Common Sense, British Edition

Of Monarchy and Hereditary Sucession

Page 10


10                            COMMON  SENSE.

be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, and go
out before us, and fight our battles.
 Samuel continued to reason
with them, but to no purpose;  he set before them their in-
gratitude, but all would not avail; and seeing them fully
bent on their folly, he cried out, I will call unto the Lord,
and he shall send thunder and rain,
(which then was a
punishment, being in the time of wheat harvest) that ye
may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which ye have
done in the sight of the Lord, IN ASKING YOU A KING.
So Samuel called unto the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and
rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and
famuel. And all the people said unto Samuel, pray for thy
Servants unto the Lord thy God that we die not, for WE HAVE
These portions of scripture are direct and positive. They
admit of no equivocal construction. That the Almighty
hath here entered his protest against monarchial government,
is true, or the scripture is false. And a man hath good
reason to believe that there is as much of king-craft, as
priest-craft, in withholding the scripture from the public in
Popish countries. For monarchy in every instance is the
Popery of government.

To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary
succcession ; and as the first is a degradation and lessening of
ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is an
insult and an imposition on posterity. For all men being ori-
ginally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his
own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever,
and though himself might deserve some decent degree of ho-
nours of his contemporaries, yet his descendants might be far
too unworthy to inherit them. One of the strongest na-
tural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is,
that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so fre-
quently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an Ass for
a Lion.

Secondly, as no man at first could possess any other public
honors than were bestowed upon him, so the givers of those
honors could have no right to give away the right of posterity.
And though they might say, “ We choose you for our
head,” they could not, without manifest injustice to their
children, say, “that your children, and your children’s
children shall reign over ours for ever. Because such an un-




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