Page:Two Treatises of Government.djvu/35

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21
Of Government.

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 author's ſkill in diſtinctions, be not to his purpoſe in this place. For the queſtion is not here about Adams actual exerciſe of government, but actually having a title to be governor. Government, ſays our author, 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 author out of Grotius, Obſervations, 223. The right then follows the begetting as ariſing from it ; ſo that, according to this way of reaſoning or diſtinguiſhing of our author, 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:
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