Pietatis in Parentes Disquisitio: OR, The Duty of CHILDREN TOWARDS THEIR PARENTS: Truly Examined and Stated.
In a Letter to a Friend in the City.

SIR,

YOUR kind Lines, with the Prints you were pleased to send me, I have received, for which I return you many Thanks; and tho' I do much approve of the Letter, writ­ten to a Friend in the Country, in the defence of the Rights of Primogeniture, yet I must declare to you, that I am afraid the ex­posing of such a Letter to publick view, may prove an Encourage­ment to all Elder Sons to live disobedient and disorderly Lives, see­ing the ill Practise of some Fathers, in Disinheriting their First-be­gotten Sons, is so much exploded thereby; and therefore I conceive the Publication of it is somewhat unseasonable; when we see, that the Son doth not only not Honour his Father, but even Dishonoureth him, and is ashamed of him. He is so far from Loving him, that he rather hateth him; so far from fearing him, that contrariwise, he mocketh and con­temneth him: And instead of Serving and Obeying him, he riseth up and Conspireth against him: If the Father be angry, the Son laboureth to anger him more: Briefly, scarce any Duty of a Child towards his Father [Page 2] is seen now a days. O execrable Impiety! And to shew you, that I my self abhor such an Impious Behavior of any Son towards his Fa­ther, I will endeavour to draw you a Scheme of that Piety or Duty, which all Children do owe to their Parents by the Laws of God, of Nature, and of Man.

The Piety or Duty then of Children towards their Parents may be reduced to six Heads, comprehended in these very Words; Honour thy Father and thy Mother.

1. The first is, the Duty of Reverence, and that not only in External Gesture and Behaviour, but also Internal, which is that Sublime and Sacred Esteem and Veneration a Child ought to have of his Parents, as the Authors and Original Causes of his Being, as also of his good and well Being; which Reverence towards Parents shall be evidenced from Scripture, from Nature, and from the Civil Law of the Romans.

I. From the Holy Scripture.

Honour thy Father and Mother, (which is the first Commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayst live long on Earth, Exod. 20.12. Deut. 5.16. Mat. 15.4. Mar. 7.10. Eph. 6.2. & 3. From whence (Sir) we may make these Remarks:

1. That Reverence to Parents is placed next to the Honour due to God: Nature (saith Plutarch) and the Law, which doth preserve Na­ture, hath given the first place of Reverence and Honour, after God, un­to the Father and Mother: And Men cannot do any Service more ac­ceptable to God Almighty, than graciously and lovingly to pay to their Parents that Begot them, and to them that brought them up, the U­sury of new and old Graces, which they have lent them; as contrari­wise there is no Sign of an Atheist more certain, than for a Man to set light by, and to offend his Parents.

2. That the 5th Commandment only hath a special Promise annex­ed thereunto, to shew, that a more plentiful Blessing in this kind fol­loweth from the Obedience of this Commandment, than of the other that follow: Hence it is called by the Apostle St. Paul, the first Com­mandment with Promise; it being the first in order of the second Table, and the only Commandment of that Table, which hath an ex­press Promise, and the only Commandment of the Ten, that hath a particular Promise.

II. From Nature.

Our Parents are as Gods, [...], Earthly Gods, as Hierocles calls them, Conspicuous and Visible Gods, who do imitate the Invi­sible and Unbegotten God, in giving Life unto others. And therefore Proculus says, that the Father is the Image of God; and Plato calls Parents God's Images or Representatives, to whom we owe our Re­verence, as to the Gods themselves, saith Aristotle; yet not such an [Page 3] Obedience and Reverence as is infinite and unlimited; so that this Duty of Reverence of Children towards Parents, the very Infidels, Ethnicks and Pagans, by the Instinct of Nature, do Instruct them. Add hereunto a farther Illustration of the Awe and Reverence we owe our Parents, taken from Heathen Nations. Amongst the Lacedemo­nians this Custom took place, that the younger sort rose up from their Seats before the Aged: Whereof, when one asked the Cause of Te­leucrus; It is (quoth he) to the end, that in doing this Honour to whom it belongeth not, they should learn to yield greater Honour to their Parents.

The Arrogancy and Irreverence of a Child was the Cause, that one of the Ephori published the Law of Testaments, whereby it was permited to every one from that time forward, to appoint whom he would his Heir. This Law served well to make Children to pay the Duty of Obedience and Reverence to their Parents, and to cause them to be afraid of displeasing them. To be brief, you will find among the Romans, that the Child was not admitted to plead his Father's Will after his Death, by way of Action, but only by way of Request, using very Humble, Honourable and Reverent Speech of his Dead Father, and leaving the whole Matter to the Discretion and Religion of the Judges. But here may be started this Question; Whether in sitting or otherwise, the first Place and Prerogative of Honour, be due to the Father, a Private Man, or to the Son, that is a Magistrate?

The Solution of this Question propounded, we find given in Aulus Gellius, Lib. 2. Cap. 2. viz. In publicis locis, atque Muneribus, atque Actionibus patrum jura cum filiorum, qui in Magistratu Sunt, Potestatibus Collata inter quiescere paululum, & connivere: Sed cum extra Rempub­licam in Domesticâre, atque Vita Sedeatur, Ambuletur in Convivio quo­que familiari Discumbatur; tum inter filium Magistratum, & Patrem privatum, publicas Honores Cessare: Naturales atque genuinos exoriri.

Buda in his Annotations upon the Pandects, hath observed many good Things belonging to the Roman Judgments, which curious Spi­rits may look into: Among the rest, of the great Respect and Honour that was given to Magistrates. Concerning which Matter, we may use as a good Testimony, that which we read in Plutarch, of Fabius Maxi­mus his Son, when he was Censor, who seeing a far off, that his Fa­ther came towards him on Horseback, and that his Sergeants, in re­gard of Fatherly Reverence, had not caused him to alight, did him­self Command his Father to set Foot on Ground, which Command the Old Man, the Father, cheerfully and willingly obeyed, saying, Do­mestick Power must give place to Publick-Authority.

III. From the Civil Law of the Romans.

How unworthy soever Parents be in respect of their Personal De­fects; yet such as God and Nature have placed under their Authori­ty, [Page 4] are to count them worthy not only of Honour, but also of all Honour. Children being not herein so much to look unto their Persons as unto the Ordinance of God, who hath placed them over their Children; and wisely to consider, that in respect of that Dignity and Power re­ceived from above, not of their Personal Virtues, all this Honour and Reverence is due unto them; Licet Legum Contemptor & Impius Sit, tamen Pater est: Altho' he be a Contemner of the Laws, and a Wicked Man, yet is he a Father notwithstanding, saith the Emperor Justinian, Novel. 12. Cap. 2. And Persona Patris, saith the Lawyer Ʋlpian, Filio semper Honesta & Sancta videri debet: The Person of the Father ought always to be accounted Honourable and Sacred to the Child, D. 37. 15, 9. Add hereunto these Texts of the Roman Laws, C. 2. 42, 2. D. 22. 3, 8. N. 155. Cap. 1. D. 37. 15, 1. D. 27. 10, 4. D. 2. 4, 6. C. 8. 47, 3. which prove, that the Duty of Piety and Reverence towards Parents, is an Obligation never to be Cancelled; and therefore let the Man be what he will, the name of a Father to his Child is Ve­nerable and Awful.

2. The second Duty is that of Love, which Children owe to their Pa­rents, as their Parents do also to them, the want of which natural Affection, is reckoned among the most odious Vices, Rom. 1.31. They are to bear their Parents a real Kindness, such as may make them heartily desirous of all manner of Good to them, and abhor to do any thing that may grieve or disquiet them.

And seeing Children must labour to please their Parents in all things, it is certain, that no Action, Gift or Disposition in them is more ac­ceptable, or contenteth Parents better, than to see good Will, and an assured and certain Friendship among themselves.

It is reported, that Apollonida, Mother to King Eumenes, and to three other of his Brethren, accounted her self Happy, as she said, and gave great Thanks to God, not for her Riches or Principality, but be­cause she saw her three Younger Sons, as it were a Guard to their El­der Brother, who lived freely and most safely in the Midst of them, with their Swords by their Sides and their Javelins in their Hands. Contrariwise, when King Xerxes perceived, that his Son Ochus lay in wait for his Brethren, to put them to Death, he Died for Dis­pleasure thereof. Therefore Euripides said, that Wars between Bre­thren are grievous, but most of all to their Parents; because he that hateth his Brother, and cannot abide to look upon him, must needs also be offended with him that Begat him, and her that Bare him.

Sir, I shall conclude this Duty of Children towards their Parents, by putting this Case, viz.

If my Father and my Son happen to be in such a danger of Life, as one only can be preserved and freed from it, what can Prudence perswade me to do?

To which Question the Moralist offers to return this Resolution for me; that I ought rather to Succor my Father than my Son. 1. Propter Sunguinem. 1. Propter Reverentiam & Gratitudinem Patri Debitam. 3. Propter Disparem Restitutionis Rationem Pater semel A­missus Restitui non Potest: Filius Amissus Restitui quandoque Potest per Successionem alterius filii. Fredericus Windelinus, Lib. 1. de Recta vita, Cap. 5. Quaest 12.

And now you shall hear what the French-man Charron says, in an­swer to the same Querie: The Duty of Children towards their Parents (quoth he) is so certain, so due and requisite, that it may not be dispensed withal by any other Duty or Love whatsoever, be it never so great. For if it shall happen, that a Man see his Father and his Son so endangered at one and the same instant, as that he cannot Rescue and Succor them both, he must forsake his Son and go to his Father, tho' his Love to­wards his Son be greater. And the Reason is, because the Duty of a Son towards his Father is more antient, and hath the greater Privi­ledge, and cannot be Abrogated by any latter Duty.

3. The third Duty that Children do owe to their Parents, is that of Obedience; which is not only contained in the Fifth Commandment, but expressly enjoined in other places of Scripture, as Ephes. 6.1. Children, obey your Parents in the Lord, for this is right; and again Co­los. 3.20. Children, obey your Parents in all things, for this is well plea­sing to the Lord; which Obedience must be yielded even to the rough­est and hardest Commands of a Father, according to that most remar­kable Example of the Rechabites, who to obey the Command of their Father, never drank Wine in all their Lives.

But it may be here Queried, Whether Children are obliged to yield Obedience to all the Commands that shall be given by their Parents?

It is Answered, that Children owe their Parents an Obedience in all things, unless where their Commands are contrary to the Laws of God and of Nature, and to the Municipal Laws of their Country; for in these Cases the Duty to God and Nature, and to the Laws of the State, must be preserved; and therefore if any Parents should be so [...]ked, as to require Obedience to such kind of Commands, Children then offend not against their Duty, tho' they disobey those Com­mands; which Solution of the Querie, shall be fortified by these se­veral Authorities following:

It was the Advice of St. Paul, Children obey your Parents in the Lord; upon which words St. Hierome thus glosseth; For Children not to obey their Parents, is a Sin; but because Parents may haply Command that which is unlawfull; therefore he adds in the Lord. And St. Chrysostom expounds them, Children obey your Parents in the Lord, that is, in all things, wherein you shall not disobey God. Musonius expresseth himself [Page 6] thus; If a Son shall refuse to yield Obedience unto a Father in such Commands as are impious and ungodly, he shall not be accounted as disobedient, injurious or wiced. Aulus Gellius approves not of this Opinion, That a Father is in all things to be obeyed. For (says he) what if he command his Son to betray his Country, to kill his own Mother, &c. therefore the middle way is best and safest: In some things we must, in other some we must not obey. So Seneca the Father, All Commands oblige us not unto Obedience. So Quintillian, There is no necessity that Children should execute all their Parents Commands; for there may be many things, which tho' commanded, may not lawfully be done; as if a Father command his Son to give his Suffrage, or to pass a Sentence contrary to his Judgment, or to bear Witness to that whereof he is ignorant. If my Father command me to burn the Capitol, to possess my self of such a Fort or Castle; I may lawfully answer, These things I must not do. I will conclude this point of Duty with that Story of A­gesilaus, who may be unto Children a good School-master therein; for being requested by his Father to give Sentence against Right, he was not ashamed to deny him graciously with this Answer. You have taught me (O Father) from my youth to obey the Laws, and therefore I will now also obey you herein, by judging nothing against the Laws.

4. The fourth Duty of Children towards their Parents, is that of Succouring them in all their Wants and Necessities of what kind soe­ver; whether Weakness and Sickness of Body, Decayedness of Un­derstanding or Poverty, and Lowness in Estate, as appears, 1 Tim 5.4. Matt. 15.4, 5.6. Mark 7.12. Author of the Whole Duty of Man, Part 14. Sect. 16. p. 291, 292. Archbishop Ʋsher in his Body of Di­vinity, p. 262. Edit. 1648. Amesius in his Cases of Conscence, Lib. 5. Cap. 22. Question 3d. and Doctor Hammond in his Paraphrase and Annotations on 1 Tim. c. 5. v. 4. & 8. Having cited both Scripture and some Divines for the enforcing of this Duty of assisting and mi­nistring to Parents in all their Needs and Necessities, we will see what the Civill and Canon Laws dictate for the nourishing them in their old Age, their Impotency and Want.

By the Civil Law of the Romans, Children are obliged unto their Parents to provide for their Sustenance, so far forth as the Ability of Children will reach unto; for 'tis very unnatural, that the Parents should want, so long as the Children have means to relieve them. In which case, if the Children refuse to yield Comfort unto their Pa­rents, the Judge may interpose his Authority, and enjoyn them to maintain their Parents according to their Ability, and as to his Dis­cretion shall seem meet; which if Children should deny to yield un­to, the Judge may, by Distress of their Goods taken, and sold to the value thereof, compel them to perform his Order; and yet that [Page 7] only in such case of Maintenance, and not to discharge Debts, where­in their Parents stand bound unto their Creditors, D. 25. 3. 5. c. 8. 47. 5. c. 5. 25. 1, & 2. c. 6. 61. 8. 5. D. 27. 3. 1. 4. Ridleys View of the Civil and Ecclesiastical Law, Part 4. c. 2. Sect. 1. p. 376. Edit. 1675.

As for the Canon Law, we find therein a Case of one Hubaldus, who had sworn that he would not Administer to the Wants of his Mo­ther and his Brethren, and it was thus; St. Augustine being consulted with about this Hubaldus, who (to save his own Life, being threat­ned) had bound himself by Oath to marry his own Concubine, and to thrust his own Mother and Brethren out of doors, and never to re­lieve them, gives this Resolution of the Case. That as to his Mar­riage with his Concubine, whom he had long enjoyed, his Oath was bind­ing, for that was no sin: But as to his not relieving his Mother and Bre­thren, it could not bind him; for qui non alit, necat; to deny them Ne­cessaries, was no better than to kill them; and no Oath can oblige to a sin so unnatural. Gratian causa, 22. Quest. 4. c. 22.

From the Civil and Canon Laws I come (Sir,) to tender you some excellent Examples to be found among the very Heathens, of the great Love and natural Affections of Children towards their Parents, that were under very hard Circumstances; and I will begin with that of Antigonus, the second Son of Demetrius, which is worthy to be no­ted. For when his Father, being Prisoner, sent him word by one of his Acquaintance to give no Credit, nor to make Account of any Let­ters from him, if it so fell out that Seleucus whose Prisoner he was, would compel him thereunto, and therefore that he should not deliver up any of those Towns which he held: Antigonus contrariwise wrote to Seleucus, that he would yield up all the Lands he had under his O­bedience, if he would deliver his Father.

We have another notable Example of Filial Love and Piety in Ci­mon the Son of Great Miltiades, whose Father dying in Prison, as some say for Debt, and not having wherewithal to bury his Body, much [...]ss to redeem it, being Arrested for the Debt, whilst it was carried to the Burial, according to the Laws of that Country, this Cimon sold himself and his Liberty for Money to provide for his Funeral: He with his Plenty and Goods relieved not his Father, but with his Li­berty, which is dearer than all Goods; yea, and Life too. He help­eth not his Father living and in Necessity, but dead, and being no more a Father nor a Man. What had he done to succour his Father living, wanting, and requiring his Help?

We have a third rare Example of daughter-like Piety; which was, that a Daughter gave Suck to her Father, who was condemned to die of that antient and usual punishment of Famine, which never suffer­eth a found Man to pass the seventh day. The Jaylor spying this Act [Page 8] of Piety, gave notice thereof to the Magistrates, which being known to the People, the Daughter obtained pardon for her Fathers Life.

5. The fifth Duty of Children is that of not attempting or enterprising a­ny Thing of Importance, without the Advice, Consent and Approbation of their Parents, and especially in Marriage: For in the case of Mar­riages, the Holy Scriptures tell us plainly, That Children ought not so much as to attempt to bestow themselves in Marriage, without their Parents Direction and Consent, especially Daughters, Gen. 24.1, 2. & 21.21. & 27.46. & 28.1, 2.9. Judges 14.2. 1 Cor. 7. v. 36, 37, 38. Deut. 7.3. Jer. 29.6. Gen. 29.19. By which Texts it is evidenced, that the Father must be the efficient Cause of the Marri­age of his Children; That the beginning and ground of Matrimo­nial Contract is from the Consent of the Parent, and the reason to perswade Children to this Duty is ready at hand; for seeing their Parents have taken such Pains and Travel in bringing them up, they should reap some Fruits of their Labours in bestowing of them. Be­sides, they should give them this Honour to esteem them better able, and more wise to provide for their comfortable Marriage, than them­selves are. From Sacred Story, let's try what the Law of Nature, and the Roman Laws do pronounce, touching the Consent of Parents in the Matrimonial Contracts of their Children. As to the Law of Nature, this Question is started by Grotius, Whether the Consent of Parents be by the Law of Nature requisite to a perfect Marriage? Which, tho' some affirm, yet he is of Opinion, that by the sole Law of Nature, the want of the Consent of Parents nulls not a Marriage; for (says he) those that hold the Affirmative are mistaken, for that all their Arguments can enforce no more than this, That it is agreeable to the Duty they owe to their Parents, to crave their Consents; which he easily grants them, provided that the Will of their Parents be not manifestly unjust. For if Children be to reverence their Parents in all things, surely they ought to do it most especially in such things, wherein the whole Nation is concerned, as in Marriages. And yet it cannot hence be inferred, that a Son hath not a moral Right to dis­pose of himself, if they consent not. For he that Marries, ought to be of mature Age and Judgment, and he is to forsake his Fathers House, so that he is herein exempted from his Fathers domestick Discipline; and becomes from thence [...], Master of himself. And altho' the Duty of Love and Reverence do oblige him to ask the good Will of his Parents, yet doth not the Breach of that Duty null the Act of his Marriage. That other Nations did make void such Marriages was not from the Law of Nature, but from the Will of their Law-makers. Grotius of the Rights of War and Peace, Lib. 2. c. 5. Sect. 10.

As for the Civil Law of the Romans, it is thereby provided out of the principles of the Law of Nature, that the Marriage of Daughters without the Consent of Parents should not be ratified, and the Pri­mitive Church, both by Doctrine and Practise, did in this part ap­prove of those Laws. For the Punishment appointed for such Mar­riages was, that neither Husband or Wife, nor Marriage nor Dowry, should be acknowledged; and that the Children which should be born, should be esteemed as Bastards, Instit. 1. 10. 12. D. 23. 2. 2. D. 23. 3. 68. Amesius in his Cases of Conscence, Lib. 5. c. 35. in fine.

By Texts of the same Law it further appears, that the Consent not only of the Parties themselves, but of their Parents is necessary, if the Contractors were sub potestate Parentum, the like Reason seemeth to be for Consent of Tutors, Instit. 1. 10. in princ. D. 23. 2. 2. 35. D. 23. 2. 18. c. 5. 4. 18. D. 23. 2. 34. But it is now (saith an Author) received for a general Opinion, that the good Will of Pa­rents is required, in regard of Honesty, not of Necessity, according to the Canons, which exact necessarily none other Consent, but only the Partys themselves, whose Conjunction is in hand. The Womans Lawyer, Lib. 2. Sect. 3. p. 53. Edit. 1632.

6. The sixth and last Duty that Children do owe to their Parents, is that of enduring mildly and gently the Vices, Imperfections and testy and impatient Humours of Parents, their Severity and Rigour; and therefore now no Unkindness, no fault of the Parent can acquit the Child of this Duty: But as St. Peter tells Servants, that they must be subject not only to the good and gentle Masters, but also to the froward; so certainly it belongs to Children to perform Duty not only to the kind and virtuous, but even to the harshest and wickedst Parents. If a Father promise any thing to his Children, they have a full Right to his Performance; but in case he prove dishonest, he doth not thereby lose his Right to govern them, nor can they be ex­cused from their Duty of Reverence, Honour, Love and Obedience towards him. To be short, If indeed Parents have Infirmities, if guilty of Errors and Misdemeanours, it must be the Childrens busi­ness to cover and conceal them, like Sh [...]m and Japhet, who while cursed Cham published and disclosed the Nakedness of their Father, covered it. The very Heathens may be our School-masters in this matter of hiding and patiently bearing with the Infirmities and Severities of Parents.

Ames parentem si aequus, si non feras; Thy Parents love if good; if bad, yet bear. Terentius Hecyra; nam matris ferre injurias me, pietas jubet; to bear with Parents, Piety commands.

That of Cicero in his Oration for Cluentius is remarkable: Non modo reticere homines parentum injurias, sed etiam aequo animo ferr [...] [Page 10] oportet; Men ought not only to conceal the Injuries of their Parents, but to bear them with Patience.

A Young Man of Eretria, that had been long Educated under Zeno, being demanded, What he had Learned? answered, Meekly to bear his Father's Wrath. Add to this, that hath been said of the Duty of mildly enduring the Severity and Rigor of Parents, the famous Story of Manlius, and 'tis this; The Tribune Pomponius having Accused the Father of this Manlius, in the presence of the People, of many Crimes, and amongst others, that he over-cruelly handled his Son, enforcing him to Till the Earth: The Son goeth to the Tribune, and finding him in his Bed, puting the point of his Dagger to his Throat, enforced him to Swear, that he would desist from his Pursuit he made against his Father, desiring rather to endure his Father's Rigor, than to see him Troubled for it.

All these fore-mentioned Duties ought to be performed by Chil­dren, who indeed will find no difficulty in them, if they do but seri­ously consider, how Chargeable they have been to their Parents, and with what Care and Affection they have been brought up. But they shall never attain to the right Knowledge thereof, until they enjoy Children of their own, as he that was found to bestride a Hobby-Horse, playing with his Children, desiring him who so took him in the Act, to be silent, until he were himself a Father, accounting him till that time no indifferent Judge in this Action.

Thus (Worthy Sir) having freely laid before you the true Extent and Latitude of that Natural and Religious Piety, which Children owe to their Parents, I am now to beseech you to wink at what is written amiss in this long Letter, and what is not so to afford it a kind Entertain­ment, as coming from him, who is Cordially,

Your most Affectionate Humble Servant, J. B.

Postscript.

SIR,

SInce you have been so kind as to send me some of your City Pamphlets, particularly that written in defence of Primogeniture, I will make you some kind of Requital, by presenting to your view, the Causes (and none other besides) which the most Famous and Re­nowned Emperor Justinian has been pleased to Ordain, as Proofs sufficient for the Convicting Children of Ingratitude, and consequently Obnoxious to the Penalty of Exheredation. Now if the Person lately Disinherited, be Guilty of any one of those Causes, he well deserves the Punishment he has met withal: But if not Guilty of any one of them, I must e'en concur with the Author B. J. in Condemning that Ʋsage the Son has had from the Father, as Impious, Cruel and Ʋnnatural.

The Just Causes then of Disinheriting Children, specified by the said Novella Constit. C. 3. Quae Sunt Ju­stae Exheredationis Liberorum Causae. Justinian, are in number Fourteen, and they are these which follow, and thus Englished:

  • 1. If any Son has laid violent Hands on his Father.
  • 2. If a Son has offered to his Father and his Family some Lewd and Dis­honest Injury, as by Marrying himself to a Common Whore or Strumpet.
  • 3. If a Son shall Accuse his Father in such Criminal Matters as do not immediately touch the Prince and the weal Publick.
  • 4. If a Son constantly Converseth with such Fellows as are guilty of Ill, Lewd and Mischievous Practises.
  • 5. If a Son makes an attempt to destroy his Father's Life, either by Poi­son, or any other ways.
  • 6. If a Son has Carnally known his Step-mother, or his Father's Con­cubine.
  • 7. If a Son be a Calumniator, or one that Forges an Accusation against his own Father; whereby he has sustained great Trouble, Damage and Expence.
  • 8. If a Father has the Misfortune to be clapt up in Prison, and his Son is requested by him to Release him out of Jayl, and the Son refuses to do it.
  • 6. If a Son be Convicted of hindering his Father from making a Will; and if afterwards the Father has an opportunity to make one, he is Im­powered to Disinherit such a Son by his last Will and Testament.
  • [Page 11]10. If a Son, contrary to the Will and Pleasure of his own Father, pre­sumes to turn an Actor upon the Stage, or become a Mimick, and in this way of Living shall persist.
  • 11. If a Father is minded to give his Daughter in Marriage to some par­ticular Man, and to that [...]nd proffers with her a Portion according to the strength of his Estate, and the Daughter refuses to consent to such Marriage, but rather chooseth to lead a Wicked, Lewd, Debauched and Luxurious Life.
  • 12. If a Father chance to be wholly deprived of his Wits, and his Son will take no Care of him, whilst he remains in such a sad Condition; the Father may, if he has the good Fortune to come once again to his Rea­son and Understanding, deprive his Son for such Ingratitude of his In­heritance, by a last Will and Testament.
  • 13. If a Father has the ill Luck to fall into Captivity, and his Son do not speedily Redeem him out of this Calamity; and afterward the Father has the good Fortune to make his own Escape out of Slavery; the Father has it in his Power to write this in a Will, as a just Cause of Ingrati­tude, and thereby Disinherit his Son.
  • 14. If a Father, that is well known to be Orthodox, perceiveth his Son not to be of the Catholick Faith, nor to Communicate in Holy Church, wherein the most Blessed Patriarchs do Preach and Publish with one Con­sent and Agreement the Faith that is most Right and Orthodox; the Father has Power and [...] for this very [...] Brand his Son with a M [...] of [...]ng [...]tit [...]e, as to make him ever unca­pable of Inheriting his Estate.
FINIS.

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Jus Primogeniti: Or, The Dignity, Right, and Priviledge of the First-Born; Inquisited and Defended against the Impious Practise of some Fathers, in Disinheriting their First-Begotten Sons. In a Letter to a Friend in the Country. By B. I. Esq

LONDON, Printed for R. Battersby at Staple-Inn, next the Barrs in Holborn, 1700.

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