Front Page Titles (by Subject) §10 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§10 - 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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The Controversies which concern Emoluments seem to be irreconcileable.But where there are some valued Advantages of this World annexed to the controverted Points of Religion, or where any Principles are invented or fitted to preserve Power, or acquire Wealth, it is not to be imagin’d they can be ended by Disputes or Reasonings: Especially among those whose Interests are peculiarly concern’d; unless some singular Mutation of the State of Things should come to pass, which should by meer Force and Violence put an end to them. No one can be ignorant how obstinately Men will contend to gain, or to preserve, Dominion and Rule, for which they account it glorious to do so, even to the Death. And in Truth, the Belly is a thing that has no Ears, and it were manifestly in vain to go about to pacifie that with Subtil Reasons and Flowers of Eloquence. That rich young Man therefore whom our Saviour order’d to sell all that he had, and give to the Poor, and come and follow him, went away sad, as unwilling to embrace Poverty, that he might become a Disciple of Christ. From whence our Saviour took occasion to pronounce this as a Maxim generally true, that ’tis easier for a Camel to go through the Eye of a Needle, than for a rich Man to enter into the Kingdom of God, Mat. 19:21, 22, 24. But since the Points in Controversie between the Protestants and Papists do chiefly concern the Establishment and Support of the Authority, Power and Revenues, of the Hierarchy or Pontificial Monarchy, it is manifest that it would be utterly in vain, and but ridiculous, to go about the determining of them by Disputation. Indeed, to demonstrate solidly and plainly the Falshood of the Popish Principles may be of use to establish and confirm those of the Protestant Party, and to keep them from returning again to those Errours. And sometimes a particular Person may be dispos’d thereby to renounce the Roman Religion, and join himself to the Protestants. But there is no reason to hope that a Considerable, much less an Universal, Reconcilement can that Way be accomplisht. For the Attempt would be like that of endeavouring in any Kingdom to perswade by Eloquence, and Philosophick Reasonings, those who are in Possession of the Government to lay aside their Authority, and cast away the Wealth which helps to support it, and all the State and Pomp which gives it Reverence and Awe among the Vulgar, and to put themselves into a private Condition, and be contented to associate themselves with the meanest of the People in a Democratical Equality; as in Tacitus it is mention’d as a Jest of Tiberius, when he made a Motion concerning restoring the Commonwealth.5 On the contrary, if such a Debate as this should be set on foot, the Protestants would have nothing else to do, but to throw away the Liberty they have gain’d, and again to put their Necks under the Yoke of the See of Rome. For between him who pretends to a Dominion over others, and them who have withdrawn themselves from Subjection to him, there is no way left of Reconciliation, but either he must renounce his Pretences to a Right of Dominion over them, or they must again come under their former Yoke. For the obtaining of which certainly no sufficient Reasons can ever be found out which can generally prevail, or bring all Men to consent to, and embrace again, those Opinions which have been serviceable to establish and enrich that Sacerdotal Dominion. Tho’ for the gaining some particular Persons there may not be wanting some Arguments from their Profit: As for instance, if a Man has Hopes, by uniting himself to that Party, to come to have a Share in the Advantages of the Hierarchy, or to get some Ecclesiastical Dignities, or Fat Benefices, or to obtain with a Popish Prince such Honours and Offices as a Protestant one has not to bestow; which Arguments however can be of Force but only with the younger Sons of Princes, or those who are thrust out of their Dominions, or with private Persons. For ’tis so much the Interest of Princes, who are in Possession of Dominion and Rule, to retain the Liberty gotten, by withdrawing from a Subjection to the Hierarchy, that those who are not beside themselves can never be so foolish as to throw away a Prerogative of that importance for nothing; nor unless they can hope by such a Change of Religion to gain a Dominion of more Worth and Value than that which they are already possess’d of. As Henry the IV. did so to gain the Kingdom of France,6 and Sigismund King of Sueden reconcil’d himself to the Romish Religion, that he might possess the Kingdom of Poland, together with that of Sueden, tho’ he for this Reason lost his Hereditary Kingdom.7 Humane Reason therefore can conceive no other Way of destroying that Dominion of the Priests, and to take away the Opinions on which it is founded, but that the Princes, and other Soveraign Powers, who have that Hierarchy mixed with their Dominion, to the manifest Prejudice of it, do resolve to shake off that Yoke, and claim the Rights which are withheld from them by it; and that they put an End to those Methods of raising the Revenues of the Hierarchy, by which their State is reduced even to the Condition of Tributary. This being done, that vast Machine which is built upon Props that are utterly repugnant to sound Reason, and true Politicks, would fall of it self; and the huge Beast, when its Nourishment were taken away, would grow lean, and die. For where Princes and Free States are possess’d of a solid Knowledge of the true and genuine Doctrines of Christianity, there is nothing more easie for them, if they will, than to despise the King of that Religion, and withdraw themselves from his Dominion. Which is a thing that the last Age has given illustrious Proofs and Presidents of. See Rev. 17:16, 17. To which Place I cannot forbear to add the Discourse which Ishmael Bullialdus8 held with my Brother Esaias Pufendorf, in the Year 1669, at Paris, at the time when the Pope suppress’d some Orders that the Venetians might make use of their Revenues in the Turkish War.9The Venetians, said he, have raised M. CCM. Crowns from the Revenues of Three Orders of Canons Regulars, who were suppress’d by the Pope. The greatest of which Revenues fell into the Hands of Secular Persons against the Pope’s Will. For the Venetians judg’d it useful to the strengthening of the State that these Revenues should come into Secular Hands; because the Ecclesiasticks, while they possess’d them, contributed nothing towards the Preservation of the Commonwealth. The Council of Milan did better yet than the Venetians; and because their Dukes had in former Times endow’d those Orders, they thought fit, when the Foundations were taken away by the Pope, that the Revenues of them should of right return to the Desmeans of the Duke. This was therefore a thing very imprudently done of the Pope, and gave a very bad Example; for Princes might hereby be induced to attempt the same thing, and to spoil the Church of all its Revenues; which being taken away, Christianity it self would be in the greatest Danger. For as Things now stand, the Temporalities of the Pope cannot be taken away, but the Spiritualities will fall too; for as much as it has pleased the Bishops to join an Earthly Government to a Spiritual Jurisdiction, which whether it were well done or not, he would not dispute. But however, he believ’d that all the Authority of the Pope at this time does depend upon the Temporal Power; of which he can be no sooner depriv’d, but he will be the Contempt of every Prince, and Kings themselves within their own Dominions will exercise the Offices of the Pope. Thus did he then discourse; and if we would express the whole State of the Case, in a Word, it must be said of the Popish Clergy, that their Belly is their God, Phil. 3:19. But that the Belly wants Ears is a known Proverb, and for that Reason ’tis very superfluous and vain to use Arguments against it.
[5.]The reign of Tiberius is described in P. Cornelius Tacitus, The Annals, book 1.
[6.]Henry IV (1553–1610), King of France and Navarre, was the leader of the Huguenots during the religious wars of the sixteenth century. To establish himself on the French throne, Henry renounced his Calvinism for Catholicism in 1593, saying, according to legend, “Paris vaut bien une messe.” In 1598 he issued the Edict of Nantes, granting toleration to the Huguenots. In 1685 Louis XIV revoked the edict.
[7.]See note 2.
[8.]Ismael Boulliau (1605–94).
[9.]In 1668 Pope Clement IX issued a bull by which he suppressed the fourteenth-century orders of the Jesuats and of the Hieronymites and placed their possessions at the disposal of the Holy See. It is most likely that the pope wished to use the financial means in support of Venice. Venice was at war (1645–99) with the Turks for Candia, on the island of Crete, which had been in the possession of Venice for centuries. Pufendorf provided a new edition of the bull, which he published together with his commentary. He used the bull to legitimize Protestant demands to secularize possessions of the Church. For more details, see the introduction to Pufendorf’s commentary on the bull in Samuel von Pufendorf, Kleine Vorträge und Schriften. Texte zu Geschichte, Pädagogik, Philosophie, Kirche und Völkerrecht, ed. Detlef Döring (Frankfurt/Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1995), 218–33.