Front Page Titles (by Subject) §69 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§69 - 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 of lesser Importance.And these indeed are the chief Controversies which are maintain’d between the Protestants; For the composing of which, if a proper Method could be entred upon, it would be easie to correct or dissemble the rest. For as the Lutherans urge the Reform’d with the Consequences about the Article of Predestination; so these again, the Vulgar especially, object against the Lutherans, some Relicks of the Popish Rites not sufficiently purg’d away. Into the Number of which, they put the Exorcism retain’d in Baptism, the Private Confession, and, what is wont to accompany it, the Sacred Peny, the Round Wafers used in the Lord’s Supper, which hardly retain the Nature of Bread, Altars also and Candles, and many Images retain’d in their Churches, and among others that of our Saviour hanging on the Cross, the particular Garments of Ministers, the Bending the Knee and Uncovering the Head at the mention of the Name of Jesus, the superfluous Festival Days, the Exorbitant use of Musick, and other things of like nature. For about the difference of Ministers and the external Government of the Church, they do not so much differ with the Lutherans as among themselves, chiefly in England. About which things, it is to be observ’d, they are all of them such as do not touch the Foundation of the Faith, and so are wont to come under the Name of Things indifferent. And as there might easily be a yielding in these Matters, if by that Means a way might be made to a solid and sincere Concord; so if a change or abolition of them is to be taken as a Sign of the Approbation of the Religion in the whole of it, it would be unprofitable as well as also hardly becoming to shew by such a yielding any thing of Uncertainty or Wavering. For in such a Case, those things become the Symbols of the Sect, and if the Principles of the Sect are not approv’d, the outward Signs of it cannot be taken up with a safe Conscience. But if all these things are consider’d in themselves, they will certainly appear by no means worthy, that for them there should be so mischievous a Dissention cherish’d. Especially, since in many of the Lutheran Churches very many of these things are not observ’d, which Churches, the other where those things are still retain’d, do not upon that score condemn. As neither do the other of the Reform’d Churches exclude from their Communion the Church of England, which uses yet more Ceremonies than the Lutherans. And as for the Exorcism, however that came to creep into the Form of administring Baptism, no Lutheran is so mad as to believe, that Infants are spiritually or corporally before Baptism, possess’d with an Evil Spirit, in a proper Acceptation of that Phrase, and that this is expell’d by that Adjuration. But since by Baptism we have admission into the Church and Kingdom of Christ, out of which the Power of Satan exerts it self, and no less does Original Sin out of the Church rule with full Right and Power: By that Ceremony it is not unfitly intimated, that Satan has now no Right remaining in the Baptized Person, who is now become a Subject of the Kingdom of Christ: And also, that the Impure Spirit which rises like a Vapour from the Lake of the Original Corruption, must now give place, since this new Subject of Christ must hereafter be govern’d by the Holy Spirit. And when it is very Expedient that we should be admonish’d of that Fruit of Baptism in the Administration of it, the Question only is, Whether or no it is not best to express this thing by a convenient, and no way frightful Ceremony? But here if by any Temperament any thing may be done that can promote Concord, I do not see why we ought to make any difficulty about it, provided the Sense and Meaning of the Thing which I have express’d be retain’d. The Private Confession may have very great use to admonish and correct those whose Life and Fame does not conform to the Precepts of Christ, and whom there could otherwise be no Opportunity gain’d to admonish particularly. As also, that they may be furnish’d with proper Information and Consolation, who have their Consciences troubled with any Scruples. The small Gift or Offering which is given to the Ministers upon this Occasion, is a part of their Salary. If this offends any one, either let their Salary be establish’d by the Publick, from whence they may sustain themselves and their Families honestly, or let their Auditors be accustomed to exercise their Liberality towards them under some other Name, who being call’d to such an Office, it would be a great shame to the whole Congregation to suffer them to want. The Round Wafers used in the Lord’s Supper, are made of the same Matter with the other Bread; and the small Form of them ought not to offend any one, since ’tis not the End or Design of them in that Sacrament to fill the Belly. Tho’ to the wisest Persons it may be all one what kind of Bread is used, yet it hardly appears how a Change in this Matter can be introduced without great Offence of the common People; the Weakness of whom is not to be altogether despised. Nor is it necessary that the breaking of the Bread in the very Celebration of the Supper should be ridgedly requir’d. For to break Bread, is properly to divide greater Masses of Bread into little Parts, that it may be more fitted to be eaten. Which Division it matters not whether it be done before the Supper, or at the Celebration of it. So we are bid to break our Bread to the Hungry, Isa. 58:25. But no Man can be so absur’d, as to believe that, for the fulfilling that Precept we must needs give broken pieces of Bread to the Poor. To urge for the Necessity of that Rite, that it may appear that the Body of Christ does not lie hid in the Bread, is what I want a Name for, as thinking it not Decent to use a Ridiculous one in a serious Matter. For neither are the Lutherans so stupid, as to believe that the Body of Christ lies hid in the Bread, as what might be seen if the Superficies of that were taken away. In the Hymn of John Husse, in these Words, Verborgen im Brodt so klein:47 The Word Verborgen is not a Participle, but an Adverb, and so it signifies not the Body of Christ hidden in a little Bread, but secretly, in a hidden manner. It is of no Concern, or Importance, whether the Table upon which the Holy Supper is Celebrated, be of Wood, or of Stone, or of what Figure it is: And all Men know that these Tables of Stone are not used by the Lutherans for a Sacrifice, who where they cannot so conveniently have Tables of Stone, are not afraid to use common Tables of Wood. Among many of them there is no use of Wax-candles. But where these are still retain’d to signifie the Nocturnal Time of the Institution of this Supper, he would be too nice who should cavil against such an innocent Rite. To loath and abhor the setting up the Image of a Crucifix for meer Remembrance, without any Veneration in the Churches does not become those, who ought to glory in the Cross of Christ. No one had taken it ill, if other Images had long since been remov’d, and if Rottenness does destroy them no Man will be griev’d. He would be too Morose, who could not endure what serves for innocent Ornament: For neither is the Form of Churches prescrib’d to Christians, as was that of the Tabernacle to the Israelites. If any are displeased at peculiar Habits of Ministers in the Church which are suted to Modesty, and have no Superstition; let them, if they think fit permit their Ministers to mount the Pulpit in a Lawyers Bar-gown, or a Military Habit, and to set themselves thus dress’d at the Holy Table, and then ask of prudent Persons whether or no this be decent. It should be hard certainly to perswade a Christian that too much Honour can be given to Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer: When Persons of good Manners are wont to uncover their Heads, even at the mention of the Name of our Princes. And when we are by him deliver’d from a Pernicious Slavery, and call’d to the Cap, as we may speak of the Liberty he gives us, why should we be so sparing of giving to him the Respect and Honour of the Hat at the mention of his most acceptable Name. It was of Use and Importance too to take away the Multitude of Festival Days where they still remain’d, as which serve for and Occasion only the cherishing of Vice and Wickedness among the common People. It is worthy, and fitting to be forbid that the Church should sound with the meer noise of Musick; but no Man can condemn the seasoning our Sacred Hymns with the Sweetness of Harmonious Musick. And with relation to the External things of the Church, there is nothing else commanded, but that all things be done decently, and in order, 1 Cor. 14:40. And that Modesty be observ’d. No Man can approve that the new conceiv’d Hymns of any one should be receiv’d into the Publick Use of the Church: But to insist stifly, that only the Psalms of David should be used, is a Pertinacy that has no Reason for its Foundation, since the greatest part of these does not sute the present Times of the Church, or the Necessities of particular Christians. As I should hardly refuse that the ordinary Texts which are wont to be explain’d on the Lord’s Days, according to ancient Appointment might be digested into a better and more concise Order, and with greater choice: So to leave it to the free Choice of every Minister, what Text at every turn he shall be pleas’d to explain, is a thing, I think has no less Inconveniencies attending it. Lastly, Since the Questions concerning the External Government of the Church do not touch the Foundation of the Faith, nor does it concern the Doctrine of the Covenant, whether a Man believes the Ministers of the Church to be equal among themselves, or Subordinate some to others: Certainly it were not fitting to contend with so much Fervour about Episcopal, or Presbyterian Government, unless the contending Parties were willing to expose themselves to the Reproach on one side of Ambition and Covetousness, or on the other side of Obstinacy, and another kind of Ambition, which cannot endure a Superiour. At least from that Strife it does appear that the Obstinacy and Stifness of Mind, which is objected to the Lutherans, is not altogether a stranger to the Ministers of the Reform’d Party. But it is enough for us, that we have, according as we were able, describ’d the Foundation of the Faith, and the Nature of the Controversies which are agitated among the Protestants. I now leave it to the Judgment of the Pious and Prudent Minds, and those well acquainted with Holy Scripture, whether or no both the Parties might not consent in the System propos’d, and Transact with Sincerity about the Controversies mention’d, if Ambition, Stubbornness, the Contempt of others, and a Hatred unworthy of the Christian Name, and Prepossession of Opinions, were taken away, or allay’d.
[47.]John Huss (Jan Hus, c. 1372–1415), professor of theology in Prague, priest, proponent of John Wycliffe, and radical critic of the church. Huss denounced various church abuses in his sermons, especially concerning Holy Communion, and taught that the office of the pope did not exist by Divine command. In his conflict with the Church, Huss got caught in the schism that arose when Alexander V and Gregory XII both claimed the papacy, and in 1414 he was summoned to the Council of Constance with an assurance of safe conduct from Emperor Sigismund. The Council arrested Huss, found him guilty of heresy, and had him burned at the stake in 1415. It also settled the schism in 1417.