Front Page Titles (by Subject) §25 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§25 - 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 the Forbidden Tree.But that a great and singular Sacrament, and something more august than is commonly believ’d, was contain’d in the Prohibition of eating the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, may certainly be gather’d from the Severity and Importance of the Sanction annex’d to that Prohibition; which does not seem to have been establish’d for a meer Abstinence from so small a thing as an Apple. For in that Abstinence was plac’d the grand Condition of the Covenant, which being violated, the whole Covenant was broken, just as it is among Men in Feudal Covenants: The Right to the Benefit is perhaps made to depend upon a certain Point of Time, or some other Condition which is in it self of small Moment; which however, if it be neglected, that Right is forfeited, and the thing held by that Tenure falls to him to whom it is committed. Therefore the Sin of Adam is not to be measur’d after the manner of Crimes committed simply against the Precepts of a Law, where some Proportion is wont to be observ’d between the Matter of the Crime, and the Severity of the Punishment; for such Proportion is not wont to be observ’d in Feudal Covenants. Certainly if we did more distinctly understand the Nature of the first Covenant, and of the Religion built upon it, no one would have any Scruple in his Mind concerning the unjust Proportion between the Matter of the Prohibition, and the Punishment that was to follow the Neglect of it. But tho’ by Man’s Violation of that Covenant it was thus far broken, that he forfeited all those Benefits which otherwise he might have expected from it, and fell under the Evils and Inconveniences which are contrary to them; yet was not Man discharg’d from all Obligation to Almighty God, but still he remain’d bound to observe exactly the natural Law of God; forasmuch as the Obligation of this Law follow’d from the natural Condition of Man, and from the Right of Dominion over him, which God had by creating him. Which Obligation, tho’ God might have requir’d him to have answer’d without the Promise of a Reward to it, and with the Threatning of a Punishment if he should neglect to do it, yet he was pleas’d to insert it as a Condition in the first Covenant, and that it should be reckon’d a Worship of him, and be follow’d with a Reward.