Front Page Titles (by Subject) §75 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
§75 - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Of Future Contingencies.From thence Jurieu endeavours to prove that God does not foresee future Contingencies, and so all things proceed from a Previous Decree of God, and every Prescience in God presupposes a Previous Decree. To this Purpose he thus Reasons: Future Contingencies cannot be certainly and infallibly foreknown from all Eternity, unless they are seen by God in themselves, or in their Causes: But God cannot, before all Decree of his, know the future Contingencies, neither in themselves, nor in their Cause. For there can be found in God but three ways of knowing things future. (1.) He knows things in his own Will, because he Wills they should be done; or he knows the things in themselves, and without their Causes after that they exist; or lastly, he knows them in their Causes, as he sees their Determination to such an Effect.54 That God does not foresee things in the first and second manner is easily admitted, because to assert this would be Contradictory. But why he cannot foresee them in the third Way and Manner, this Reason is added: Because the Causes are as yet undetermin’d. But this seems to us not sufficient. For as David rightly reasons, He that made the Eye, shall not he see? He that planted the ear, shall not he hear? So it is also rightly Collected, He who hath given to the Creature the Liberty of determining its own Actions, why cannot he foresee these Determinations? For God who is from Everlasting, always immutably beholds all things as present, and from all Eternity he beholds the free Action of his Creature, not as Decreed by himself, but as to be determin’d by the Creature. See Psal. 139:2, 4, 5, 23, 24. 81:13, 14. Acts 14:16. Rom. 1:24. And that there may be the less fear of a Contradiction here, it must not be said that God foresees future Contingencies as determin’d, but as to be determin’d by a free Cause which has its liberty from him, and liable to his Direction. Whence the future Contingencies which God hath not determin’d by his Decree, because such a Decree would contradict his Goodness and Justice, do pass from the Possibility to be, to what is to be by the Intervention of the Determination of a free Creature. But it is very absurd that double Decrees are invented. Operative, and Permissive, and they Efficacious55 when it manifestly implies a Contradiction to say a permissive efficacious Decree. When the Permission of God signifies nothing else but the Denial of a Prohibition of a certain Kind and Degree. Whence when God Decrees to permit any Evil, he does not Decree that that Evil shall be; but only he decrees that he will not apply all the Means which might effect that it could not in any wise be; which things indeed he could not apply, nor was he bound to do it, saving the Morality of the Action and the Liberty which he had granted. But also no Man ever could have it in his Mind to assert that Sins which are defects and privations of Being, rather then Beings have a virtue of determining themselves to Existence.56 But Man as a free Agent determines the Existence of his Sins. It cannot be denied but God as Creatour and Preserver of Nature and Motion does concur to that which is Natural in Evil Actions: But so that he does not predetermine that Physical, or Natural Motion, or beforehand define and decree that it must exist, to which Man is to add the Morality of it: But that it shall be left to the liberty of Man to direct that natural Motion, and apply it to something that is Evil.
[54.]Ibid., p. 27.
[55.]Ibid., p. 28.
[56.]Ibid., p. 29.