where he was born, or can oblige him to return again if he once go out of it, or can hinder him from becoming a Subject to another Prince or Commonwealth, unless he have taken an Oath of Allegiance to the Prince where he was born, and then he is tyed by his Oath not to act any thing contrary thereunto: And if one man may do this, why not more, and so on to an indefinite number? But if any Lawyer tells me there is a native Allegiance due by the Laws of divers Countries precedent to any Oath, and that in some Countries (as anciently in England, and in Russia at this day) there are Laws that no man shall travel out of the Kingdom without leave; I suppose these are but positive Laws, and as such bind onely to a submission to the punishment as to forfeiture of Estate, or the like, but do not bind the Conscience to observe them farther than as it is convinced the thing commanded is more than indifferent in its own nature, and conduces to the good of Mankind in general, or of the whole Commonwealth in particular. Nor indeed was this notion of a native Allegiance known to our Saxon Ancestors, since they counted no man an absolute Subject until he was sworn in the Tourn or Court of Frankpledge, and was entred into a decenary or Tything. And if it be objected, that upon these Terms the major part of a people may go away and leave the Government without defence; that is not likely, nor so much as to be supposed, as long as the Country continues habitable, and the Government tolerable for the Subjects to live under: which if it prove otherwise, I see no reason that God should have ordained any Country for a common Bridewel, where men should be obliged in Conscience to drudge, be oppressed, and ill-used all days of their lives without remedy. And as for the other part of the bad consequences the Author insists will follow, if this natural freedom of Mankind be allow’d, for which you may consult his Anarchy of a mixt Monarchy, where you will see them at large, p. 268, 269. Every petty Company hath a Right to make a Kingdom by it self, &c. I shall answer him as briefly as I can. The Author discourses after that rate, that one would think, if it were not for his Principle of Patriarchal Power, men could not subsist, his being the foundation of all Civil Government and Property. As for the first absurdity that will follow upon the supposal of the Peoples power, That any man might be his own King; I would ask the Author, What if any man, being weary of the world, will withdraw into some Desert? I think he hath then no other Governour than Adam had: Nor is this unlawful; or else all the ancient Hermits, who in times of persecution retired into Deserts, sinn’d in so doing. But for the absurdities that follow the supposal of a natural state of Freedom, As that every particular City or Family may chuse what Government they please, if they do not like what is already established; I have already granted, that where a Commonwealth is established, and men are come out of the state of Nature, and constitute one Politick Body, all the Members of it are obliged in Conscience to maintain this Government according to its first Institution. But if it be to be constituted anew, as upon his Escheat of the Crown among the Fathers of Families, Who are to chuse one? who must take upon him this Fatherly Power over them? The inconvenience will be the same upon his own Principles: For all Cities, Towns, and Families consting of so many independant Heads of Families, if the major part of an Assembly cannot conclude the minor (as this Author supposes) then though all the Fathers of Families in a Nation should agree in the choice of a King, and but those of one Town or Family dissent, these Dissenters, if they do not like the Prince the rest have elected, may certainly (if they are able) divide from them, and set up a distinct Government of their own; since all these Fathers of Families being alike free and independant, can in the state of Nature claim no Superiority over each other. So that the Author, from his own Principles, falls into the same inconveniencies which he finds fault with in those of others; whereas indeed there is no absurdity in this Supposition.
I shall now consider in the last place that part of his Hypothesis (Patriarch. p. 21.) where he supposes, That all such prime Heads and Fathers of Families have power to consent in the uniting or conferring their Fatherly Right of Soveraign Authority on whom they please; and he that is so elected, claims not his Power as a Donative from the People, but as being substituted properly by God, from whom he receives his Royal Charter of an universal Father, though testified by the ministry of the Heads of the People. I have already pull’d up the foundations of this Notion in the beginning of these Observations, by shewing that God hath not ordain’d or conferred any such Power on any particular Father or other Relation, and therefore neither on all the Fathers of Nations or Countries taken together, they not having any Ownership or Property in their Childrens persons, but a Right to govern and direct them for their benefit and preservation; which Fatherly Right cannot be transferred to another, much less survive his person, as I have already proved. Yet to render this as clear as may be, granting him what he contends for, that this Fatherly Power may be transferred to another; I should be glad to know, though the Monarch so nominated by them may have a supreme Power over all their Children and Servants, yet whence does he derive this Right of commanding absolutely over the Persons and Estates of these Fathers of Families themselves: Not from succession from Adam; for his right Heir cannot now be known: nor from their transferring the power of governing their own persons upon him; for then this Right commences from their own Act or Election, and not from the Fatherly power supposed to be at first conferred on Adam. And if they transfer onely their Fatherly or Masterly Authority upon this new Monarch, then he hath onely a Right to govern their Children and Servants, the Persons and Estates of these Fathers not being included in this Grant. And again, if this Election in the state of Nature could confer a Right, then this Monarch must owe his Power to these Fathers of Families; and so these being (as I have already proved) the representative Body of the People, he must receive his Authority as a Donative from them; which he will by no means admit of. But since he will have him properly and immediately substituted by God, from whom he receives his Power of an universal Father, then these Fathers of Families do not create or constitute the Monarch, but onely are Instruments or Ministers to put him in possession: and if so, it is the possession of the Crown, and not their Election, that gives him this Right. But (as the Author words it) He receives from God thisCharter of an universal Father. Upon which Principle, see not to what purpose this Nomination or Election serves; for if any body during this interregnum, can by force or fraud slip into the Throne, he is more properly Gods Substitute, and to be obeyed accordingly, than if he had come in by their Nomination or Election, since he is in possession by the immediate Will of God, and declared by the success. So that these Fathers are in a fine case, after all their Priviledge to elect, since whoever can usurp this Authority over them, must immediately be their Father and Master, whether they ever give their consents or not: For this Author says, Paternal Power cannot be lost; it may be either transferred or usurped, but never lost.Obedience to Government, p. 66, 67. But I have sufficiently exposed the absurdity of this notion before, in what I have said about Obedience to Usurpers, and shall lay it more open when I come to shew in what sence Princes owe their Authority to God.
Therefore, since these Fathers of Families had in the state of Nature an absolute Power of governing themselves, I shall now enquire in the next place, Whether they may not pass over this Power upon some certain Conditions, and reserving some Rights and Priviledges to themselves and Children, upon the making of the Compact with their new Prince. Secondly, How the person so elected owes his Authority to them, and in what sense to God. As to the first, I see no reason but that these Fathers of Families may, if their number be not too great, agree to govern all alike together; and that whoever is a Master of a distinct Family, or a single man at his own dispose, and not a Servant, shall have a Vote in the Government, and that the major part of the Votes shall conclude all the rest, and then it will be as perfect a Democracy as ever was; since, as I have granted already, there was never such a Government where all Women and Children promiscuously had Votes with their Husbands, Fathers, or Brothers. So that if ever there was any such thing as a Democracy in the world, this would be one. Or lastly, if they may all govern themselves, they may as well agree to chuse a certain number of their own Body to represent them and to meet in a common Council or Assembly, and to govern them either for life or yearly, as they shall make the Conditions with them; and then this Government will become an Aristocracy, where a few of those that are reputed the best do govern, though by a Power derived from these Fathers of Families. And if they may bestow this Power upon more than one under certain Conditions, I see no reason why they may not do the same, if they confer it upon one man after the same manner, either by making a Compact with him upon his accepting the Government, how much of this Power he shall exercise, and how much they will reserve to themselves. If they agree that he shall have no more but a Presidency in their Council in time of Peace, and shall not have any power more than that, unless in time of War; he then is the Mouth of the Senate in time of Peace, and their General in War. And of this kind was the Lacedemonian King: And in modern times the ancient Dukes of Venice, when they went out to War: And so are those Caciques that the Indians in the Caribbeé Islands and Brasile chuse to be their Leaders in War, but in Peace have little or no power. So likewise these Masters of Families or Freemen agreeing with him that they would chuse for their Prince, what Power he should exercise or they would confer upon him; as suppose that he should not condemn any of them to death, unless many of the same condition with himself find him guilty; or that he should not make any Laws or levie Taxes for the publick Charges of the Commonwealth, but what they propose to him; and that he swear for himself and his Posterity to observe these Conditions: There will then be produced a Limited Kingdom, consisting of a Prince as the Head of all Civil Power, and of an Aristocratical or Democratical Council, according as that Assembly consists either of the whole, or but of the People. And that such a Government is no Solœcism in Politicks, I shall prove farther when I come to make some Observations upon this Authors Treatise of the Anarchy of a mixt Monarchy. Nor can any man imagine from the Priviledges of the Nobility and People that are found to have been almost the same in all these Northern Kingdoms of Europe, as ancient as the Government, could ever have owed their Original to any other Cause than the Original Constitution of the Government. And if these Fathers of Families may limit the power they confer upon their new Prince, upon this Escheat of the Soveraign Power, and retain some of it to themselves; they might do the same upon the first institution of the Government, either as when so many Masters of Families who had before lived apart and without any dependance upon each other, did agree in the state of Nature to erect a Civil Government among them; or else when a Colony or Army of men was led out by some particular Captains or Leaders for the conquest of a foreign Country, which when conquered and settled, every free Souldier in the Army would certainly have as good a Vote in the creating of their General to be their King, as their Captain or Colonel; since they all were at first but Volunteers, and followed these Captains not from any Civil Authority they had over them, but by their own consent. But since the Author will by all means have it, that these Fathers of Families must needs transfer their power upon one man absolutely, who must be endued with all this power, without any reservation; I shall now give you his best Arguments for this absolute Monarchy, and try whether they are unanswerable or not.
Patriarch. p. 49. His first reason for it, is built upon Bellarmine’s Concession, That God when he made all mankind of one man, did seem openly to signifie, that he rather approved the government of one man than of many. This had been somewhat of an Argument, if Adam’s power had been purely Monarchical over Eve and all his Children and Descendants, as it was not; but if it had, Gods bare Approbation lays no Obligation for all mankind to practise it now, any more than it is a good Argument to say, that it is now not onely lawful, but necessary for men to marry their Sisters, because God approved of that way of propagation of mankind at first. Secondly, God declared his Will, when he endued not onely Men, but all Creatures with a natural Propensity to Monarchy; neither can it be doubted but a natural Propensity is to be referred to God, who is the Author of Nature. What he means by a Propensity in all Creatures to Monarchy, I understand not; neither know I any Monarchy among Brutes, besides that of the stronger over the weaker; and in that Authors sence, the master-Buck in a Herd of Deer, the master-Bull in that of Cows, and the Bell-weather of the Flock, are all of them so many Monarchs, endued with Fatherly Authority over the Herd; or else, which is as good, are Usurpers of that Authority, and so the Herd are all bound in Conscience to submit to them. As for the Monarchical Government of Bees, whether under a King or Queen, I doubt it would pose even those Vertuosi who have glass-Hives, to prove their Government an absolute Monarchy both in War and Peace; and that none of the Princes of the Bloud or other Bee-grandees have any share in it; or that never a Bee in the Hive dare place any Honey in the Combs, or eat a drop of what the hath gathered her self, without the Queens orders. But if the Government of Bees be Monarchical, and that were a good Argument for Monarchy, then that of Emmets might be so for a Democracy, since most Naturalists not being able to distinguish any Kings or Princes in the Ant-hill, do suppose them to be a Commonwealth. But Raillery apart, I would be glad to be fully satisfied whether Mankind naturally incline to be governed by an absolute Monarchy. It is true, the greatest part of the Eastern Governments in the world are absolute Monarchs; but the Author cannot bring this as an Argument of any Propensity, according to his principles: For if all of them were founded upon the Right of Fatherhood, or else the Usurpation of that Right; this proves rather a natural Obligation to this kind of Government, than a Propensity: for an Obligation cannot be drawn from a bare Propensity; Since then a man would have an Obligation to drink Wine, because as soon as he tasts it he hath a Propensity to it, and perhaps may take so much of it until he be drunk, and then sick, and so this Propensity may turn to a surfeit. So some Nations (as Rome for example) having taken a Cup too much of Monarchy, this Surfeit produced an absolute aversion, hatred, and a propensity to the contrary extream. But as the Eastern Nations have inclined to an Absolute, so have the Western either to Commonwealths or limited Kingdoms. Witness the Grecians of old, and the modern Kingdoms of the Gothick Model; as also those petty Governments of several Nations in America. His third Reason is, That God confirmed Monarchy to be the best Government, in that Commonweal which he instituted among the Hebrews; which was not Aristocratical (as Calvin saith) but plainly Monarchical. If the Author here means before they desired a King, it is true that God himself was their King, and govern’d them upon extraordinary occasions, by men divinely assisted or inspired; and such were the Judges whom God raised up to deliver them from the slavery and oppression of their Neighbours; and being looked upon as having a great portion of the Spirit of God, did likewise judge the People, that is, decide difficult Cases by way of Appeal in time of peace. But that the Government was purely Aristocratical, this Author himself confesses even when he denies it: He tells us, p. 50. at the time when Scripture saith, There was no King in Israel, but that every man did that which was right in his own eyes, even then the Israelites were under the Kingly Government of the Fathers of particular Families: for in the consultation for providing Wives for the Benjamites, we find the Elders of the Congregation bare the onely sway Judg. 21. 16. Now what is an Aristocracy, if this be not? viz. an Assembly of the Elders or chief of the Fathers (that is, the best men) meeting, consulting and resolving of publick business. What power these Fathers of Families had at home, is not declared, whether it was independent, or else did submit to the government of its own Tribe: But that it was Aristocratical, is apparent, if Josephus understood any thing of the History or Antiquities of his own Country, which he undertook expresly to write of: For Antiq. lib. 4. cap. he brings in Samuel speaking to this effect to the People (desiring a King) An Aristocracy is the best Government, neither should you require any other sort of Government. But as for the Kings which God gave them afterwards, there is nothing to be drawn from thence for this Authors advantage; for he himself tells us, there is no use to be made of it:Vid. His Observations upon Milton, p. 20. For speaking against Milton’s sence of the words in Deut. 17. 14. he says, Can the foretelling or the forewarning the Israelites of a wanton wicked desire oftheirs (i. e. of a King) which God himself condemned, be an Argument that God gave or granted them a Right to do such a wicked thing? Or can the narration and reproving of a future Fact, be a donation and approving of a present Right? or the permission of a sin be made a commission for the doing of it? So that it seems sometimes when it makes against the Author’s sence, God is so far from approving Kingly Government, that it is a sin for the People so much as to desire it. But it is likewise as great a Question, whether after Kingly Government was established, it was likewise absolute, so that the King might put any body to death, right or wrong: For we find, 1 Sam. 14. 45. the People rescued Jonathan out of the hands of his Father Saul, and would not permit him to be put to death for his breach of the rash Vow which Saul had made; nor is it imputed to the People, that is, the Army, for a sin. Neither could Ahab take away Naboth’s Vineyard and his Life together, but by colour of Law, and a legal Tryal. Neither could King Zedekiah save Jeremy the Prophet from the power of the Princes who cast him into the Dungeon: for Jer. 38. v. 5. Zedekiah said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the King is not he that can do any thing against you. His fourth reason is, that God in Scripture mentions not, nor takes notice of any other Government than Monarchical. This is but a Negative Argument at best, the Scriptures not being written to teach us Politicks, but to declare God’s Will, and to shew us his merciful and gracious dealing with the Jews, notwithstanding all their backslidings, and rebellions against his Commandments. His fifth reason is, that Aristotle saith in his Ethicks, chap. 11. That Monarchy is the best form of Government, and a Popular Estate the worst: The words are, τȣτὤν [Editor: illegible character] β[Editor: illegible character]λτίςη βασιλεία, χειϱίςη [Editor: illegible character] τιμοϰϱατία. Which, though true, does not enforce any Obligation to the one more than the other: for though a man be obliged to his own preservation, yet he himself is the onely Judge of the means; and if he erre, and use the worst means for the best, they are not in fault if they acted as well as they could, and to the best of their knowledge, for that end. Neither does it follow, that there are no more sorts of Government than these two to be chosen. Nor is it any better Argument, that the world for a long time knew no other sort of Government but onely Monarchy; and that the Platforms of Commonwealths were hatched amongst a few Cities in Greece, and that they were first governed by Kings, until the wantonness, ambition, or faction of the People made them attempt news kinds of Regiment. But let any one read the Greek Histories, and he will find the cruelty and tyranny of Kings did more frequently give occasion to the People to run into Commonwealths, than either the ambition or faction of the People. And as for the antiquity of Monarchy, the alteration of it rather makes against him, since the whole Body of a People seldom alter a Government, unless they find themselves hurt by it, and that it proved inconvenient for them. I shall not dispute which is the better Government, Monarchy or Commonwealth, since in my own judgment I incline to the former, where the Monarch is good. And though I will not affirm, as the Author does,Directions for Obedience, p. 71.That even the Power which God himself exerciseth over mankinde, is by the Right of Fatherhood, as he is both King and Father of us all: Since besides his absolute power, and his being the sole cause of our production, he is also endued with that infinite Wisdom and Goodness, that he still orders all things for the good of his Subjects, and so hath besides his Power, the highest Right to govern, as the best and most perfect being; So likewise Monarchs, as far as they imitate the divine Wisdom and Beneficence, have the like Right to be called Gods Lieutenants. Nor shall I trouble my self, as the Author does, (p. 67. and so on to 73.) to compare the Mischiess and Inconveniencies that have been found in absolute Monarchical and Popular Government, there being various Examples both of Cruelty and Injustice in both; and I think they are both the aptest of any sorts of Governments to run into Extreams: and I know not whether there have not been found out a Regal Government mixt with somewhat of an Aristocracy or Democracy, which if truely observed, were freest from the inconveniencies of either. But this Author is so full of the mischiefs of Commonwealths, that he sometimes mistakes in History, and makes those Disorders to arise from the faults and licentiousness of the People, which proceeded indeed from the Usurpation of their Power. Thus he makes it the height of the Roman Liberty, that its Subjects might be killed by those that would; and sets forth the Tyranny of Sylla as an effect of the Roman Freedom, when indeed it was rather an effect of the absolute Monarchy usurped by Sylla during his Dictatorship. So that Dionysius Halicarnasseus gives us his judgment of those actions of Sylla, in these words:Lib. V. circa finem.I would onely shew, that for these wickednesses the name of Dictator became hateful: for all things seem good and profitable onely whilst they are well used, which if they come to be depraved by those that are in power, the same things are counted wicked and unprofitable. So likewise (p. 73.) he makes the Multitude or People of Rome to have elected Nero, Heliogabalus, Otho, and Vitellius for Emperours, and to have murdered Pertinax, Alexander Severus, Gordiun, and the rest there named; whereas whoever reads the Historians of those times, will find it was not the People or Senate, but the Army that either elected or murdered Emperours: And as for Nero, the Senate had never dared to have declared him a publick Enemy, had he not become so odious and intolerable, that nobody would take Arms for him; and that the Army under Galba, which had revolted and chosen him Emperour, was then marching to Rome. So that indeed these Emperours were torn in pieces by the Dogs they themselves fed, and kept constantly in pay to prevent the People, who had not yet quite forgot their former Liberty, from recovering it again. And the People of Rome had just as great a hand in the setting up and putting down Emperours, as those of Stambola have had in the deposing or setting up those Grand Seigniors which the Janizaries (their Guards) have strangled of late years, setting up their Uncles or Brothers in their rooms; or as the People of England had in setting up either Oliver or his Son Richard for Protectors. But leaving these lesser Mistakes, which I look upon onely as the Transports of the Author’s Resentments against Popular Government, in which I shall not contradict him in the main; onely I would fain lay the Saddle upon the right Horse, and not blame them for the faults committed by a standing Army which in those times domineer’d over both Emperour and the People of Rome, and imposed upon them what Emperour they pleas’d, though never so base and unworthy. I shall therefore in the last place come to the second point I before proposed, whether the person on whom the Fathers of Families upon this Escheat of the Crown confers their Authority, owe the same to them, or else immediately to God. The Author (in the passage before cited) will by no means grant, That the person so elected claims his Power from the People, but as being substituted properly by God, from whom he receives his Royal Charter of an universal Father, though testified bythe Ministry of the Heads of the People. Which Assertion is built upon grounds altogether false and precarious, as I have already proved: For first, he here supposes, That God hath given by divine grant, all Fathers in the state of Nature, an absolute despotick power over the persons of their Sons, so that they may sell or otherwise transfer this Fatherly power to whom they please. And secondly, That the Children are as much obliged to obey those to whom the Fathers transfer this Right, as they were their Fathers themselves. Thirdly, That this Power so transferred, does not properly derive it self from the Fathers who so pass over their Fatherly power, but to God, who conferred it on them at first. In which Hypothesis every one of the Propositions are false: For, first, I have proved that no Father hath by any divine Grant or Charter, an absolute despotick power over the person of his Son: Or, secondly, that God hath given Fathers a power to bequeath or transfer their Authority to another, so that the Grantee should by this Assignement succeed to all the Rights of a Father: and therefore the two former being false, the last of Princes receiving their power immediately from God, which is built upon them, must be so too. And besides, it is evident, that these Fathers do not onely here pass over a Fatherly power of governing of their Wives and Children, but likewise that of governing themselves, not as Fathers, but as men; since they must transfer this power, whether they had Wives or Children or not, else they might onely pass over to this new Monarch their power over their Wives and Children, and reserve the power of governing themselves still: So that it is plain, there is a power different from that of a Father, to be transferred. But if it may be replayed, They may chuse themselves a Father if they please; indeed I have heard of a mans adopting of a Son, which still must be by this Son’s own consent; yet I never heard of a Son’s adopting himself a Father, or that a Father, which is a natural Relation, can be created at mans pleasure: it is true, a Lord or Master may, but he cannot thereby challenge that natural Reverence and Gratitude due onely to a Father. So that if Fathers have a power of governing themselves and their actions in the state of Nature, and that they can confer this Right on any other, it is evident they do not confer this as a Paternal power on their Monarch, which the Author supposes to be granted by God to all Fathers.
We shall now come to the second Head at first proposed, and examine what power a Master of a separate Family hath over his Slaves or Servants in the state of Nature. First, As for hired Servants, though it is true they may submit themselves to the will and disposal of another what Diet they shall eat, and what Clothes they shall wear, what work they shall do, and what hours of rest or sleep they shall have to themselves; and that the Master may beat or correct him if he do amiss, and through wilfulness or negligence disobey his Masters commands; and that these are the Conditions that most hired Servants, being part of their Masters Family, do serve upon: yet is this not so properly an absolute Obedience, as a duty of Truth and Honesty in the Servant; since as he is bound to perform his part of the Contract, so likewise is the Master to perform what he hath promised them, since this service is neither absolute nor perpetual: so that when his time is out, he is free of course. And if in the mean time the Master does not allow him sufficient Food, Clothes, or hours of rest, so that he may be able to perform his work, this Servant in the state of Nature (if he cannot perswade his Master to use him better) may without doubt quit his service as soon as he can; since he was to yield his Master his Labour upon certain Conditions, which not performed on the Masters part, the Servant is not obliged any longer to perform his part of the Bargain, in living with him or serving him. And as for those that have sold or yielded themselves up as absolute perpetual Servants or Slaves to the government of another, I see no reason why they may not in this state of Nature make certain Conditions with their Master, before they will give themselves up to him, since if a man may covenant with another upon what condition he will serve him for seven years, why may he not do the same for his whole life? So that upon the non-performance of these Conditions, this kind of Servant hath the same remedy against his Lord as an hired Servant may have. And of this sort were our ancient English Villains, who though they could claim no property against their Lords, either in Goods or Lands; yet if the Lord killed his Villain, the Wife had an Appeal of Murder of the death of her Husband. Since no man can be supposed so void of common sense (unless an absolute Fool, and then he is not capable of making any Bargain) to yield himself so absolutely up to anothers disposal, as to renounce all hopes of safety or satisfaction in this life, or of future happiness in that to come. So that I conceive that even a Slave (much more a Servant hired upon certain Conditions) in the state of Nature, where he hath no civil power to whom to appeal for Justice, hath as much Right as a Son or Child of the Family, to desend his life, or what belongs to him, against the unjust violence or rage of his Master. Nor do I think any places of Scripture, if well considered, command the contrary: For as for the places in St. Paul’s Epistles, Ephes. 6. 5. Servants, be obedient to them that are your Masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling. And Coloss. 3. 22. Servants, obey in all things your Masters, &c. does not extend to all things that are, but only to things lawful for them to do, that is, that were not against the Principles of Christian Religion. And in this it is that St. Peter, 1 Pet. 2. 18, 19. commands Servants or Slaves (which there were all one) to be subject to their Masters, not onely to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank-worthy, or grateful, if a man for conscience towards God, εἰ διὰ συγείδϰπι Θιȣ͂, endure grief, or trouble, suffering wrongfully. Which words seem to import, that Servants ought to bear with a great deal of bad usage from their Masters; but does not command them in the state of Nature to give up their Lives or Goods to their Masters, without any resistance. But if any shall urge the Example of Christ alleadged in the third verse, who suffered (even to death) for us; I conceive that does not extend to a suffering or submission unto all things, but to such things for which Christ himself suffered, viz. for Conscience toward God, that is, for matters of Religion; which is likewise most agreeable to the sence of the words that follow: For what glory is it, if when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? but if when you do well, and take it patiently, &c. Now who ever can imagine a Servant to be beaten for doing his duty? Therefore doing well, here, signifies the profession of Christianity; which they were not to deny, though they had unbelieving Masters. Therefore since no interpretation of Scripture ought to be against Reason, that can never tell a man that he ought to yield up himself so wholly to anothers disposal, as to give his Master an absolute right and power over him to kill or maim him without cause, or to be so basely and penuriously used as perpetually to suffer hunger, cold, and nakedness, or the like; so that his life should rather become a burden and a punishment, than a satisfaction. For since we have no notions of happiness but in life, nor in that farther than it is accompanied with some contentment of mind, no rational man can be supposed to consent to renounce all the pleasures and ends thereof, (and which onely make life desireable) much less the Right of living and preserving himself. So that even such a Slave may without doubt in the state of Nature, run away from his Master, and set himself at liberty if he can, since his Master hath not performed his part of that tacite condition of his Service; which was, that this Master should for his Labour provide him all the necessaries of life, and suffer him to enjoy the ordinary satisfactions of it. Nor is the worst of Slaves, that is, one taken in War, so absolutely at his Masters dispose, as that because he hath him in his power, he hath therefore a Right to use him as he will: For first, as long as the Conquerour keeps his Slave as a Prisoner, and makes him work in Fetters, though he hath given him his life for the present, yet there does not thence arise any Obligation in the Slave to Obedience; so that the Slave may yet run away if he can, nay, kill his Conquerour, unless he will come to other Terms with him, and make him promise him his Service and Obedience upon the granting him his Liberty and enjoyment of the ordinary Comforts of Life: And if he cannot enjoy these, I believe there is no sober Planter in Barbadoes (who are most of them the Assignees of Slaves taken in War) but will grant such a Slave may lawfully run away if he can. Therefore it is not true what Mr. Hobbes says, That no injury can be done to a Slave: for his reason is not valid, that because a Servant hath absolutely subjected his will to that of his Lords, therefore whatever he does, he does it by his Master’s will, in which his own is included, so that volenti non fit injuria: this proves no more than that the Slave hath no just reason of complaint though his Master give him Victuals that does not suit with his palate, orprescribe him Work which may not please his humour. So on the other side, what rational man will affirm, that this Slave hath given up the natural Rights of living, and being preferved as a man, but that injury may be done to this Slave as any other Servant, if the Task imposed upon him be beyond his strength to perform, or if he be beaten or like to be put to death without cause, or that he hath not Food sufficient to enable him to do his work? for he may still require at his Masters hands the usage of a man, and of a rational Creature. So likewise though this property in the person of a Slave taken in War, may be assigned over to another, yet the Right of commanding a Slave by his own consent, cannot be so, farther than it was agreed upon in the Bargain between him and his Lord: for if he covenanted to be a Slave onely to his Lord and no man else, the Lord cannot in justice assigne nor sell him to another, without his consent, nor leave him to his Heirs; since there might be certain peculiar reasons wherefore a man might subject himself to this man, and not to another. So likewise in absolute Empires which began purely from Conquest, though it is taken for granted that they may be aliened at the Will of the Conquerour, yet it is otherwise in Subjects who have submitted themselves upon certain Conditions, and who have some Liberties remaining to them; and much more in those Kingdoms which are limited by their Institution: for there, not properly the Persons of the men, but the Right of governing them, is said to be transferred as far as it is accompanied with the Honours and Profits annexed to it. For although a Prince may say of his Subject, He is my Man, yet this Property in him is much different from that whereby a Prince calls his Horse his own: for in the first sence he means no more than that the Right of governing this man belongs to me, and not to another, yet cannot be extended as far as he pleases; but that Property which is attributed to a Beast or other Goods, includes a Right of using or consuming that thing as he will himself, without any other reason than that it is his own. But although the Laws of Humanity do not permit, that however a man hath carried himself towards us, all Remains of that Primitive Equality between men should be quite extinguished towards him; and after a man hath entered into a state of Peace with us, that he should be dealt with as a Brute or inanimate thing: though it is true that the Cruelty and Avarice of divers Nations hath proceeded so far, that Slaves are reckoned amongst Houshold-goods, and are ordered not so much by Command, as by the force of an absolute Dominion and Property; yet this is not from the Law of Nature, but the Civil Law of that particular Commonwealth. So that though I grant by the Roman Civil Law, a man might have said of a Slave in the same sence as of a Beast, This is mine; yet this was not from the Laws of Nature, but Custom of that Empire, who taking many Captives in the Wars, almost all their Servants consisted at first of such: yet this is not allowed of in our Law, nor yet in France and other Countries. And this will serve to demonstrate what this Author lays down in his Preface to his Observations on Aristotle’s Politicks to be false, That Adam was a Father, King, and Lord over his Family, and that a Son, Subject, and Slave, or Servant, were all one at first; since it may hereby appear that there is a real difference in Nature between every one of them. And though the express names of Subject, Tyrant, and Slave, be not found in Scripture, yet the things are, and that as plainly described as if they had been called so; though the Hebrew being a barren Language, hath not distinct words for them, without Epithites or Circumlocutions: For (1.) As to Servants, it is apparent out of the Law of Moses, Exod. 21. v. 2. Levit. 25. 39. 44. Deut. 15. 12. there is a vast difference between Hebrew Servants and those that were of other Nations; these latter onely being called Bondservants, whose service was perpetual, and who were as a Possession and Inheritance to their Lords; whereas the former were not to be made to serve with that Rigour, but onely as hired Servants to be set free in the seventh or Sabbatical year. And it is frequent in the Law as well as Prophets, to make mention of the Wages of an Hireling. So that nothing is plainer, than that even among the Jews, there was a difference between hired Servants, Hebrew Servants for years, and forreign Slaves for ever. And before that, when Jacob served Laban for his two Daughters, it is evident that there was then a distinction between an hired Servant and a Slave, since there was a Contract for what Wages Jacob should serve him: And though Laban, for ought appears, according to the custom of those times, was an Independant Father of a Family, as well as Jacob was afterwards, and consequently a Prince, as this Author needs will have it; yet we do not finde it charged upon Jacob as a Crime, no not by Laban himself, but onely as a matter of unkindness, that he had stolen away from him with his Daughters and the Goods he had yearned in his service. So likewise, though the word Tyrant is not found expresly in Scripture, yet the thing it self is, if a Tyrant be one who abuses his Kingly Power to the Oppression of his Subjects; or else Pharaoh in Egypt, and those Kings who after the Israelites coming out of Egypt so cruelly oppressed them, were all good and lawful Monarchs, and had as much Authority as their own Princes which God set over them: and it had been a wicked thing in them to have resisted them and driven them out as they did, whenever they were able; since they were in possession, according to this Author, by the permissive Will of God. Having now shewn the difference of the Power of a Master of a Family, from that of a Father, and that the Right which a Father hath in his Children, is divers from that which he hath in his Servants or Slaves; I will now consider in the last place the Power which Adam had, or any other Husband now hath over his Wife in the state of Nature.
I have already proved that the Authority of the Husband over the Wife, commences from that Contract we call Marriage; and though by the Word of God the Woman is made subject to the Man, yet the reason of that subjection naturally depends upon the Mans being commonly stronger both in body and mind than the Woman; and where that ceases, the subjection will likewise of course cease, even amongst us: For we see that if a Husband be a foolish or a careless man, and either cannot or will not govern his Family and Estate, the Wife may and does, and oftentimes him into the Bargain: Nor does any one finde fault with her for so doing, since somebody must govern the Concerns of the Family; and if the man either cannot or will not, who hath more Right or Interest to do it, than her, who hath an equal share in the happiness and well-being of her Family and Children? Neither can there be at once two absolute Heads in the same house commanding contradictory things, without confusion, since the Children and Servants could never tell whom to obey. So that even this subjection of the womans will to the mans, commanded by Scripture, is still with a supposition that the man is capable or willing to govern: for if he be not, he loses this Prerogative of course. But suppose he is able to govern her and the Family, the Question is, What kind of Power he hath over her, as a Husband, in the state of Nature? I grant, that if she made it part of her Bargain to be so absolutely subject to him as that he might command her in all things as a Slave, and make her do what work he pleased to appoint, and that he may either turn her away, or put her to death, if he find her imbezilling his Goods or committing Adultery; the woman in this case is bound by her Contract, as another Servant, who makes her self so by her own act or consent. But this is not the Question, but what power the man hath naturally over his Wife, as a Husband, supposing no such Conditions or Bargain were made at the Marriage. It is true indeed that the Wife ought to be subject to the Husband in all things tending to the good and preservation of her Children and Family, or else the Family would have two Heads (as I said before.) But it does not therefore follow, that he hath such a despotick power over her, that she may in no case judge when he abuses his Fatherly or Husbandly power: For suppose the Father of a Family, in the state of Nature, should in a mad or drunken fit go about to kill or maim herself or one of his innocent Children, can any body think this were Rebellion against the Monarch of the Family, for the Wife to rescue her innocent Child or self out of his hands by force, if she could not otherwise make him be at quiet? Or suppose the Husband in such a fit should command his Wife to deliver him a sum of money which she had in her keeping, when she was morally sure that he would presently play it or otherwise squander it away; will any rational man affirm that a Wife may not deny to deliver her Husband his own money in such circumstances? So that it is evident, she never so absolutely submitted her will to his, as not to reserve to her self the faculty of a rational woman, as not to judge when her Husband would evidently destroy her self or Children, or absolutely ruine the Family, when he was not in a capacity to govern himself. So likewise if the Husband command her to do any thing against her Conscience, or the Laws of Nature, she is not obliged to obey him: For though the Wife in all matters peculiar to the Marriage-bed, and in all other things that relate to the well-ordering the Family, is obliged to submit her will to that of her Husband; yet it does not therefore follow that she is an absolute Slave, to be commanded or compelled in all actions not tending to this end. And if it be objected, that as Commonwealths cannot be governed without some coactive Empire, so Marriage cannot well subsist by a bare Compact, or the power of Friendship alone, to oblige the Wife to her duty, in case she prove disobedient. As I do not deny but perhaps it may be lawful for the Husband, as Head of the family, in some cases, if the Wife prove palpably obstinate and disobedient to his reasonable commands, and will not hearken to Reason, to compel her by correction; and the rather, since Christ hath taken away the liberty of Divorce, whereby a man might be rid of a cross Wife (as of an ill Servant) if she did not mend her manners; and therefore he hath no way else to mend her, if she will not do her duty by perswasion and fair means: Yet this Power is very rarely to be used, since it is onely some women that either need or will endure to be so handled; and all discreet and rational Wives, as well as Servants, will do their duty without it. Yet this Example of the absolute Obedience of Subjects in a Commonwealth, does not agree with that of a Wife to her Husband, as Head of the family; since Families (especially those who consist of a good number of Children and Servants) may have a twofold end: the one peculiar to it self, the other common with that of Civil Governments. The common end is considered in that defence and security, resulting from the conjunction of many into one Body; in which, although an absolute Empire be necessary, yet since the Wife being but one weak woman, can contribute but very little to this end, it may very well suffice to the peace and unity of the Family, if she be tyed to her Husband onely by a simple Compact by way of Friendship, without any despotick power over her. But the peculiar ends of Matrimony, which are the procreation and breeding up of Children, and providing things necessary for the Family, may well enough be obtained, although the Husband be not invested with this despotick power (which supposes that of life and death, or other grievous punishments) and though the Wife be tyed by her Compact only and the Bonds of Amity; of which Compact the Husband being the Principal, does imitate that of an unequal League between Civil States, in which the Husband being the Head, the Wife owes him all due respect and observance; and he on the other side owes her maintenance and protection. Therefore I am not of the opinion of some, who will have the Husband, in the state of Nature, to be endued with an absolute power of life and death over his Wife; and that in this consists the very quintessence of Marital power, because, forsooth, that all Empire, when it is in its proper subject, and neither is exercised precariously by any man, nor circumscribed by any superiour Power, does always import jus vitæ & necis over the Subject. But this is not so: for a man, in the state of Nature, may become part of anothers Family, and yet make it in his Bargain that the Master of this Family shall not put him to death or misuse, unless it be for Crimes that deserve death by the Law of God or Nature, or become a publick Enemy. And the Supposition is false, which first supposes such an absolute Empire to be in the Husband, as in the proper Subject; neither is them any absolute power of life and death necessary to the ends of Marriage: for if the woman commit small faults, and will not be amended, the Husband may correct her; if greater (as suppose Adultery) he may put her away, and likewise chuse whether he will provide for the Children which he hath reason to believe he did not get himself. If she murder her Children, or commit any other abominable sin against Nature, she may justly be cut off from the Family, and punisht as a common Enemy to Mankind; and so she might be if she had not been his Wife, but Servant, or other Member of the Family. Yet I do not affirm, that this despotick Empire, or power of life and death, is against the Laws of Nature, or inconsistent with the state of Matrimony, any more than the absolute power of a good Prince should destroy the love of his Subjects towards him, or the reverential fear we ought to have of God, destroy our love of him. Therefore as I have allowed that the woman may confer such a power on her Husband over her self, in the state of Nature; so I grant this absolute power may likewise be conferred on Husbands by the Civil Laws of particular Commonwealths. Thus it is murder for a man in England to kill his Wife taken in the very act of Adultery; but it is not so in Spain, Italy, and most other Countries, if he kill his Wife if he find her alone in another mans company, though it cannot be proved they have done any thing else to deserve it.
Having now gone over the whole power of the Head of a separate Family, as a Father, Husband, and Master, and proved that no man is a Slave by Nature, or without his own Consent (as a Slave by Compact) or without his fault, as a Slave taken in a just War; and that no Master of a Family hath such Right in the person of one of these, but that he may do him injury if he take away his life, or punish him without cause; and that such even such, a Slave may lawfully set himself free, if the Master do not perform his part of the Bargain. And having in the last place shewn what power a Husband hath over his Wife in the state of Nature, and from whence it takes its Original; it is now time to answer those Arguments and Objections made by this Author and others, That the Prince or Governour so elected by the Fathers of Families, or Freemen at their own dispose (which I hold to be equivalent to the whole People) hath not onely his Nomination from them, but that it is from God alone that he derives his Soveraign Power and Authority, with which he is endued upon his first acceptance of the Supreme Power; and if he should accept it with any limitation, it were to restrain that Power which God hath conferred upon him by his being made the Supreme Magistrate, and would hinder him from performing that great Duty as he ought. In answer to which I have already proved, that no such unlimited Power was conferred by God to any private man in the state of Nature, as a Father, Husband, or Master; and therefore could not be given to any Civil Soveraign, who is supposed to have no more power than the Father of the Family had before. A second Objection is, That no particular man hath in the state of Nature any power over his own life, and therefore cannot have any over the life of another man; and if one man hath not this power, neither have the People (which is but a universal consisting of fingulars) any such power, and consequently cannot confer it on any other man: therefore every Prince must have this Soveraign Power of life and death, not from the People, but from God. In answer to which, I shall first of all deny the consequence, that because God hath not given a man a power over his own life, therefore he can have none over the person of another. For God gave man a Right to preserve, but not to destroy himself, and so cannot dispose of his own life whenever he is weary of it. Therefore since the first Law of Nature is Self-preservation, it is lawful for a man to use all means conducing to this end, that do not prejudice another mans Right in his particular life or happiness; so that if any man assault me in the state of Nature, I may desend my self, and consequently kill the Assailant, if I cannot otherwise escape. But perhaps it will be replyed, that the intention here is not principally to kill the man, if it may be otherwise avoided; and that this Right is given men onely to preserve their lives from being taken away at another mans pleasure, but that no private man hath power to revenge an injury done to another or ones self, in the state of Nature, with death, but God, or him to whom God hath committed this power, according to St. Paul, Rom. 12. 19. Dearly beloved, avengs not your selves, &c. I shall prove that this place does not destroy that which I maintain: for I grant that all Revenge taken, as the satisfaction some men take in the very doing evil or prejudice to another, is unlawful, even by the light of Nature. Secondly, Likewise where Magistracy is instituted, who is to bear the Sword for the punishment of evil doers? I grant all return of like for like to be unlawful, since he is appointed as a publick Judge to right those that are injured, and maintain the common Peace. But no Text forbids men to punish injuries done either to themselves or those they have a concern for, in the state of Nature; for this is not Revenge, but a natural Punishment to deter men from committing violent and unjust actions that disturb the peace of humane Society, since the wrong doer declares himself thereby a publick Enemy to all Mankind. And on this account Cain feared that (not his Father onely, hut) every one that met him, would slay him, that is, punish him for the death of their Brother or Kinsman. And if this were unlawful, then all War must be so in the state of Nature; and Princes being always in that state in respect of each other, could never make any War for the gaining of Rights usurped, or to punish for Injuries received. So that this power which a man in some cases hath over the life of another, is onely given him by God for the common good and preservation of Mankind, of which every particular person is a part: and so this power conferred upon the supreme Magistrate is no more, nor extends higher than that, though there are more things requisite to the publick peace and safety of a Civil Government, than are to humane Society in the state of Nature: And from hence do supreme Powers derive their Right of making positive Laws, and ordaining higher Punishments for Offences than the Laws of God or Nature do expresly appoint, as for Theft, Coining, and the like. Nor is the Antecedent true, that no man in the state of Nature hath a power to dispose of his own life: For though it may be true that no man hath a Right to make away himself whenever he dislikes his being here; yet it does not therefore follow, but that for a greater good to the publick, any man, nay a Prince himself may lay down his life for his Peoples good: And therefore I doubt not but the Example of Codrus the Athenian King was not onely lawful, but highly commendable, in sacrificing his life for the good and safety of his People, supposing that all their Estates and Liberties depended upon that one Battel; much more for a private man to lay down his life to save some publick person highly useful to humane Society. And this much does the Apostle Paul himself seem to admit, Rom. 5. 7. when he says, For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. Where by a righteous man, Expositors understand one who had sufficiently done his duty in an ordinary private capacity, yet contributed little to the publick good; whereas by a good man, is understood some person highly useful and beneficial to others, and for such a one a man may not onely dare to die, but actually lay down his life if occasion be. A second Objection is, That if the supreme Magistrates Authority be derived from the People, then this Authority must be either inferiour or superiour to it. If inferiour, how can the People be commanded or governed by that which is inferiour to its self? If superiour, how can the Effect be more noble than the Cause, since neither any particular Person nor the whole Multitude had Soveraign Authority, and therefore could not confer it upon others. To this I answer, That this Soveraignty being but the submission of the Wills of the Persons that institute it to the Will of him on whom they confer it, that he should thereby make use of all their Powers for the common good of them all; and being therefore not any physical but moral Quality, may be produced in another by their Compact, who had it not formally in themselves before: As from the Voices of divers men singing together, there may arise a Harmony which was not in their particular Voices alone, though each of these Voices must be musical to produce it. So every particular person having before, in the state of Nature, a Right to preserve himself and to govern his own actions, when many men joyn together to confer this care upon one or more there arises a Political Power indeed more noble, yet of the same kind with the other: for if the singulars had it not before in some measure, the universal could not have it all. So that it is absurd to alleadge, that Soveraignty is not derived from men, because it cannot be found among a mans natural powers or faculties in the same manner, as it is in the supreme Magistrate, as if there were no other than Physical Qualities in nature; yet even in Physicks, admitting Epicurus Hypotheses of Atomes to be true, there will arise from their conjunction that quality in bodies which we call divisibility, and yet each particular Atome considered apart, being indivisible, had it not alone. But to answer a distinction they use in this matter between the immediate efficient and the immediate constituent modus of Soveraignty; they confess indeed, That by this Election and Transferring of the Power of the Fathers of Families, the Civil Soveraign is declared, but that it is from God alone that he receives his Soveraign Authority. If they mean by this transferring of Fatherly Power, any absolute Power which God hath by any Law divine or natural, conferred upon the Fathers over their Children and Families; I have already proved, that this Fatherly power is neither absolute, nor assigneable to another. If they mean any other Soveraignty distinct from this, then they must needs conceive this as an abstracted Ens, or Physical quality, which is immediately produced by God, and conferred upon the person of the Soveraign at his Election or Declaration: but I see no reason of constituting here more Causes than needs (as one efficient, and the other secundary) or why God should do that by an extraordinary unintelligible way of acting, which he may perform by a plain and easie one, since it is contrary to his other methods of acting in the course of Nature: For frustra fit per plura, quod potest fieri per pauciora; and supposing as I have already proved (and as divers who are sufficiently for Kingly Power do admit) that the People or Heads of Families have a freedom of setting up what kind of Government they please, either Monarchical or other; and if there were none other but Aristocracies or Democracies in the world, I would fain know what then would become of this notional Majesty or Soveraignty? Now if any man should ask them where this abstracted Soveraignty exists before it finds a King to settle upon, and whether it be a Substance or an Accident: if the latter, how it can subsist without its Subject? or if the former, when it was created whether it was at the beginning of the world, or like the Souls of men, creando infunditur, & infundendo creatur? or whether there be one single Soul of Soveraignty diffused all over the world, which being distributed, does, as it were, animate so many Kings? Also whether this Majesty dies with the Monarch, or else survives him as the Soul does the Body, and by a new Metempsychosis immediately transfuses it self into his Successour. If the Gentlemen of this Author’s Principles please but to consider these difficulties, I’ll undertake they will finde them as hard to be resolved as any the Author hath proposed about all the Peoples agreeing or being the cause of this Soveraignty: But I will not deny that God is properly the original and efficient Cause of Soveraignty as of all good things, and particularly of that power whereby every individual Freeman in the state of Nature, hath a power to dispose of his actions for his own preservation and the common good of mankind. And the particular powers of many men being put together, constitute that which we call a Politick or Civil Power. And therefore his last Objection is easily answered, That if the People be any Cause of Soveraignty or Civil Power, they must have received this power from God, by which they can confer it on any other: But it can no way be proved that they received it from God; for God having, as I said, imprinted upon mans Soul such a tender care of his own good and preservation, and hath likewise enjoyned him to preserve Peace and Order amongst men, in order to the common good and preservation of mankind, and hath likewise given him reason to find out all means necessary for this end, amongst which the constitution of Civil Government must be reckon’d as the principal; who can doubt but the faculty of constituting of Civil Government likewise proceeds from God the Author of Truth and giver of all good things? Thus the invention of Cloaths, Fire, and Houses, proceed from God, though they were found out by man as his Instrument, for a help to his necessities and natural weakness.See Garcilasso de Vega’s History of Peru. And as in some Countries there is little or no need of Cloaths or Houses, where the weather is always warm and serene; so likewise God hath not imposed upon any People an absolute Obligation of constituting any Civil Government at all, if they can live without it, or at least of its exercising farther than they have need of. Thus among the West-Indians,See Lerius Hist. Brafile, cap. 18. History of the Caribbe Islands, lib. 11. c. 19. in several parts of America, where they have no distinct propriety in Land, more than in their little Gardens, and Cabins, (which in Countries so slenderly inhabited as those, where Land is worth nothing) every man enjoys, by a tacite consent, a living upon Venison, Fish, or other Animals, and Fruits which the Woods produce; they need no Chattels, nor Dishes, but a few Earthen-pots or Cups of Calebasses, besides their Bows and Arrows, and Fishing-tackle, which every man knows how to make for himself. So likewise having no need of Clothes, and living but from hand to mouth, and taking care onely to provide meer necessaries of life, as they never have any superfluities, so they have no Disputes about them: and most of their things being easie to be provided, they are seldom known to steal them one from each other; and if a man catch another stealing any thing from him, he will be sure to beat the Thief soundly, or may be mark him with the sharp Tooth of a Beast they call an Agoutye (which is the disgracefullest punishment any man can suffer:) so that one of the main ends of a supreme power among us, viz. to decide Controversies about Property, and punish Thieves, are there of no use. And as for other Injuries, such as Maims, Adultery, and the like, they have no certain Judges for any of these things; every man that is injured in any of these cases, being his own Judge and Executioner, observing that Law of an Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth; onely in Adultery the man hath power to kill both his Wife and the Adulterer, if taken in the act; and in Murder, and great Hurts or Maims, where the party injured is not able to revenge himself, his neer Relations will not fail to do it; and if they should omit, they would be looked upon as Cowards or infamous: so that being naturally loving to each other, and having no words of disgrace to quarrel about, and other Quarrels happening but seldom, and no man maintaining or taking the part of the wrong-doer, or revenging the death of a Murderer or Adulterer, they have lived many Ages without any common Power to keep them at peace among themselves; and yet they have much fewer Crimes committed amongst them than us. It is true, they have Captains or Cacicks among them, but they have no power but in time of War; and when the Expedition is ended, though they pay them reverence and respect, and make them preside in all their Councils and Assemblies, yet they have no Authority in time of Peace to punish or question any man. So that if they lived in Islands which were either far distant from others, or else were inaccessible, and would make no forein Expeditions, they would not need so much as this Cacick, and so could live together without any other Government than that of the Fathers of Families over their Wives and Children. But perhaps it will be said, these are Man-eaters and barbarous People, and so are not to be quoted as Examples for the rest of mankind. It is true, the Brasilians eat their Enemies taken in War, but the Caribbes do not. But as for the Observation of the other Laws of Nature, I will leave it to any man to judge which part of mankind observe them best; those that can live peaceably together without either Judge or Gallows, or we that can scarce be at quiet, though we have them. But I have done this, onely to shew an intelligent Reader what are the true reasons of the necessity of a Civil Power amongst us that have a full propriety in all Lands and Goods by the particular Laws of our Countries.
Having now I hope dispatcht the first part of my intended Task, which was to prove that the Author’s Hypothesis concerning the Monarchical Despotick Power of Adam over his Wife, Children, or Descendants, is altogether vain, and without just grounds either from Scripture or Reason; and consequently that neither any Fathers of Families, nor the Princes as representing them, can from divine Grant deduce any such absolute Power or Right over their Children or Subjects: I shall not trouble my self with the answering of the rest of this Treatise, having gone a good way in the second Chapter, and answered his most material Objections about the Peoples conferring Soveraignty; so that the rest is of small consequence. I shall not need to examine whether the Jews chose the King, or God, since that Government being purely Theocratical, it concerns other Nations not at all; much less shall I vindicate the Form of the Roman Commonwealth, or dispute whether they were more happy under Kings or Emperours, or whether Democracies or Tyrannies are best; or affirm that the People can correct their King, or that there e’re have been any Tyrants in England since the Conquest, since they are all either foreign to this purpose, or else signifie nothing when his foundations are pulled up. As for what he says concerning a limited or mixt Monarchy, I shall reserve all that is needful to be observed upon that subject, until I come to consider the Author’s Treatise called, The Anarchy of a limited Monarchy; where all or the greatest part of what he hath here written, is there repeated. As for his third Chapter, since Divinity is not my Profession, and that the Texts of S. S. he there quotes, have been debated by so many Expositors both in English and Latine, I count needless to repeat out of others what sense they may bear, though I do not approve of the Author’s interpretation, who would have them applied alike to all Princes, whether good or bad, lawful or unlawful; since upon those Principles there can be no difference between a just Prince and a Tyrant, or between a lawful Monarch and an Usurper. Nor shall I meddle with what he says concerning the Kings Power and Prerogative, though I think there are divers things which he there says, that are false and of very ill consequence; yet since I confine my self purely to the Laws of Nature and Reason, I shall leave it to other more able Pens, and better skill’d in the Laws and Customs of this Kingdom, to give him such an answer as they deserve. Neither would I be thought to encourage Princes to stretch their Power to the utmost limits, nor yet to stir up Subjects to take Arms as soon as ever they think themselves injured, since the Populace is but too apt, where they are left to be their own Judges, to pronounce Sentence in ther own favour. Therefore, quitting all these as unnecessary Disputes, I shall now proceed to take a short view of the rest of those Errors and Mistakes which remain yet to be observed in his other Miscellany-Treatises first published.