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SECTION 11
No Man comes to command many, unless by Consent or by Force.

B UT because I cannot believe God hath created man in such a state of misery and slavery as I just now mentioned; by discovering the vanity of our author's whimsical patriarchical kingdom, I am led to a certain conclusion, that every father of a family is free and exempt from the domination of any other, as the seventy two that went from Babel were. 'Tis hard to comprehend how one man can come to be master of many, equal to himself in right, unless it be by consent or by force. If by consent, we are at an end of our controversies: Governments, and the magistrates that execute them, are created by man. They who give a being to them, cannot but have a right of regulating, limiting and directing them as best pleaseth themselves; and all our author's assertions concerning the absolute power of one man, fall to the ground: If by force, we are to examine how it can be possible or justifiable. This subduing by force we call conquest; but as he that forceth must be stronger than those that are forced, to talk of one man who in strength exceeds many millions of men, is to go beyond the extravagance of fables and romances. This wound is not cured by saying, that he first conquers one, and then more, and with their help others; for as to matter of fact, the first news we hear of Nimrod is, that he reigned over a great multitude, and built vast cities; and we know of no kingdom in the world, that did not begin with a greater number than any one man could possibly subdue. If they who chuse one to be their head, did under his conduct subdue others, they were fellow-conquerors with him; and nothing can be more brutish, than to think, that by their virtue and valour they had purchased perpetual slavery to themselves and their posterity. But if it were possible, it could not be justifiable; and whilst our dispute is concerning right, that which ought not to be is no more to be received, than if it could not be. No right can come by conquest, unless there were a right of making that conquest, which, by reason of the equality that our author confesses to have been amongst the heads of families, and as I have proved goes into infinity, can never be on the aggressor's side. No man can justly impose anything upon those who owe him nothing. Our author therefore, who ascribes the enlargement of Nimrod's kingdom to usurpation and tyranny , might as well have acknowledged the same in the beginning, as he says all other authors have done. [1] However, he ought not to have imputed to Sir Walter Raleigh an approbation of his right, as lord or king over his family; for he could never think him to be a lord by the right of a father, who by that rule must have lived and died a slave to his fathers that overlived him. Whosoever therefore like Nimrod grounds his pretensions of right upon usurpation and tyranny, declares himself to be, like Nimrod, a usurper and a tyrant, that is an enemy to God and man, and to have no right at all. That which was unjust in its beginning, can of itself never change its nature. Tempus in se , saith Grotius, nullam habet vim effectricem . [2] He that persists in doing injustice, aggravates it, and takes upon himself all the guilt of his predecessors. But if there be a king in the world, that claims a right by conquest, and would justify it, he might do well to tell whom he conquered, when, with what assistance, and upon what reason he undertook the war; for he can ground no title upon the obscurity of an unsearchable antiquity; and if he does it not, he ought to be looked upon as a usurping Nimrod.

[1] [Patriarcha, ch. 4.]

[2] [Hugo Grotius, De jure belli ac pacis libri tres, bk. 2, ch. 4, sec. 1.]


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