Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Convocation Book 0f 1606, i.2

TO him that shall duly read the Scriptures, it will be plain and evident that the Son of God, having created our first parents, and purposing to multiply their seed into many generations, for the replenishing of the world with their posterity, did give to Adam for his time, and to the rest of the patriarchs and chief fathers successively before the flood, authority, power, and dominion over their children and offspring, to rule and govern them ; ordaining by the law of nature, that their said children and offspring (begotten and brought up by them) should fear, reverence, honour, and obey them.  Which power and authority before the flood, resting in the patriarchs, and in the chief fathers, because it had a very large extent, not only for the education of their said children and offspring, but likewise for the ordering, ruling, and governing of them afterwards, when they came to men's estate.  And for that also it had no superior [authority, or power, over, or above] it on earth, appearing in the Scriptures, although it be called either patriarchal, regal, and imperial, and that we only term it potestas patria ; yet, being well considered how far it did reach, we may truly say that it was in a sort potestas regia ; as now, in a right and true construction, potestas regia may justly be called potestas patria.


If any man shall therefore affirm that men at the first, without all good education, or civility, ran up and down in woods, and fields, as wild creatures, resting themselves in caves, and dens, and acknowledging no superiority one over another, until they were taught by experience the necessity of government ; and that thereupon they chose some amongst themselves to order and rule the rest, giving them power and authority so to do ; and that consequently all civil power, jurisdiction, and authority, was first derived from the people, and disordered multitude ; or either is originally still in them, or else is deduced by their consents naturally from them ; and is not God's ordinance originally descending from Him, and depending upon Him, he doth greatly err.



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