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be governor of his posterity;" which amounts to this, he was governor by right of nature, because he was governor by right of nature. But supposing we should grant, that a man is by nature governor of his children, Adam could not hereby be monarch as soon as created: for this right of nature being founded in his being their father, how Adam could have a natural right to be governor, before he was a father, when by being a father only he had that right, is, methinks, hard to conceive, unless he would have him to be a father before he was a father, and have a title before he had it.

§ 18. To this foreseen objection, our A. answers very logically, "He was governor in habit, and not in act:" a very pretty way of being a governor without government, a father without children, and a king without subjects. And thus sir Robert was an author before he writ his book; not in act, it is true, but in habit; for when he had once published it, it was due to him, by the right of nature, to be an author, as much as it was to Adam to be governor of his children, when he had begot them; and if to be such a monarch of the world, an absolute monarch in habit, but not in act, will serve the turn, I should not much envy it to any of sir Robert's friends, that he thought fit graciously to bestow it upon; though even this of act and habit, if it signified any thing but our A.'s skill in distinctions, be not to his purpose in this place. For the question is not here about Adam's actual exercise of government, but actually having a title to be governor. Government, says our A. was "due to Adam by the right of nature:" what is this right of nature? A right fathers have over their children by begetting them; generatione jus acquiritur parentibus in liberos, says our A. out of Grotius, de J. B. P. L. 2. C. 5. S. 1. The right then

follows then as arising from it; so that, ac

cording to this way of reasoning or distinguishing of our A. Adam, as soon as he was created, had a title only in habit, and not in act, which in plain English is, he had actually no title at all.

$19. To speak less learnedly, and more intelligibly, one may say of Adam, he was in a possibility of being


governor, since it was possible he might beget children, and thereby acquire that right of nature, be it what it will, to govern them, that accrues from thence: but what connexion has this with Adam's creation, to make him say, that “as soon as he was created, he was monarch of the world?" For it may as well be said of Noah, that as soon as he was born he was monarch of the world, since he was in possibility (which in our A.'s sense is enough to make a monarch, "a monarch in habit,") to outlive all mankind but his own posterity. What such necessary connexion there is betwixt Adam's creation and his right to government, so that a "natural freedom of mankind cannot be supposed without the denial of the creation of Adam," I confess for my part I do not see; nor how those words, by the appointment," &c. Obs. 254, however explained, can be put together, to make any tolerable sense, at least to establish this position, with which they end, viz. " Adam was a king from his creation ;" a king, says our author, "not in act, but in habit," i. e. actually no king at all.


§ 20. I fear I have tired my reader's patience, by dwelling longer on this passage than the weightiness of any argument in it seems to require: but I have unavoidably been engaged in it by our author's way of writing, who, huddling several suppositions together, and that in doubtful and general terms, makes such a medley and confusion, that it is impossible to show his mistakes, without examining the several senses wherein his words may be taken, and without seeing how, in any of these various meanings, they will consist together, and have any truth in them: for in this present passage before us, how can any one argue against this position of his, "that Adam was a king from his creation," unless one examine, whether the words, " from his creation," be to be taken, as they may, for the time of the commencement of his government, as the foregoing words import, "as soon as he was created he was monarch;" or, for the cause of it, as he says, p. 11, "creation made man prince of his posterity?" How farther can one judge of the truth of his being

thus king, till one has examined whether king be to be taken, as the words in the beginning of this passage would persuade, on supposition of his private dominion, which was, by God's positive grant, "monarch of the world by appointment;" or king on supposition of his fatherly power over his offspring, which was by nature, "due by the right of nature;" whether, I say, king be to be taken in both, or one only of these two senses, or in neither of them, but only this, that creation made him prince, in a way different from both the other? For though this assertion, that " Adam was king from his creation," be true in no sense, yet it stands here as an evident conclusion drawn from the preceding words, though in truth it be but a bare assertion joined to other assertions of the same kind, which confidently put together in words of undetermined and dubious meaning, look like a sort of arguing, when there is indeed neither proof nor connexion; a way very familiar with our author; of which having given the reader a taste here, I shall, as much as the argument will permit me, avoid touching on hereafter; and should not have done it here, were it not to let the world see, how incoherences in matter, and suppositions without proofs, put handsomely together in good words and a plausible style, are apt to pass for strong reason and good sense, till they come to be looked into with



Of Adam's Title to Sovereignty, by Donation, Gen. i. 28.

§ 21. HAVING at last got through the foregoing passage, where we have been so long detained, not by the force of arguments and opposition, but by the intricacy of the words, and the doubtfulness of the meaning; let us go on to his next argument, for Adam's

sovereignty. Our author tells us in the words of Mr. Selden, that "Adam by donation from God, Gen. i. 28, was made the general lord of all things, not without such a private dominion to himself, as without his grant did exclude his children. This determination of Mr. Selden, says our author, is consonant to the history of the Bible, and natural reason," Obs. 210. And in his Pref. to his Observations on Aristotle, he says thus, "The first government in the world was monarchical in the father of all flesh, Adam being commanded to multiply and people the earth, and to subdue it, and having dominion given him over all creatures, was thereby the monarch of the whole world. None of his posterity had any right to possess any thing, but by his grant or permission, or by succession from him. The earth, saith the Psalmist, hath he given to the children of men, which shows the title comes from fatherhood."

§ 22. Before I examine this argument, and the text on which it is founded, it is necessary to desire the reader to observe, that our author, according to his usual method, begins in one sense, and concludes in another; he begins here with Adam's propriety, or private dominion, by donation; and his conclusion is, "which shows the title comes from fatherhood."

§ 23. But let us see the argument. The words of the text are these: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth," Gen. i. 28; from whence our author concludes, “that Adam, having here dominion given him over all creatures, was thereby the monarch of the whole world :" whereby must be meant, that either this grant of God gave Adam property, or, as our author calls it, private dominion over the earth, and all inferior or irrational creatures, and so consequently that he was thereby monarch; or, 2dly, that it gave him rule and

dominion over all earthly creatures whatsoever, and thereby over his children; and so he was monarch: for, as Mr. Selden has properly worded it, "Adam was made general lord of all things," one may very clearly understand him, that he means nothing to be granted to Adam here but property, and therefore he says not one word of Adam's monarchy. But our author says, "Adam was hereby monarch of the world," which, properly speaking, signifies sovereign ruler of all the men in the world; and so Adam, by this grant, must be constituted such a ruler. If our author means otherwise, he might with much clearness have said, that " Adam was hereby proprietor of the whole world." But he begs your pardon in that point: clear distinct speaking not serving every where to his purpose, you must not expect it in him, as in Mr. Selden, or other such writers.

§ 24. In opposition, therefore, to our author's doctrine, that "Adam was monarch of the whole world," founded on this place, I shall show,

1. That by this grant, Gen. i. 28, God gave no immediate power to Adam over men, over his children, over those of his own species; and so he was not made ruler, or monarch, by this charter.

2. That by this grant God gave him not private dominion over the inferior creatures, but right in common with all mankind; so neither was he monarch upon the account of the property here given him.

$25. 1. That this donation, Gen. i. 28, gave Adam no power over men, will appear if we consider the words of it: for since all positive grants convey no more than the express words they are made in will carry, let us see which of them here will comprehend mankind, or Adam's posterity; and those I imagine, if any, must be these, "every living thing that moveth :" the words in Hebrew are, i. e. bestiam reptantem, of which words the Scripture itself is the best interpreter: God having created the fishes and fowls the 5th day, the beginning of the 6th, he creates the irrational inhabitants of the dry land, which, ver. 24, are described in these words, "Let the earth bring forth the

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