Front Page Titles (by Subject) §60 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§60 - 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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What are Fundamental Articles.In this System which we have composed, tho’ but in a rude Draught, and capable of much polishing, we suppose all the Articles of Faith necessary to Salvation are contain’d. So that none of them can be deny’d or call’d in question, but the whole Chain or Connexion of the Faith would be broken, and the Body of Christian Doctrine be render’d maim’d and imperfect. We also think this System to be so perspicuous and clear, that the whole Contents may be easily comprehended by any one, and easily retain’d in memory: And also that the Reason of the Articles, and their Connexion with one another, may appear to any one. And there can be no doubt, but that if all the Protestants would consent to it, which why they should not I can see no good Reason, many Controversies would fall of themselves, and the way to Concord and Union would be not a little advanc’d thereby. But this System must not be accounted lame and imperfect, because we have slightly past over the Questions about Grace and Predestination. The reason of doing which was, because we had a desire to find out such a System, as wherein both the Parties of the Protestants might easily consent and agree. For if I had thought fit to express the Opinion of the Lutherans upon these Heads, it had been easie to have found a place where those Principles might have been inserted. But what the Reform’d do deliver concerning Predestination, and the Grace which is suited to it, could find no place in our System. For we judge it to imply a Contradiction that a Covenant should be made by God with Men, and yet that they should be sav’d or damn’d by virtue of a certain absolute Decree. For if God has without respect to any thing decreed to save certain Men, and to damn the rest, a Covenant seems superfluous and illusory. Whence it seem’d better to set aside those Opinions for the present, to see whether the Parties that differ about them, may not in process of time be brought into Union by an amicable Conference. Unless the Consequences of those Points did reach to other Fundamental Articles of Faith: it seem’d that they might be abstracted from them, and those Points being set aside, there might be an Agreement and Concord about the rest. Especially since we may observe that Christ and his Apostles in the beginning of their Preaching make no mention at all of any Predestination, and in the Process of it they are very sparing in doing this; which yet, it had been very fit they should have mention’d, if any absolute Decree ought to have the place of a Fundamental Proposition in the System of Divinity. And it may very well suffice a Christian, that would be duly modest, to acquiesce in those things which God hath in time reveal’d, and to conform himself to the Order which he has prescrib’d, and not to doubt but the Effect of them which God hath promised shall certainly be fulfilled in him, and not to break in upon the secret Counsels of God, but to join them with his reveal’d Will. To which purpose is that, 1 Tim. 6:3, &c. compar’d with 2 Tim. 1:13. But neither is it requisite that every thing be exactly contain’d in a System of Christian Faith, which is deliver’d in the sacred Scriptures. For in these there are many other things to be found, the Knowledge of which, tho’ it be an Ornament, and might conduce to the Perfection of a Christian, yet if a Man be altogether ignorant of them, or entertains any Errours concerning them, he does not therefore presently fall from a State of Salvation, nor may it be thought that he should be excluded from the Society of the Faithful. Tho’ in a Teacher of the Church it is manifest a larger Knowledge is requir’d then in an ordinary Christian. But this is to be taken with due Qualification, as meaning that those Points which are for a while set aside, do not oppose the undoubted Fundamental Articles, either directly, or by Consequences deduced from them; nor are those Articles weakened or overthrown by these Consequences. As also this is universally requir’d, That no Point or Principle whatsoever, which is clearly propounded in the Canonical Books be denied: For when any Truth clearly expess’d there is oppos’d, the Authority of Sacred Scripture is therein denied, and so the whole Foundation of the Faith is overthrown. But they who dispute only concerning the Genuine and true Sense of some places of Holy Scriptures, they are not for this to be thought to call in question their Authority, especially if the Sense which they contend for is not contrary to the Analogy of Faith, nor such as that for the maintaining of it the whole Context of Scripture must be wrested. Lastly, That also is by some well observ’d; That an Erroneous Opinion may be deliver’d by an Orthodox Person, when tis such an one as the fault of it does chiefly appear in the Consequences which are deduced from it. If he who proposes that Erroneous Opinion does not see those Consequences, he cannot be condemn’d as holding the Errours which are deduced by Consequence from thence; and therefore he has right to desire that those Consequences may not be imputed to him. But when afterward those bad Consequences are demonstrated to follow truly, and without any Sophistication from that first Erroneous Opinion it is not lawful to others who take upon them that first Thesis to protest that they do not acknowledge those Consequences. And so the Errour which before any Controversie about it, or at the beginning of it is admitted through Imprudence may be pardon’d; it may afterwards, when the Controversie is search’d to the bottom become a Fundamental one.