The Power of a Father belongs only to a Father.

THIS leads us to an easy determination of the question, which our author thinks insoluble; If Adam was lord of his children, he doth not see how any can be free from the subjection of his parents.[1] For as no good man will ever desire to be free from the respect that is due to his father, who did beget and educate him, no wise man will ever think the like to be due to his brother or nephew that did neither. If Esau and Jacob were equally free; if Noah, as our author affirms, divided Europe, Asia and Africa, amongst his three sons, tho he cannot prove it; and if seventy two nations under so many heads or kings went from Babylon to people the earth, about a hundred and thirty years after the Flood, I know not why, according to the same rule and proportion, it may not be safely concluded, that in four thousand years kings are so multiplied, as to be in number equal to the men that are in the world; that is to say, they are, according to the laws of God and nature, all free, and independent upon each other, as Shem, Ham and Japheth were. And therefore, tho Adam and Noah had reigned alone when there were no men in the world except such as issued from them, that is no reason why any other should reign over those that he hath not begotten. As the right of Noah was divided amongst the children he left, and when he was dead, no one of them depended on the other, because no one of them was father of the other; and the right of a father can only belong to him that is so, the like must forever attend every other father in the world. This paternal power must necessarily accrue to every father: He is a king by the same right as the sons of Noah; and how numerous soever families may be upon the increase of mankind, they are all free, till they agree to recede from their own right, and join together in, or under one government, according to such laws as best please themselves.

[1] [Patriarcha, ch. 3.]