Front Page Titles (by Subject) §76 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§76 - 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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Concerning the Universal Good Will of God.Those things which are urg’d by Jurieu, concerning the universal good will of God to Mankind, and his will that they should be sav’d, and so about that common distinction between an Antecedent, and a consequent Will, have a very easie Solution if the Sense of them be rightly explain’d. For we deservedly give Credit to the Holy Scriptures, when they assert that God has lov’d the World, that he wills not the Death of a Sinner, that he is not willing any one should perish. Which Benevolence, or good Will does not stay within a meer Complacence and Approbation; but it proceeds even to such an Efficacy that God has afforded fit and sufficient Means for that End, and perform’d all things which can be desir’d on his part. So that the Reason why some Men perish, is not in God, but in the Men themselves. But it must be well observed, as also we have suggested before, that God as a free Agent does not every where exert the utmost Force of his Will and Power, but does so moderate it, as that a Liberty is left to his free Creatures, at least not to accept of the Good which is offer’d. So that a Man cannot be sav’d indeed but by the Benefit of God, but he perishes by his own Fault; and so he has as it were a Negative Vote about the Matter of his Salvation. Whence God has neither absolutely will’d to bestow Salvation upon Men, nor that their Perdition shall come upon them, nor has he decreed either but under a Condition, if they will not hinder or refuse the Means of Salvation. Whence if any Man refuses the Means of Salvation offer’d by God, and perishes, the Antecedent will of God is not frustrated, because this did not determine to proceed absolutely any further, then to the producing and offering Means of Salvation. And if any one whom God hath lov’d with his universal Good will, does afterwards perish, there happens no Change in God, because he did not absolutely will to save that Man, but under a Condition, which that it might exist, God on his part perform’d what was sufficient thereto. But the Conditional Will, whether the Condition exists or no, is not chang’d, but always remains uniform, and consistent with it self. Which things being laid down, it is not difficult to dissolve the Sophistries of Jurieu. (p. 53.) His first Evasion is, That the general Will of saving Men in God is only Legislatory. But God does not in the Expressions of that sort, intimate any Law according to which he intends Men should be judg’d, but declares what on his part he is about to perform. Therefore if at the most it should be granted that some of that sort of Expressions have the Force of a Law, yet ’tis certain the Legislatour cannot, saving his Justice, apply an Impediment whereby it may come to pass that the Law given by him cannot be fulfill’d; nor can he withdraw the Means, without which it is altogether impossible that the Law should be satisfied. But to this Question, Whether or no the Legislative Will speaks, and has annexed to it a serious desire, and good will to bestow Salvation upon all, it is to be said it is so; but that Good-will is Conditional, not Absolute. Certainly unless God invited all Men seriously to Salvation, the Opposition were ridiculous in the Expression, Mat. 23:37. and such like, I would, but ye would not. For without doubt it was very seriously that the Jews would not. But how impertinent an Expostulation, were it to say I have call’d thee to my Supper, not seriously, but for Forms sake, and thou wouldst not come. And if that Thread-bare Distinction of the Will of the Sign, or the signified Will must be of force to elude the Expressions, which in so clear words, speak of the universal Good-will of God, the Satisfaction of Christ, and his Call; why may it not be able to elude the other Particular Expressions, and allow us to say that God does nothing else through the whole Scripture but impose upon Men by pleasing Dreams. Jurieu proceeds to argue, (p. 45.) Either God has that Will now, or he has it not, which without doubt he had from all Eternity. If you say the former there will be in God at the same time two contradictory Wills, to wit, that general one of saving all Men, and the Will of damning many for their foreseen Impenitence. But now others teach that the Antecedent Will is not to be made to reach beyond the first Call by the Gospel, and the voluntary Choice of Men, and that it is not to be extended to the last end: That is, God has been willing thus far to bear a Good-will to all Men, that he has prepar’d Means of Salvation for them, and offer’d Salvation, but he suspends the actual Attainment of Salvation upon the not rejecting his Grace. From whence there is no change in God, if by the fault of Man that end does not follow which God suspended upon a Condition which was in the Power of Man. Jurieu further asks, (p. 55.) Why if God would have all Men to be sav’d under the Condition of Faith and Obedience, did he not decree this to be according to his wish, when it was in his power to fulfil and give the annexed Condition? Why has he not bestow’d so much Grace as might easily overcome the Rebellion of the Will, which also he could easily have done? To which things we answer, That we must know and judge of the Will and Disposal of God by what he has reveal’d in his Word. To which ’tis vain and foolish to oppose the Reasonings of Humane Wit, by which Man presumes to judge of Almighty God, according to his own sense of things. Nor can such things be any more approv’d by sober Minds, than that bold Expression of Alfonsus King of Arragon; That he would have given the World a much better Frame and State, if he had been Counsellour to God in the Creation of it. But in my Judgment it seems a sufficient Reason why God made the foreseen Non-resistance a Condition in this Case: Because it does not please him to draw Men to Heaven after the manner of the working of a Machine, and because by such an irresistible Grace all Morality in the Business of Salvation would be taken away. But that Question too may be much more justly retorted upon the Adverse Party: Why has God, when it was in his Power to have sav’d all Men by an Absolute Will, decreed to bring only some to Salvation by an irrevocable Necessity, who are in themselves no better than those who are Reprobate, and to condemn the rest to Eternal Torments. He enquires further, (p. 57.) Why was not God before the Fall mov’d with that general Philanthrophy, or Good will to Men, as to decree to preserve all Men free from Pollution, that so he might bestow Happiness upon them all? But did God suffer any thing to be wanting on his part, unless he would have exceeded the Measure of a Rational Creature, which might be capable of Morality? And if we will measure all things by that which we judge God to have been able to do, we must say God was able to have sav’d all Men after the Fall into Sin by an Absolute Decree, no less then a few of them. He enquires in the last place, why God should begin to be mov’d with the desire that all Men should be sav’d after the foreseen Fall, and the decreed Permission of the Fall, when the thing was now become impossible, according to the Laws which God had given both to Himself, and to Men. To which we return: It is falsly said God now at length begins to be mov’d with the desire of saving all Men, (which desire was certainly in him from the beginning, and is not risen up since the Fall,) when the thing is now impossible according to the Laws which God had given to Himself and Men. For who can say it is absolutely impossible that all Men should be saved? Or that it is impossible the means of Salvation appointed by God should not be rejected by some? Or what these Laws are which God has laid upon himself and upon Men, which bring, or cause a Necessity that many cannot but refuse the Means of Salvation. In truth I can read nothing of any such Laws in Holy Scripture. But it seems a more expeditious way to Jurieu to solve all these Questions, if it be said, that God after he foresaw and permitted the Fall made this Law, I will that all they who believe, on my Son whom I intend to send shall be sav’d. But still we must needs greatly doubt of the Equity of the Law, if God by an absolute Decree will not give that Faith to all which cannot be exerted by the Natural Power of Man. So therefore there seems to be nothing to hinder, but that we may say, that the general Will of Saving all Men always was, and is in God, both yesterday, to day, and for ever.