Front Page Titles (by Subject) §15 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§15 - 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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Some differ only upon a few Articles.But there are others again whose Doctrine does not seem to differ in the whole Frame or System of it, but who agree in a great Part of the Articles of Religion, and there remain only some Questions or Differences about a few particular Articles. And this I think is what all Parties do acknowledge, that every erroneous Opinion is not damnable, but only such as overturn the Foundation of a saving Faith. For after that there was a departure from the simplicity of the Christian Faith, it became the Affection of many to turn the Mysteries of it, which ought to be ador’d with a most profound Adoration, into Matter of exercise for their Wit and Subtilty, and to enquire nicely into the manner in which the Divine Wisdom and Power was pleas’d to exert it self. And then whatever accounts of these great Things they thought most agreeing to their Wit and Reason, these they would needs impose upon others as principal Points of Faith, and would condemn as Heterodox all that dissented from them. Therefore since the Theological Discipline has encreas’d to so vast a Bulk; and is come to abound with such a Multitude of needless Questions debated in it, ’tis now become the grand Question of all, what Questions concern the Foundation of Faith? And what do not? For this before all Things ought to be determin’d, if one would endeavour to any purpose to reconcile the disagreeing Parties. For as it is vain to attempt the making an Ecclesiastical Peace with those who err in the Foundation, so long as they will obstinately defend that Errour: So if any have their Opinion right concerning the Foundation, and their dissent reaches only to some innocent Questions, it is repugnant to that Charity so much recommended to Christians, to exclude them for this Cause from Communion and Brotherhood. This also is what every sober Person will readily acknowledge: That ambiguous and obscure Forms, and such as leave room for secret Exceptions, and particular Explications, are of no Advantage towards a Concord. But to restore Peace, we must deal candidly and sincerely with one another, our Opinions must be expounded clearly, and without any thing that is ensnaring: And if we do use all of us the same Forms of Speaking, we must all design to use them in the same Sence. And because the greatest Difficulty that is to be determin’d lyes in this, whether a controverted Question belongs to the Fundamentals of Faith or not, because some extend the Fundamentals further, and some bring them within straiter Bounds, nor do all in the same manner deduce them; I judge it would avail very much towards the abolishing the Controversies, if some Person would take those Principles about which there is an Agreement on both Sides, and endeavour to compose of them a full and compleat System of Theology, which should not be any ways maim’d or incoherent, but should hold together, in a well connected Series of those Principles, from End to End. For I cannot see any thing to hinder, but that they whose Principles may all be reduced into the same Frame or System of Divinity, might also themselves Unite into one particular Church, provided they would but put off those evil Dispositions which are unworthy of the Christian Profession. And if some controverted Questions remain among them, since however they may be left out of that Method, they are to be reckon’d not reaching the Foundation of the Faith, and therefore they should not be sufficient to break Communion and Concord, or to maintain the breach of it. And if those Questions can no ways be compos’d, it were better to leave them, and to banish them altogether from Divinity, as superfluous and unprofitable, and as moreover Mischievous, and yielding Occasion of Strife and Contention. But that which we are now speaking of is a just System, or Body of Divinity, and such as shall contain all that it is requisite a compleat Christian should know, and which therefore should include all the Articles which would make up the whole due Chain of the Faith. For it is another thing to enquire what Articles may suffice for Salvation to a Catechumen, or a Child, or one of the most untaught vulgar, since such as they may innocently enough be ignorant of many Things, provided they put their Trust in the Saviour of the World, and do hold no positive Errour which is a Contradiction to such Trust. So the Thief on the Cross, and many plain Persons, and formerly those who profess’d themselves Christians, at the sight of the constancy of the Martyrs, and were immediately with them dragg’d to Execution, we must believe obtain’d their Salvation, tho’ no Man can think they understood the whole Oeconomy of the Faith or Method of Salvation. Whence we also believe that many may be sav’d, even from amidst the corruptest Sects of the Christians, who do not understand the Depths of Satan; meaning too those of them that are deceiv’d, not the Deceivers: If they have but a simple Faith and Trust in the Saviour of the World, which is the principal Head of Religion. But many more Things are requisite to a full System—which must contain a compleat Body of Christian Doctrine.