Page:Two Treatises of Government.djvu/51

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
37
Of Government.

in preſent (for the text ſays, into your hands they are delivered) may beſt be underſtood with a ſubordination or in ſucceſſion ; becauſe it is poſſible, that in ſubordination, or in ſucceſſion, it may be enjoyed. Which is all one as to ſay, that a grant of any thing in preſent poſſeſſion may beſt be underſtood of reverſion ; becauſe it is poſſible one may live to enjoy it in reverſion. If the grant be indeed to a father and to his ſons after him, who is ſo kind as to let his children enjoy it preſently in common with him, one may truly ſay, as to the event one will be as good as the other; but it can never be true, that what the expreſs words grant in poſſeſſion, and in common, may beſt be underſtood, to be in reverſion. The ſum of all his reaſoning amounts to this : God did not give to the ſons of Noah the world in common with their father, becauſe it was poſſible they might enjoy it under, or after him. A very good ſort of argument againſt an expreſs text of ſcripture : but God muſt: not be believed, though he ſpeaks it himſelf, when he ſays he does any thing, which will not conſiſt with Sir Robert's hypothesis.

§. 33. For it is plain, however he would exclude them, that part of this benediction, as he would have it in ſucceſſion, muſt: needs be meant to the ſons, and not to Noah himſelf at all : Be fruitful, and multiply, and repleniſh the earth, ſays God, in this bleſſing. This part of the benediction, as appears by the ſequel, con-

cerned
D 3