[Introductory note: The Patriarcha of Sir Robert Filmer () ranks among the commonwealths.3 The latter, in his book De Jure Regni apud Scotos. Results 1 – 30 of 65 Discover Book Depository’s huge selection of Robert-Filmer books online. Patriarca o el poder natural de los reyes / Patriarch or Natural. La polemica Filmer-Locker (!) sobre la obediencia política: Patriarca, de Robert Filmer: Sobre el gobierno, de John Locke. Estudio preliminar de Rafael Gambra.

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Libertas — Populi, quem regna coercent Libertate perit —. Fallitur egregio quisquis sub Poincipe oredit. Servitium; nusquam Libertas gratior extat Quam sub Rege pio —.

So affable was his Conversation, his Discourse so rational, his Judgment so exact in most parts of Learning; and his Affections to the Church so exemplary in him, that I never enjoyed a greater Felicity in the company of any Man living, than I did in his.

I must needs say, Edition: But I was never more sensible of the Infelicity, than I am at this present, in reference to that Satisfaction, which I am sure he could have given the Gentleman whom I am to deal with: And had he pleased to have suffered his Excellent Discourse called Patriarcha to appear in Publick, it would Edition: In danger the People of Rome always fled to Monarchy. Kings were before Laws. The Kings of Judah and Israel not tied to Laws. Some Contradictions of his noted.

SInce the time that School-Divinity began to flourish, there hath been a common Opinion maintained, as well by Divines, as by divers other learned Men, which affirms. Mankind is naturally endowed and born with Freedom from all Subjection, and at liberty to chose what Form of Government it please: And that the Power which any one Man hath over others, was at first bestowed according to the discretion of the Multitude.

The Divines also of the Reformed Churches have entertained it, and the Common People every where tenderly embrace it, as being most plausible to Flesh and blood, for that it prodigally destributes a Portion of Liberty to the meanest of the Multitude, who magnifie Liberty, as if the height of Humane Felicity were only to be found in it, never Edition: But howsoever this Vulgar Opinion hath of late obtained a great Reputation, yet it is not to be found in the Ancient Fathers and Doctors of the Primitive Church: It is hard to say whether it be more erroneous in Divinity, or dangerous in Policy.

Yet upon the ground of this Doctrine both Jesuites, and some other zealous favourers of the Geneva Discipline, have built a perillous Conclusion, which is, That the People or Multitude have Power to punish, or deprive the Prince, if he transgress the Laws of the Kingdom; witness Parsons and Buchanan: The latter in his Book De jure Regni apud Edition: Cardinal Bellarmine and Calvin, both look asquint this way.

This desperate Assertion whereby Kings are made subject to the Censures and Deprivations of their Subjects, follows as the Authors of it conceive as a necessary Consequence of that former Position of the supposed Natural Equality and Freedom of Mankind, and Liberty to choose what form of Government it please. And though Sir John Heywood, Adam Blackwood, John Barclay, and some others have Learnedly Confuted both Buchanan and Parsons, and bravely vindicated the Right of Kings in most Points, yet all of them, when they come to the Argument drawn from the Natural Liberty and Equality of Mankind, do with one consent admit it for a Truth unquestionable, not so much as once denying or opposing it; whereas if they did but Confute this first erroneous Principle, the whole Fabrick of this vast Engine of Popular Sedition would drop down of it self.

The Rebellious Consequence which follows this prime Article of the Natural Freedom of Mankind may be my Sufficient Warrant for a modest Examination of the original Truth of it; much hath been said, and by many, for the Affirmative; Equity requires that an Ear be reserved a little for the Negative. An implicite Faith is given to the meanest Artificer in his own Craft, how much more is it then due to a Prince in the profound Secrets of Government, the Causes and Ends of the greatest politique Actions and Motions of State dazle the Eyes, and exceed the Capacities of all men, save only those that are hourly versed in the managing Publique Affairs: Secondly, I am not to question, or quarrel at the Rights or Liberties of this or any other Nation, my task is chiefly to enquire from whom these first came, not to dispute what, or how many these are; but whether they were derived from the Laws of Natural Liberty, or from the Grace and bounty of Princes.

My desire and Hope is, that the people of England may and do enjoy as ample Priviledges as any Nation under Heaven; the greatest Liberty in the World if it be duly considered is for a people to live under a Monarch. For, if the Thesis be true, the Hypothesis will follow, that all men may Examine their own Charters, Deeds, or Evidences by which they claim and hold the Inheritance or Free-hold of their Liberties. The profoundest Scholar that ever was known hath not been able to search out every Truth that is discoverable; neither Aristotle in Philosophy, nor Hooker in Divinity.

They are but men, yet I reverence their Judgments in most Points, and confess my self beholding to their Errors too in this; something that I found amiss in their Opinions, guided me in the discovery of that Truth which I perswade Edition: A Dwarf sometimes may see that which a Giant looks over; for whilest one Truth is curiously searched after, another must necessarily be neglected.


Late Writers have taken up too much upon Trust from the subtile School-Men, who to be sure to thrust down the King below the Pope, thought it the safest course to advance the People above the King. Thus many an Ignorant Subject hath been fooled into this Faith, that a man may become a Martyr for his Countrey, by being a Traytor to his Prince; whereas the Newcoyned distinction of Subjects into Royallists and Patriots, is most unnatural, since the relation between King and People is so great, that their well-being is so Reciprocal.

This Power is immediately in the whole Multitude, as in the Subject of it; for this Power is in the Divine Law, but the Divine Law hath given this Power to no particular Man— If the Positive Law be taken away, there is left no Reason, why amongst a Multitude who are Equal one rather than another should bear Rule over the rest?

Thus far Bellarmine; in which passages are comprised the strength of all that ever I have read, or heard produced for the Natural Liberty of the Subject.

Robert Filmer

First, He saith, that by the law of God, Power is immediately in the People; hereby he makes God to be the immediate Author of a Democratical Estate; for a Democrasy is nothing else but the Power of the Multitude. If this be true, not only Aristocracies, but all Monarchies are altogether unlawful, as being ordained as he thinks by Men, whenas God himself hath chosen a Democracy.

Secondly, He holds, that although a Democracy be the Ordinance of God, yet the people have no power to use the Power which God hath given them, but only power to give away their Power; whereby it followeth, that there can be no Democratical Government, because he saith, the people must give their Power to One Man, or to some Few; which maketh either a Regal or Aristocratical Estate; which the Multitude is tyed to do, even by the same Law of Nature which Originally gave them the Power: And why then doth he say, the Multitude may change the Kingdom into a Democracy?

Thirdly, He concludes, that if there be a lawful Cause, the Multitude may change the Kingdom. Here I would fain know who shall judg of this lawful Cause? If the Multitude for I see no Body else can then this is a pestilent and dangerous Conclusion. It is thus framed: That God hath given or ordained Power, is evident by Scripture; But God hath given it to no particular Person, because by nature all Men are Equal; therefore he hath given Power to the People or Multitude.

Patriarcha, or the Natural Power of Kings – Online Library of Liberty

To Answer this Reason, drawn from the Equality of Mankind by Nature, I will first use the help of Bellarmine himself, whose very words are these: If many men had been together created out of the Earth, they all ought to have been Princes over their Posterity.

Nor dares Bellarmine deny this also. And this subjection of Children being the Fountain of all Regal Authority, by the Ordination of God himself; It follows, that Civil Power, not only in general is by Divine Institution, but even the Assignment of it Specifically to the eldest Parents, which quite takes away that New and Common distinction which refers only Power Universal and Absolute to God; but Power Respective in regard of the Special Form of Government to the Choice of the people.

This Lordship which Adam by Command had over the whole World, and by Right descending from him the Patriarchs did enjoy, was as large and ample as the Absolutest Dominion of any Monarch which hath been since the Creation: The three Sons of Noah had the whole World divided amongst Edition: It is a common Opinion, that at the Confusion of Tongues there were 72 distinct Nations erected, all which were not Confused Multitudes, without Heads or Governors, and at Liberty to chose what Governors or Government they pleased; but they were distinct Families, which had Fathers for Rulers over them; whereby it appears that even in the Confusion God was careful to preserve the Fatherly Authority, by distributing the diversity of Languages according to the diversity of Families; for so plainly it appears by the Text: First, after the Enumeration of the Sons Edition: These are the Families of the Sons of Noah after their Generations in their Nations; and by these were these Nations divided in the Earth, after the F lood.

In this Division of the World, some are of Opinion that Noah used Lots for the distribution of it; others affirm he sayled about the Mediterranean Sea in Ten years, and as he went about, appointed to each Son his part, and so made the Division of the then known World into Asia, Africa, and Europe, according to the number of his Sons the Limits of which Three Parts are all found in that Midland Sea. And in this sense he may be said to be the Author and first Founder of Monarchy. And all those that do attribute unto him the Original Regal Power, do hold he got it by Tyrany or Usurpation, and not by any due Election of the People or Multitude, or by any Faction with them.

And these are the Names of the Dukes that came of Esau, according to Edition: In the Land of Canaan, which was but a small circuit, Joshua destroyed thirty one Kings; and about the same time, Adonibeseck had 70 Kings whose hands and toes he had cut off, and made them feed under his Table.

Rbert few years after this, 32 Edition: These heaps of Kings in each Nation are an Argument their Territories were but small, and strongly confirms our Assertion, that Erection of Kingdoms came at first only by Distinction of Families.


By manifest Footsteps we may trace this Paternal Government unto the Israelites coming into Egypt, where the Exercise of Supream Partriarchal Jurisdiction was intermitted, because they were in subjection to a stronger Prince.

After the Return of these Israelites out of Bondage, God out of a special Care of them, chose Moses and Joshua successively fil,er govern as Princes in the place and stead of the Supream Fathers: It may seem absurd to maintain, that Kings now are the Fathers of their People, since Experience shews the contrary.

It is true, all Kings be not the Natural Parents of their Subjects, yet they all either are, or are to be reputed the next Heirs to those first Progenitors, who were at first the Natural Parents of the whole People, and in their Right succeed to the Exercise of Supreme Jurisdiction; and such Heirs are not only Lords patrkarca their own Children, but also of their Brethren, and all others that were subject to their Fathers: And therefore we find, that God told Cain of his Brother Abel, His Desires shall be subject unto thee, and thou shalt rule over him.

It may be demanded what becomes of the Right of Fatherhood, in Case the Crown does escheat for want of an Heir? Whether doth it not then Divolve to the People? For an Heir there always is. If Adam himself were still living, and now ready to die, it is certain that there is One Fillmer, and but One in the World who is next Heir, Edition: This Ignorance of the People being admitted, it doth not by any means follow; that for want of Heirs the Supreme Power is devolved to the Multitude, and that they have Power to Rule, and Chose what Rulers they please.

By the Uniting of great Families or petty Kingdoms, we find the greater Monarchies were at the first erected; and into such again, as into their first Matter many times patfiarca return again. And because the dependencie of ancient Families is oft obscure or worn out of Knowledge; therefore the wisdom of All or Most Princes have thought fit to adopt many times those for Heads of Families, and Princes of Provinces, whose Merits, Abilities, or Fortunes, have enobled them, or made them fit and capable of such Regal Favours.

Online Library of Liberty

All such prime Heads and Fathers have power to consent in the Edition: And he that is so Elected, claims not his Power as a Donative from the People; but as being substituted properly by God, from whom he receives his Royal Charter of an Universal Father, though testified by the Ministry of the Heads of the People.

If it please God, for the Correction of the Prince, or punishment of the People, to suffer Princes to be removed, and others to be placed in their rooms, either by the Factions of the Nobility, or Rebellion of the People; in all such cases, the Judgment of God, who hath Power to give and to take away Kingdoms, is most just: God doth but use and turn mens Unrighteous Acts to the performance of his Righteous Decrees. Yet still the Authority that is in any one, or in many, or in all these, is the only Right and natural Authority of a Supream Father.

There is, and always shall be continued to the end of the World, a Natural Right of a Supreme Father over every Multitude, although by the secret Will of God, many at first do most unjustly obtain the Exercise of it. If we compare the Natural Rights of a Father with those of a King, we find them all one, without any difference at all but only in the Latitude or Extent of them: His War, his Peace, his Courts of Justice, and all his Acts of Sovereignty tend only to preserve and distribute to every subordinate and inferiour Father, and to their Children, their Rights and Privileges; so that all the Duties of a King are summed up in an Universal Fatherly Care of his People.

A Ristotle examined about the Freedom of the People and justified. Suarez disputing against the Regality of Adam. Families diversly defined by Aristotle, Bodin and others. Of Election of Kings. By the Major part of the People.

By Proxy, and by silent Acceptation. No Example in Scripture of the Peoples chosing their King.

Patriarcha – Wikipedia

God governed always by Monarchy. Imperfections of the Roman Democratie.

In danger, the People of Rome always fled to Monarchy. Whether Democraties were invented to bridle Tyrants, or rather that they came in by Stealth, Democraties vilified by their own Historians. Popular Government more bloody than Tyranny. Of a mixed Government of the King and People. The People roberh not judge or correct their King No Tyrants in England since the Conquest.

BY conferring these Proofs and Reasons drawn from the Authority of the Scripture, it appears little less filmeg a Paradox which Bellarmine and others affirm of the Freedom of the Multitude, to chose what Rulers they please. Had the Patriarchs their Power given them by their own Children? Bellarmine does not say it, but the Contrary: Because the Scripture is not roberg to the Liberty of the People; therefore many fly to Natural Reason, and to the Authority of Aristotle.