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no community can be cither happy or secure.* Thus Tully thought upon this subject, concluding the happiness of a community to be founded upon religion, and very judiciously querying whether, pie talc adversut deos sublata, if a general neglect of religion were introduced, a looseness of principle, destructive of all society, would not quickly follow; an evil, which if the magistrate does not prevent, he can do nothing very effectual to the public welfare. Of this all the heathen magistrates have ever been apprized; and therefore never were so wild as to attempt to discharge themselves from the care of it. Their only fault was, that their care of it was too political. When they themselves were the ministers of religion, they set up their fancies instead of religion, as their speculations led them, or their interests directed; and afterwards, when they appointed other persons to the ministrations, they so managed as to have them at their direction for the same purposes; as will appear to any one, who will fairly examine this subject.
There should be something said, before I close this book, about the right which female heirs may be sup-* posed to be thought by these ancients to have, to crowns
tolumus licet, P. C. ipsi nos amemus, taraen ace numcro ilispanos, ncc roborc Gallos, ncc calliditate Poenos, nee artibus Graecos, hec deniquc hoc ipso hujns gentis ac terra domestico nativoquc sensn Italos ipsos ac Latinos, sed pic. tate ac religions, atqilc hue una sapicntfa, quod dcoruin imfliorfaliiim numiiit; omnia rcgi gubernariquc pcrspeximus, onirics gentes itationesquc supcravimus. Cicero Orat. da Haruspicum Responds. , Cic. dc Nat. Dcorum, lib. 1. c. 2. ct in al. loc. iuuum.
VOL. II. O - *
and kingdoms. Semiramis was the first queen we read of in any nation, and Justin supposes that she obtained the crown by deceit upon her people, by her being mistaken for her son Ninyas ;b but Diodorus gives a much better and more probable account of her advancement; who says, that Ninus appointed her to be queen at his death.' It is indeed true, that the original constitution of some kingdoms, if they were founded upon the maxims, which I have supposed, do not seem to admit of any female governors. Thus in Egypt they did not think of having queens, at the forming their first settlement; for which reason, in order to make a way for them, there was a law made when Binothris was king, of This,* i. e. about A. M. 2232, that they should not be excluded. In nations, where civil government began from despotic authority; queens may be supposed to have succeeded naturally upon defect of male heirs; but they have been commonly excluded in elective kingdoms. Two things are remarkable: 1. That in ancient times, whenever queens reigned, they presided in religion, and were priestesses to their people, as kings were priests; and thus Dido in Virgil,' made the libation at the entertainment of TTCneas and his companions, as the kings of Greece in Homer did upon like occasions. 2. Divine Providence has generally distinguished the reigns of queens, with uncommon glory to themselves, and happiness to their people, of which both our own, and the history of other nations a tlord almost as many instances, as there have been queens upon their thrones.
• ISAAC, after Abraham was buried^ continued to live where his father left him. .Rebckah for some years had no children; but about twenty years after her marriage with Isaac, A. M. 2168, she had two sons, Esau and Jacob." The two children grew up to be men: were of a very different genius and temper; Jacob was very studious and much versed in religious contemplations; Esau had but little thought or eare about them. Jacob, upon seeing Esau, in some absence of his father, officiate at the sacrifice, was very desirous to obtain this employment himself, which he thought so honourable. Esau on the other hand had no value at all for it; so they bargained together, and for a small refreshment Esau sold Jacob
"Gen. xxv. 24. Isaac was forty years old when h» married, and he was sixty when Jacob and Esau wore born. all hir right and title to it.b Esau is for this action called the profane Esau;' because he despised his birth-right, by parting with it for a trifling consideration. Some writers suppose, that the birth-right which Esau here sold, was his right to be the heir of his father's.substance. If this were true, and he had only sold that, he might indeed be called a foolish and inconsiderate person to make so unwise a bargain; but why profane? It is evident, that this could not be the fact; for when Isaac died, and Esau came from mount Seir, where he lived,"1 to join with Jacob in assisting at his father's funeral; at his going away from his brother, he carried with hiin not only his wives, his sons, his daughters, his cattle, and all his beasts; but besides these, all his substance which he had got in the land of Canaan.' Esau had no substance in the land of Canaan of his own getting; for he lived at Seir in the land of Edom, beyond the borders of Canann; the substance therefore which was gotten in the land of Canaan, must be the substance of which Isaac died possessed, and which as heir Esau took along with him. Therefore after his birth-right was sold, he was still heir to his father's substance, and as heir had it delivered to him, so that his right to this was not what Jacob had bought of him. Others think, that the birth-right was the blessing promised to the seed of Abraham; aud the words of the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews seem very much, to favour this opinion.' Lest there be any fornicator or profane
person as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birth-right; for ye know how that afterwards, when he would have inheritedthe blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. In these words, not inheriting the blessing seems to be connected with his having sold his birth-right; as if having parted with the one, he could not possibly obtain the other. But I am in great doubt, whether this be the true meaning of these words. Esau himself, when he had sold his birth-right, did not imagine that he had sold his right to the blessing with it; for when his father told him, that his brother had come with subtlety, and taken away his blessing,1 Esau answered, Is he not rightly named Jacob ? for he hath supplanted me these two times; he took away my birth-right, and behold now he hath taken away my blessing. If Esau had apprehended that the blessing and the birthright hud been inseparable, having sold the one, he would not have expected or pretended to the other; but he makes the getting from him the blessing a second hardship put upon him, distinct from, and independent of the former. St. Paul, I think, represents the case of Esau in the loss of the blessing in the same manner ;b he does not suppose it owing to any thing that Esau had done,1 but represents it as a design of God, determined before Jacob and Esau were born ;k and a design determined purely by
t Gen. xxvii. 35, 36. * Horn, ix,
'Ver, I5. "Ibid. i