Alexander Ross: In what sense are men equal and unequal?

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Though all men be equal by nature, in regard of the essential perfection of the soul, yet, in respect of accidental perfections, we find the contrary; for some are by nature blind, some deaf, some dumb, some lame and deformed, some dull, foolish and stupid. I would know then, whether a fool whose body is strong & judgment weak be naturally apter to command, or to serve? And whether he who is of a weak body, and of a strong judgment, is not fitted by nature rather to command then to serve? …

Doubtless, in the state of innocency, there should have been naturally a subordination and subjection, as of children to their parents, of wives to their husbands, and of inferiors to their superiors; for there should have been no more equality then among men, on earth than there was, and is in heaven among Angels, and in hell among Devils; yea, there is naturally subjection among beasts, rex unus apibus, dux unus gregibus. To say then that there is no inequality by nature, is to say, that there is no order in nature which cannot be without subordination; surely, in the state of corrupted nature, to say that all are equal, is to say, that none have sinned, for sin brought in servitude and subjection, so that the effect is no less natural then the cause. ...

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