Front Page Titles (by Subject) §74 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§74 - 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 Conditional Will of God.From the same Foundation that God does not always act as it were to the utmost of his Power, but can temper and moderate it, and is wont to do so, it also is that God does not Will all things absolutely, but some things under a certain Condition; which that it may exist, or not exist, is in the Power of him to whom he has granted some Degrees of Liberty. Which Condition not existing that Effect which was to have follow’d upon the Existence of the Condition does not follow; but so that there is not for all that any Mutation in God, since he did not determine his Will, but in case of the Existence of that Condition. Whence ’tis with too much Boldness, that a Velleity in God, or Antecedent-wills are rejected by Jurieu, upon the account that they are Inefficacious. For those Wills have always this Efficacy that they testifie concerning the Good-will, or Benignity of God. But they are not to have that Efficacy, whereby the Benefit offer’d by God is actually to be given and confer’d by the Intention of God, any other wise then upon the taking place of that Condition which depends upon the Will of him to whom the Offer is made, Psal. 81:11, &c. Jer. 38:17, 18. Whence ’tis falsly said, That a Being Infinitely Perfect, can never say I would. For this must belong to a Being, either ignorant of the future, or that is weak, and bound under Laws,52 none of which things can be in God. But there is a fourth part which may be added to this Division, and that is, or it must be said of him who does not always exert the utmost Force of his Power. In which Respect it is not at all repugnant to God, to say I would. Therefore ’tis needless to deny that there are in God Conditional Decrees, as if they did not well agree with the Idea of a Being infinitely perfect, Jurieu indeed says, whoever frames a Decree under a certain Condition, he therein declares himself ignorant of the Future, or else Impotent. But there may be added a third part to this Division, and it may be said, Or he is not willing to constrain the Liberty of another by an inevitable Necessity. But neither is that Condition, tho’ it be foreseen that it will not come to pass, a meer Mockery, since it declares the Benignity and Good will of him that makes the Offer, who omits nothing necessary on his part, and who puts off from himself all the Blame, why such a Man perishes. Neither may such a Condition be said to be impossible, which it was foreseen would not come to pass, since the foresight of things lays no Necessity upon them, and the Condition would indeed come to pass if Man would not abuse his Liberty. It cannot be deny’d indeed, but that God has a Power of effecting that the Condition also should exist: But he was not bound to apply that Measure of Power, nor was it necessary that he should do so, by which the Morality of that Action, and the Aptitude of it to be imputed to the Actour had been extinguish’d. And God truly Wills the Salvation of such Men provided they are not against it. Yet he does not hold it agreeable to his Wisdom to continue them within the immutable Laws of Motion, after the manner of Self-moving Engines, so as that they cannot but produce that Condition. And so he permits that the contrary may be, that is, he does not in that manner hinder it, that it cannot be. For that permission has not the Nature of a positive Decree, but it is a pure Negation of an Impediment which he was not bound to interpose. But a Conditional Decree is not a simple Legislative Declaration, or Rule by which any one is to be judg’d; nor is it a naked Sign to which the Internal Intention does not correspond. But it is a true Genuine, and sincere Declaration of the Internal Benignity, which yet he has not Decreed to exert, but under a certain Condition: But so as that, he has in no wise form’d a Decree by Vertue of which that Condition cannot exist. Jurieu proceeds, A Man that makes Laws, ought to desire and wish that Men would live according to the Laws made by him, that it may be well with them, because Man is by the Divine Law bound to wish and afford all good things to all Men: But God, as he does in a most holy manner give Laws, so he freely determines concerning things future, nor is he bound by any Laws, nor constrain’d by a fatal Necessity, nor is he bound to wish, or do good to any Creature, or Man; for he does what he will with his own. So that he bestows his Benefits with the most perfect Liberty.53 Which things must be qualified from Mat. 7:11. But what then? May God therefore with a perfect Liberty inflict Eternal Torments, only because it pleases him so to do? Truly Abraham Judges quite otherwise, Gen. 18:25. That be far from thee to destroy the righteous with the wicked, that be far from thee who art the judge of all the world.
[52.]Ibid., p. 19.
[53.]Ibid., p. 23.