Front Page Titles (by Subject) §29 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§29 - 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 Religion resulting from this Covenant.From this Covenant, the Heads of which we shall hereafter more fully unfold, there arose a new Religion, which in its primitive Simplicity consisted in the observance of the Law of Nature, both towards God, and towards Man, Gen. 4:26. and 6:9. and 12:8. and 13:8. and 14:23, 24. and 17:1. And that part of Primitive Religion remain’d as of perpetual Obligation, because it arises from the very Nature given to Man by his Creator. But because through the Corruption of our Nature the observance of the natural Law must needs be very imperfect, and sullied with many Transgressions, therefore by the new Covenant there was added Faith or Trust, and Hope in a Saviour of the World, who was to come, as one by whom God would be render’d Propitious to Men, and forgive them their Sins. And without this that former Part could not be esteem’d for a truly Divine Worship; for the Worship cannot be acceptable to God unless the Worshiper be so; but Men defil’d with Sin are not accepted with God, unless with respect to a Saviour. Nor could Man entertain the Love of God, unless he knew him to be Propitious; but God is not Propitious or Favourable to Men, but by the Saviour. But because it did not please God to send this Saviour in the beginning of the World, but rather about the middle of its Duration, therefore he order’d that the Efficacy of the Death which he was to undergo should exert it self backwards to the Believers of all the foregoing Ages. Whence he is call’d the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the World, Rev. 13:8. to which that of St. Paul belongs; Rom. 3:25. Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood to declare his Righteousness for the Remission of Sins that are past: For otherwise those Sins which had preceded the Satisfaction of Christ might seem to have been wink’d at, and past by in that forbearance of God which he speaks of. Add Gal. 3:8, 9. Acts 4:12. and 15:11. Heb. 13:8. But we judge this Expiation of our Saviour to have had a Symbol or Sacrament through the foregoing Ages, and this was the bloody Sacrifices then used, or the Sacrificing of living and clean Animals. For there does not any Reason appear why it should please God to receive into his Worship from the beginning such a sort of cruel Performance, unless it were to represent that Sacrifice which the Saviour of the World was to exhibite in his own Body. Col. 2:14, 17. Heb. 10:1. And we may believe it to have been at least a principal Cause, if not the only one, why God despised the Sacrifice of Cain. That this did not consist of an Animal, as God had appointed it should be, and such as could represent the Death of the Saviour, but he brought his sacrifice of the Fruits of the Ground. And these he chose for his Sacrifice, either out of Pride, as disdaining to Obey, and do as directed and order’d, or out of Emulation against his Brother, lest he should seem to have chosen a less noble Kind of Life than his Brother. It is therefore intimated, Heb. 11:4. that he offer’d his Sacrifice without Faith; for Faith presupposes both a Divine Precept and Promise. But afterwards the Fruits of the Ground were by Divine Order receiv’d into their Sacrifices, and then they also from thenceforth might be offer’d in Faith. And this is a manifest Indication that God is not to be pleas’d with a Religion of Humane Invention, especially about positive Rites, which derive all their Sanctity from a Divine Command; and so we must be assur’d that he is not pleas’d that any of his Federal Laws should be wrested, eluded or chang’d, by any Arbitrary Interpretations of Men. From thence also it is that before the Institution of the Levitical Worship, to build an Altar to the Lord was the same thing with setting up the publick Worship of God; because indeed the chief and primary Part of the Federal Worship was the Death of the Saviour of the World, which the Sacrifices did then represent. So that ’tis wonderful that the ancient Jews, forgetting almost the Sacrifice of the Messias, should come to believe that the guilt of a Man was transferr’d to the Soul of his Victim, and that his Crimes were directly expiated by the Death of that. The Occasion of which Errour seems to have been the perverse Interpretation of Levit. 17:11. The Life of the Flesh is in the Blood, and I have given it to you upon the Altar, to make an Atonement for your Souls; for it is the Blood that maketh an Atonement for the Soul. Whence Isaac Abarbenel in his Preface upon the Book of Leviticus33 writes thus, It was just and due that the Blood of the Sacrificer should be shed, and his Body be burn’d for his Sin, were it not that the Divine Benignity would accept from him in the Way of Commutation or Expiation that Sacrifice, that so Life might go for Life, and Blood for Blood. So Bechai, because the Sinner deserves that his Blood should be poured out like as the Blood of a Victim, and that his Body should be burn’d as that is; but the Blessed God accepts of a Victim from him, as a certain Commutation and Ransom; behold how great and glorious is the Benignity of God to him! In that through his Mercy and Indulgence he admits the Soul of the Beast, for the Soul of the Sacrificer, and the Expiation is made by that. Which Errour however might have been sufficiently confuted from Psal. 49:7, 8. and 50:8, 9, 13, 14. and 51:16, 17, 19. Hos. 6:6. Mic. 6:6, 7. and the same is expresly refuted, Heb. 9. and Heb. 10.
[33.]Isaacus Abarbeneles, i.e., Yshac Abravanels (147?–1509), Jewish scholar, author of biblical commentaries.