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and his sons, property is not only given in clear words, but in a larger extent than it was to Adam. 6 Into
your hands they are given,” says God to Noah and his sons; which words, if they give not property, nay, property in possession, it will be hard to find words that can ; since there is not a way to express a man's being possessed of any thing more natural, nor more certain, than to say, it is delivered into his hands. And ver. 3, to show, that they had then given them the ut. most property man is capable of, which is to have a right to destroy any thing by using it: “ Every moving
thing that liveth, saith God, shall be meat for you ; which was not allowed to Adam in his charter. This our author calls, “ a liberty of using them for “ food, and also an enlargement of commons, but no “ alteration of property.” 0. 211.
What other property man can have in the creatures, but the “ liberty “ of using them,” is hard to be understood: so that if the first blessing, as our author says, gave Adam “ do“ minion over the creatures,” and the blessing to Noah and his sons gave them “ such a liberty to use them,” as Adam had not; it must needs give them something that Adam with all his sovereignty wanted, something that one would be apt to take for a greater property; for certainly he has no absolute dominion over even the brutal part of the creatures; and the property he has in them is very narrow and scanty, who cannot make that use of them, which is permitted to another. Should any one, who is absolute lord of a country, have bidden our author subdue the earth, and given him dominion over the creatures in it, but not have permitted him to have taken a kid or a lamb out of the flock to satisfy his hunger, I guess, he would scarce have thought himself lord or proprietor of that land, or the cattle on it; but would have found the difference between “having do“ minion,” which a shepherd may have, and having full property as an owner. So that, had it been his own case, sir Robert, I believe, would have thought here was an alteration, nay, an enlarging of property; and that Noah and his children had by this grant, not only property given them, but such property given them in the
creatures, as Adam had not: for however, in respect of one another, men may be allowed to have propriety in their distinct portions of the creatures; yet in respect of God the maker of heaven and earth, who is sole lord and proprietor of the whole world, man's propriety in the creatures is nothing but that “ liberty to use them," which God has permitted; and so man's property may be altered and enlarged, as we see it here, after the flood, when other uses of them are allowed, which before were not. From all which I suppose it is clear, that neither Adam, nor Noah, had any " private dominion," any property in the creatures, exclusive of his posterity, as they should successively grow up into need of them, and come to be able to make use of them.
40. Thus we have examined our author's argument for Adam's monarchy, founded on the blessing pronounced, Gen. i. 28. Wherein I think it is impossible for any sober reader to find any other but the setting of mankind above the other kinds of creatures in this habitable earth of ours. It is nothing but the giving to man, the whole species of man, as the chief inhabitant, who is the image of his Maker, the dominion over the other creatures. This lies so obvious in the plain words, that any one but our author would have thought it necessary to have shown, how these words, that seemed to say the quite contrary, gave “Adani “ monarchical absolute power" over other men, or the sole property in all the creatures; and methinks in a business of this moment, and that whereon he builds all that follows, he should have done something more than barely cite words, which apparently make against him; for I confess, I cannot see any thing in thein tending to Adam's monarchy, or private dominion, but quite the contrary. And I the less deplore the dulness of my apprehension herein, since I find the apostle seems to have as little notion of any such “ private dominion “ of Adam” as I, when he says, “God gives us all “ things richly to enjoy ;" which he could not do, if it were all given away already to monarch Adam, and the monarchs his heirs and successors. To conclude, this
text is so far from proving Adam sole proprietor, that, on the contrary, it is a confirmation of the original community of all things amongst the sons of men, which appearing from this donation of God, as well as other places of scripture, the sovereignty of Adam, built upon his “ private dominion,” must fall, not having any foundation to support it.
41. But yet, if after all, any one will needs have it so, that by this donation of God, Adam was made sole proprietor of the whole earth, what will this be to his sovereignty? and how will it appear, that propriety in land gives a man power over the life of another? or how will the possession even of the whole earth give any one a sovereign arbitrary authority over the persons of men ? The most specious thing to be said is, that he that is proprietor of the whole world, may deny all the rest of mankind food, and so at his pleasure starve them, if they will not acknowledge his sovereignty, and obey his will. If this were true, it would be a good argument to prove, that there never was any such property, that God never gave any such private dominion; since it is more reasonable to think, that God, who bid mankind increase and multiply, should rather himself give them all a right to make use of the food and raiment, and other conveniencies of life, the materials whereof he had so plentifully provided for them, than to make them depend upon the will of a man for their subsistence, who should have power to destroy them all when he pleased, and who, being no better than other men, was in succession likelier, by want and the dependence of a scanty fortune, to tie them to hard service, than by liberal allowance of the conveniencies of life to promote the great design of God, “ increase and multiply:" he that doubts this, let him look into the absolute monarchies of the world, and see what becomes of the conveniencies of life, and the multitudes of people.
§ 42. But we know God hath not left one man so to the mercy of another, that he may starve him if he please: God, the Lord and Father of all, has given no one of his children such a property in his peculiar portion of the things of this world, but that he has given his needy brother a right to the surplusage of his goods; so that it cannot justly be denied him, when his pressing wants call for it: and therefore no man could ever have a just power over the life of another by right of property in land or possessions; since it would always be a sin, in any man of estate, to let his brother perish for want of affording him relief out of his plenty. As justice gives every man a title to the product of his honest industry, and the fair acquisitions of his ancestors descended to him; so charity gives every man a title to so much out of another's plenty as will keep him from extreme want, where he has no means to subsist otherwise : and a man can no more justly make use of another's necessity to force him to become his vassal, by with-holding that relief God requires him to afford to the wants of his brother, than he that has more strength can seize upon a weaker, master him to his obedience, and with a dagger at his throat offer him death or slavery.
§ 43. Should any one make so perverse an use of God's blessings poured on him with a liberal hand; should any one be cruel and uncharitable to that extremity; yet all this would not prove that propriety in land, even in this case, gave any authority over the persons of men, but only that compact might; since the authority of the rich proprietor, and the subjection of the needy beggar, began not from the possession of the lord, but the consent of the poor man, who preferred being his subject to starving. And the man he thus submits to, can pretend to no more power over him, than he has consented to, upon compact. Upon this ground a man's having his stores filled in a time of scarcity, having money in his pocket, being in a vessel at sea, being able to swim, &c. may as well be the foundation of rule and dominion, as being possessor of all the land in the world: any of these being sufficient to enable me to save a man's life, who would perish, if such assistance were denied him; and any thing, by this rule, that may be an occasion of working upon another's necessity to save his life, or any thing dear to him, at
the rate of his freedom, may be made a foundation of sovereignty, as well as property. From all which it is clear, that though God should have given Adam private dominion, yet that private dominion could give him no sovereignty: but we have already sufficiently proved, that God gave him no “private dominion.”
Of Adam's title to sovereignty, by the subjection of Eve.
44. The next place of scripture we find our author builds his monarchy of Adam on, is Gen. iii. 26. “ And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he “ shall rule over thee. Here we have (says he) the
original grant of government," from whence he concludes in the following part of the page, 0.244. “ That the supreme power is settled in the fatherhood, “ and limited to one kind of government, that is, to “ monarchy. For let his premises be what they will, this is always the conclusion; let rule, in any text, be but once named, and presently absolute monarchy is by divine right established. If any one will but carefully read our author's own reasoning from these words, O. 244, and consider among other things, “ the line and “ posterity of Adam,” as he there brings them in, he will find some difficulty to make sense of what he says; but we will allow this at present to be his peculiar way of writing, and consider the force of the text in hand. The words are the curse of God upon the woman, for having been the first and forwardest in the disobedience; and if we will consider the occasion of what God says here to our first parents, that he was denouncing judgment, and declaring his wrath against them both for their disobedience, we cannot suppose that this was the time wherein God was granting Adam prerogatives and privileges, investing him with dignity and autho