Page:Two Treatises of Government.djvu/55

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Of Government.


the text itſelf proves the contrary ; and in the other, the words and ſenſe are directly againſt it.

§. 37. But our author ſays, Noah was the ſole heir of the world ; why ſhould it be thought that God would diſinherit' him of his birth-right? Heir, indeed, in England, ſignifies the eldeſt ſon, who is by the law of England to have all his father's land ; but where God ever appointed any ſuch heir of the world, our author would have done well to have ſhewed us ; and how God diſinherited him of his birth-right, or what harm was done him if God gave his ſons a right to make uſe of a part of the earth for the ſupport of themſelves and families, when the whole was not only more than Noah himſelf, but infinitely more than they all could make uſe of, and the poſſeſſions of one could not at all prejudice, or, as to any uſe, ſtreighten that of the other.

§. 38. Our author probably foreſeeing he might not be very ſucceſsful in perſuading people out of their ſenſes, and, ſay what he could, men would be apt to believe the plain words of ſcripture, and think, as they ſaw, that the grant was ſpoken to Noah and his ſons jointly ; he endeavours to inſinuate, as if this grant to Noah conveyed no property, no dominion ; becauſe, ſubduing the earth and dominion over the creatures are therein omitted, nor the earth once named. And therefore, ſays he, there is a con-