Front Page Titles (by Subject) §64 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§64 - 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 Controversies concerning Grace and Predestination.But the Controversies which are maintain’d concerning Predestination and Grace, are diffused almost through the whole System of Divinity, and alter the Whole, and therefore seem to be of the greater Importance. And this will be obvious at first sight, if it be observ’d in what Order in their Hypothesis both Parties place the Principles which they build upon it, and in what order indeed they must place them according to natural Consequence. With the Lutherans this is the Hypothesis which is assum’d. That we must suppose the same Order of the Decrees of God, in the Divine Mind, as there does appear to be in the Execution of them: Or, that God has decreed from all Eternity to save or damn Men in the same Order and Manner as in time their Salvation or Damnation is produced and brought to Effect. For we can no otherwise have the Knowledge of what is the Will of God, but by Revelation, and by his Works. But in preaching to Men and calling them to Salvation, there was never a beginning made at the Doctrine of Predestination, but with Exhortations to Repentance, and to embrace the Means of Salvation which God has appointed. No where do we find, that Christ, or any of his Apostles, began their Preaching in that way; by telling Men, that God has by an absolute Will elected some to Eternal Life, and others by a like Decree he has reprobated, therefore Repent and believe the Gospel. And it is very obvious, that such a way of urging Men to embrace the Gospel, is most unreasonable. But it ought to suffice us to embrace what God offers in time, whom we must believe to deal sincerely with us, and to use no Dissimulation in his Applications to us. So that we should not be solicitous what God has before-hand decreed in his secret Counsel, which it is not in our Power ever to determin, at least with respect to this or that Person in particular. And certainly, a Man may be in the Favour of God, and in Covenant with him, and may be saved, tho’ it never came into his Thoughts that God form’d a Decree before-hand concerning the Salvation of Men. This Foundation being laid, the first thing built upon it is the Creation of Man just and holy. Then follows his voluntary Fall, which came to pass without any Fault on the part of God. Then must be set the New Covenant, or the New Way of Salvation in Christ, as the Saviour of the whole Human Race; after which, came his Death and Merit on the behalf of all Men; after this, his Invitation of all Men to embrace the Saviour, and the affording efficacious Means for this End: But this Invitation, only a part of Mankind do embrace, by Powers implanted in them, the Means being afforded by God; others by their own Wickedness and Resistance reject it. And when God from all Eternity, foresaw both these things, he chose the former, and predestinated them to Eternal Life, and the latter, being excluded from Salvation by their own Fault, he appointed them to Damnation. Whence, as the former are chosen in Christ, Eph. 1:4, 5. so by the Grace of God, and the Merit of Christ, they actually obtain and reach eternal Salvation, the rest by their own Fault pull upon themselves their Damnation. So that the Covenant of God in Christ is Universal among them, and his Merit, and Calling, and Grace, is for all: But the particularity in the Case, proceeds from the Wickedness of Men, who resist the Counsel of God for their Salvation. These things some express thus: There is in this Matter to be consider’d, a Purpose, and then a Prescience, and then a Predestination. The Purpose is the Decree, by which God hath determin’d to procure the Salvation of Fallen Men by the Saviour, apprehended by Faith. Then God foreseeing from all Eternity, who would admit of that Faith, and who would reject it, he elected the former, and reprobated the latter. On the other side, the Reform’d, the first of them especially, dispose all these things in a quite different Order. And they set in the first place, the Decree of God, of manifesting his Mercy and his Justice. And that he might have Opportunity or Occasion so to do, it pleased him to create Men, on whom he might exercise his Mercy and his Justice. These must be for this purpose thrown into the Condition of the Fall; out of which miserable State they must be drawn, whom God by an absolute Decree had appointed to eternal Life, the rest being left to perish for ever. And the Means of Salvation were design’d only for the former, and are not to be to the benefit of the latter. But that Doctrine of an absolute Decree, seeming too horrid to some, even of those that are join’d to that Church, as intimating, that God of his own accord brought it to pass that Men should be wicked, that he might have occasion to exercise his Justice against them; They have bethought themselves for the mitigation of this Method, to begin theirs only after the Fall, and to rise no higher. And therefore, they suppose Mankind already fallen into Sin and obnoxious to eternal Damnation. And that he has selected some certain Persons by his absolute Pleasure, out of that common guilty Mass who are all in a like condition, and decreed to bring them to eternal Salvation, and has determin’d, that the Means of Salvation should only be profitable and effectual to them; The rest he suffers to perish in their Misery, and will not give them any Way or Mean of being sav’d. But tho’ these latter Persons seem to think more mildly than the more ancient Ones did, which ancient Ones go by the Name of Supralapsarians, and the latter by that of Sublapsarians, yet ’tis evident they both maintain one and the same Hypothesis, with this only Difference; That the Ancients expound their Hypothesis whole: The other cut off the first part of it, as too horrid to be maintain’d. When yet the Matter comes to the same thing; And when these latter Ones are urg’d about the Causes of the Fall, they find it necessary to return back to the Opinions of those that went before them.