Front Page Titles (by Subject) §11 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§11 - 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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Of solid and superficial Religion.There is moreover another thing to be observ’d concerning the Diversities of Religion: Which is, that many of them are satisfied with the discharging of several External Rites and Performances, which may be done without any inward Amendment and Sanctity of Mind; but this nevertheless is that which God chiefly requires in the true Worship of him. And that we may judge to have come to pass by this Means. They to whom God has reveal’d the true Religion, suffering themselves to be overcome with Sloth and Lukewarmness, have come to think it a Task too hard for them to refrain their Lusts, and conquer their Vices, and so at length have fallen to acquiesce in External Rites, and to devise such a Religion as would give them Leave to indulge their wicked Inclinations, and to think themselves at the same time in Favour with God. And all those who have invented a Religion for themselves, have agreed in this to reduce all Religion almost to some External Actions and Performances, and such as may be most exactly done by the most wicked Men. As it is indeed an impossible thing that Humane Wit, without Divine Revelation, should frame a Religion that would purifie the Mind. We may therefore in general divide Religion into that which is Solid, and that which is Superficial or Theatrical. Certainly if all the invented Religions, both Ancient and Modern, be examin’d, it would appear they may be referr’d to the Superficial sort, which for the most part are comprehended in certain Rites: And if there be some Sprinklings of Morality join’d with them, they are not enough to purge the Mind of Man from its inward Wickedness. But he who peruses the Sacred Writings shall easily see that ’tis the perpetual Endeavour and Design of the Divine Spirit to root out of the Minds of Men that Opinion, that any External Actions whatsoever are a sufficient Worship of God, unless there be join’d with them an inward Purity of Mind. And altho’ the Divine Wisdome thought fit to bind the Israelitish Nation to a laborious Yoke of Ceremonies, and especially to possess their Minds by their Sacrifices with the future expiation of the World to be perform’d by the Messiah: Yet when they stopp’d at the meer External Rites of Religion, and growing forgetful of the Messiah, thought to expiate their Guilt by their Sacrifices, and that the lives of them should serve instead of, and excuse their own, and so had turn’d the whole Levitical Worship into a Form of superficial Religion; God frequently reprov’d this Errour by his Prophets and let them know, that they must not think the Observance of any External Rites would satisfie for the Neglects of the Moral Law. See 1 Sam. 15:22. Psal. 50:8, &c. Isa. 1:11. &c. 9:13. Jer. 6:20. Amos. 5:21, &c. Micah 6:6, 7, 8. and many other Places. So also our Saviour had the greatest Contention with the Jews of his time upon this Ground; who had turn’d the Religion deliver’d to them from God almost into a meer superficial one. See Mat. 5:20, &c. 6:1, 18. 15:1, 20. 23:3, 28. Mark 7:1, 23. Luke 11:38, 47. 14:23. 17:20, 21. From this superficial Religion the Papists have deriv’d and borrow’d many Things: Who have dress’d up the Simplicity of Genuine Christian Religion with an infinite Multitude of Ceremonies, which engage the Senses, but have no Efficacy towards purifying of the Heart. It shall suffice, for instance, to mention only the vain Repetitions of Prayers, which for the most part are not understood, and come only from the Lips; a thing expressly forbidden by our Saviour, Mat. 6:7. Which Prayers it is their manner to number by the Beads of their Rosary. For which Purpose, as a late French Writer says,10 the Women of Quality in Spain carry Rosaries, or their String of Beads, reaching almost to the Ground, by which they recite their Prayers without end, as they walk in the Streets, as they play at Cards, as they are in Discourse with others, even while they are carrying on their Amours, are telling any manner of Lies, and are traducing their Neighbours. In whatever Companies they are, you shall observe them continually muttering something with the dropping of their Beads. To the same Rank we may place all the Intercessions, and the Merits of those alive or dead (the Merits of our Saviour only excepted) which are said to be applied to others for the Expiation of their Sins. And also that by a Confession of Sins made to a Priest, and the Penance enjoin’d by him, this Remission may be obtain’d. For ’tis thought a light Matter with a great many, that by the Shame of Confession, and the Burden of a Satisfaction impos’d by the Priest, they can atone for the Liberty of sinning as they desire. And the whole Matter of Indulgences belongs to this superficial Religion, by vertue of which sometimes very easie and light Works can obtain the Remission of Sins for many Ages. Especially is that horrid Abuse of numerous Masses to be reckon’d a principal Instrument of a superficial Religion, which has proceeded so far, that if a Man has thro’ his whole Life wallowed in all manner of Wickedness, yet he may after his Death be purg’d of all, and gain the Eternal Happiness, which is the Reward of good living, by vertue of Masses said for his Soul. This is indeed the Golden Harvest of the Priests. Concerning these I cannot forbear to add what a late French Writer relates in his Itinerary in Spain. A certain Person (says he ) of great Birth, but of a shatter’d Fortune, would not omit, upon the Approach of his Death, notwithstanding the Disadvantages of his Estate, to order that there should be 15000 Masses said for his Soul. And this his last Will was so punctually executed, that till the Money requisite for so many Masses was rais’d, none of his Creditors could be paid any of the Debts he ow’d them, tho’ they were never so fairly prov’d. Whence ’tis, as a Proverb said of such in Spain, That he or she have made their Soul their Heir; which is said of them who leave their Estate to the Church to be pray’d for when they are dead. The Will of Philip IV. King of Spain, is very remarkable, by which he order’d that 100000 Masses should be said on his Account; but so, that if so many should not be necessary to himself, then they should redound to the Advantage of his Father and Mother; but if they were in Heaven already, they should be applied to the Souls of those who should die in the Spanish Wars. I must add further, the vile marketing of these Masses, which was practised by a certain Man at Vienna, at the Time when the Nobility of Hungary were put to Death for their Rebellion against the Emperor Leopold;11 their Estates being sold, it was as a Specimen of Clemency granted, that out of what they yielded, a sufficient Sum should be given for the Purchase of many Thousand Masses for their Souls; but because a single Mass at Vienna is wont to cost almost Half a Crown, the Man whom I have mention’d, whose Name was Triangle, dealt with those who had the Execution of this Order committed to them, that they should resign the Care of providing these Masses to him, which he would procure to be said in Italy, where for the Eighth Part of a Crown a Mass may be purchas’d; for the Efficacy of them would be the force in what Part of the Earth soever they should be said. So the Executors themselves made some Gain of the Bargain; but the greatest Advantage remain’d to him that form’d the Affair, who got an Hundred Thousand Crowns to his Share, and so is said to have obtain’d the Title of a Baron; so I suppose for his great Merits of the Commonwealth, and because he has given great Light to that Text, Rev. 18:15. and has shewn us who may be understood by them who make Merchandize of the Souls of Men. We know well enough that they pretend to teach, that who so would be benefited by a Mass said for him, he must depart this Life in Grace and Penance. But that Doctrine is restrain’d by so many Limitations and Exceptions, that there is hardly any thing requir’d to that Penance but one or other small Ceremony, which conduces nothing to the Cleansing and Reformation of the Mind. But all these Things, and many more to the same Purpose, will abundantly appear to any one that considers with a little Care the whole Frame of the Romish Religion.
[10.]Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Berneville, comtesse d’Aulnoy (c. 1650–1705), French author of historical fiction. The reference here is presumably to Mémoires de la cour d’Espagne (1690) or Relation du voyage en Espagne (1690).
[11.]Under Leopold I (1640–1705; emperor from 1658, a fierce anti-Protestant) the German empire had prolonged wars with the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the east and King Louis XIV’s France in the west. A revolt in Hungary against Hapsburg rule was supported by the Ottomans, who besieged Vienna in 1683 but were thrown back by Leopold.