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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

It is by a right of primogeniture


as David had it, a man of many

peculiar prerogatives, to whose line the promise was astricted of the coming of the Messias, and Jacob's prophecy that the sceptre should not depart from Judah until his coming, Gen. xlix. 10. was restricted to his family afterwards: wherefore he could say, The Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father, to be king over Israel for ever; for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father, he liked me to make me king over Israel; and of all my sons he hath chosen Solomon, 1 Chron. xxviii. 4, 5. All kings cannot say this; neither could Saul say it, tho' immediately called of God as well as David: yet this same promise to David was conditional, if his children should keep the Lord's ways, 2 Chron. vi. 16. Next, it cannot be said this comes from the will of the father; for according to the scripture, no king can make a king, though a king may appoint and design his son for his successor, as David did Solomon, but the people make him. The father is some way a cause why his son succeedeth, but he is not the cause of the royalty conferred upon him by line: for the question will recur, who made him a king, and his father, and grandfather, till we come up to the first father? Then, who made him a king? Not himself; therefore it must be resounded upon the people's choice and constitution: and who appointed the lineal succession, and tied the crown to the line, but they? It is then, at the best, the
patrimony of the people, by the fundamental law of the kingdom, conferred upon the successor by consent.

And generally it is granted, even where the succession is lineal, he that comes to inherit, he does not succeed by heritage, but by the force of law; the son then hath not his kingdom from his father, but by law, which the people made and stand to, as long as it may consist with the reasons of public advantage, upon which they condescended to establish such a family over them. Neither can it be said, it is by a right of primogeniture, propagated from the first ruler; for this must either be Adam the first of the world or Fergus for example, the first of this kingdom. It could not come from Adam as a monarch and father of all: for that behoved to be, either by order of nature, or his voluntary assignment: it could not be transferred by order of nature; for besides the difficulty to find out Adam's successor in the universal monarchy, and the absurdity of fixing it on Cain, (who was a cursed vagabond, afraid of every man and could not be an universal monarch, yet Adam's first born.) It will be asked, how this passed from him unto others? Whether it went by fatherhood to all the sons, fathers to their posterity? Which would multiply as many commonwealths, as there have been fathers since: or if it went, by primogeniture, only to the first-born, that he alone could claim the power which would infer the necessity of an universal monarchy, without multiplication of commonwealths.

If it was by


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