Front Page Titles (by Subject) §2. - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§2. - Samuel von Pufendorf, The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented 
The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented, trans. Theophilus Dorrington, ed. with an Introduction by Simone Zurbruchen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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Religion is abused to encrease the Miseries of Mankind.Nevertheless there is an evident Reason, tho’ it be such as does not agree with the common Duties of Mankind to one another, why Men contend for Things which accommodate this present Life; and which being taken from one Man do make some Addition to the Portion of another. But this seems to be altogether without any Reason, that Men should be provok’d to do Mischief to one another by their Disagreement in Opinion only: Forasmuch as nothing is taken from one Man by another Man’s differing in Opinion from him, nor is any thing added to him by the other’s Agreement with him therein; and it were possible enough to reject and refuse a Man’s Errors without any Hatred or Aversation to his Person. But this seems to arise from the unreasonable Pride of Mankind; by virtue of which, when all Men should allow to others their due Esteem, and not prefer themselves before all the World: On the contrary, they take it as their Prerogative, that the Opinion they have embrac’d should be consented to by all Men, and they become enrag’d if any refuse to do this, as thinking their just Authority therein despised; and at the same time ’tis no less manifest that other Men have the same Value and Esteem for their Opinion too. Hence it comes to pass that he who condemns another Man as in an Error, because he differs in Opinion from himself, he not only arrogates to himself an infallible Judgment, but thinks it his Right to punish those who refuse to submit to his Judgment; forasmuch as Aversation and Hatred is not the least of those Punishments which naturally attend and follow the Commission of what is accounted a Fault. And this Disorder of Humane Nature is the more absurd, because it no Way regards the Interest of another Man what Course I propose to my self to steer for the attaining my Salvation; provided that which I am in does not make me omit any of the Duties which I owe to others; and because neither does his Salvation depend on mine, or mine on his. From hence too the Hatred which arises from a Difference in Religion is peculiarly attended with a kind of Envy, it being accounted intolerable and unworthy that God should be any Ways favourable to those who think fit to serve him in a different Manner. And every Aversation and Hatred which arises from Dissention in Religion may be charg’d with this Absurdity, whatever Religion it is concern’d about. But that, which seems the most deplorable of all, is, that even Christian Religion, which teaches Love, Benignity and Mildness, which ought to unite all its Votaries as Brethren; (see Gen. 50:17.) which commands us to love even our Enemies, and pray to God for them, is by the Madness of Mankind brought to this pass, while they force into different Sences its Doctrines and Precepts, that even this, as so divided and torn, becomes the Occasion of many Calamities to the Christian World by the Abuse of idle and ill-minded Men: And tho’ not of its own Nature and Tendency, yet by the ungovern’d Lusts of Men it provokes to a Multitude of very grievous Evils. This no one can be ignorant of, who considers the Hatreds which attend these Dissentions, and the cruel Persecutions and Wars which the Controversies about Religion have caused and given rise to, or else have fomented and maintained. And the Pretence made use of by some to justifie such Things is manifestly weak; who would have it be thought a meritorious Kindness to save Men, even against their Wills, and by any Means to rescue them from a damnable Errour; even as Men beside themselves are constrain’d by Force to take the Medicines which are proper for their Cure. But besides that, ’tis a Matter as yet undetermin’d whether or no they hold the true Opinion, who endeavour by Force to impose what is theirs upon other Men; ’tis also manifest that the Saviour of the World has chose a very different Way of propagating his Religion, as appears by the Sacred Writings, and the Practice of the Apostles. And as he has declar’d his Kingdom is not of this World; that is, it is of another Sort and Nature, than those which are set up among Men; so there is no Order or Rule among the Laws of it to erect, preserve or propagate it by Force and Constraint. And his Disciples were sharply rebuk’d by him, who would have been for calling down Fire from Heaven upon those who refused to entertain our Saviour. (Luke 9:55.) Ye know not (said he) what Spirit ye are of.