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§86 - 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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Whether or no there be a Predestination without any Respect to Faith.Jurieu on the contrary endeavours by some Reasons to have it denied that there is any Respect of Faith, or of the Acceptance, or Non-acceptance of the Federal Grace which is an Ingredient of the Decree of Predestination. Among those of the first is (p. 104.) That the Appointment to Glory is before the Preparation of Grace, or before Faith and Conversion in the Order of the Decrees. For the last in Execution is first in Intention. A right and wise Mind, first thinks of the end, and after that prepares the Means: Eternal Salvation is the End, Faith and Conversion the Means which lead to that End. Therefore God first thinks of the End, that is the Eternal Glory of Men, afterwards of preparing the Grace by which they are to be brought to life, and so the Decree of Election is Absolute. But this Reasoning is weak enough, which is built upon Philosophick Rules, which for the most part admit of Limitations and Exceptions. Let us suppose that a Mind in a right Condition would first determine concerning the End, and then concerning the Means: But it is not to be thought that the Decree of the End must always be first compleated, and then another Decree must be Establish’d concerning the Means; and that the former must be fully finish’d, without any thought of the Means, and that being fixed afterwards, the Thoughts must be carried to the Means. But regularly the ordering of the Means is an Ingredient in the Decree of the End. And it is rather accounted absurd to determine any thing barely concerning the End before the Means are thought on. And such a real distinction of the Decrees of the End, and of the Means argues an Imperfection of the Understanding, and so it cannot be in God, to whom all things present, past, and future are as it were at one Prospect beheld. Therefore it is not only not Repugnant, but also altogether agreeing to Reason, that the Condition of accepting the Covenant, should immediately influence into the Decree. Yea, it seems contradictory to say that God had first absolutely Decreed to give this or that Man Glory, and afterwards to Decree concerning the Means. For that which God could absolutely give, and without any respect, saving his Goodness and Justice, what need is there for so operose Means towards the obtaining it? If God could decree eternal Glory to Man fallen into Sin absolutely, that is, without any respect, what need was there of the Passion of his Son? If the Potter can from his absolute Will form out of the Clay a Vessel to Honour, what need is there that he should make a Covenant with that Vessel, and urge that Vessel with Promises, Exhortations and Threatnings to be willing to admit of that Honour? Nor is the other Reasoning more forcible. (p. 105.) Predestination has no Cause, but depends solely on Good-pleasure. But this is the thing in question. Who indeed can deny that the Cause of it is the infinite Goodness and Mercy of God, together with the Merit of the Saviour satisfying the Divine Justice. We also deny that there is any external meritorious Cause on the part of Men, nor do we pretend Faith to be such an one. Further, If indeed Faith, Conversion, Repentance, and Good-works are the Effects of Predestination: It does not thence follow that the Decree of Predestination is Absolute. For let us suppose a Father has Decreed that his Son shall apply himself to the getting of Wealth. And for a Mean of this he chuses Merchandise, and upon that account Merchandise is an Effect of the Decree concerning the Prosecution of Wealth. Must we therefore say that Merchandise cannot be an Ingredient in the Decree of applying the Son to the Prosecution of Wealth? Further, we say that foreseen Faith, not good Works does enter into the Decree of Predestination: Because since God is pleas’d by the Intervention of a Covenant to save Men, the Nature of a Covenant cannot be understood to be without Faith, that is without Acceptance, or Refusal, which is what cannot be said concerning good Works, or Sanctification, tho’ these always accompany Faith as the Fruits of it. Whence the Faithful are said to be created and prepar’d to good Works. Tho’ in this Jurieu is mistaken, that he opposes to our Men those things which do not regard them but the Papists. Such as is that which he says in his Fifth Argument concerning the foreseen Condition of the good use of our Free-will. The Third Argument is taken from the Salvation of Infants, who die before the use of Reason, by whom it appears from the whole Context, he means the Baptized Infants of Christians. About which we need not give our selves any trouble before Jurieu declares what he thinks of the Effect of Infant Baptism. For our Men say that by Baptism Faith is bestow’d upon them, and they cannot put any Obstacle of Grace in the way, because they have not yet the use of Reason. And if Jurieu thinks it fit for him to deny that a full Act of Faith can be produc’d in Infants before the seventh Year of their Age, I would fain know from whence he would prove that any Infant can before the full use of Reason be sav’d. The Examples of the Thief on the Cross, of Zacchaeus and Paul, which Jurieu mentions in the fourth place, (p. 106.) are besides his Purpose, nor can any thing be drawn from them that is contrary to our Opinion. Nor does his Fifth Argument more press us: If the Election of God were made upon foreseen Faith, it is not God that Elects and separates, but Man separates himself; and so Man hath cause of Glorying, which yet Paul denies him. But according to our Opinion, Man does not separate himself by his own Strength, and so he has not cause of Glorying: Since he receives all good things from without himself. There is no more remains to us but the Faculty of refusing the Things offer’d, because without this the Nature of a Covenant could not exist. Lastly, Jurieu produces some Expressions which make no thing against us. That in John 15:16. may perhaps be oppos’d to the Papists, but it does not regard us. But we may rightly say Christ chose his Apostles not absolutely, but upon the foresight of their accepting his Vocation. But he did not elect, or chuse that rich young Man, who, when he heard that all his Goods must be relinquish’d that he might follow Christ, went away from him sorrowful. Mat. 19:22. From the Expression, Eph. 14. God hath chosen us in Christ that we should be holy: So far is it that any thing can be drawn, which is contrary to our Opinion, that it is rather very much confirm’d from thence. For why is it not said God hath Elected us from his absolute Will, but in Christ who profits not unless we embrace him by Faith: And whom moreover God does not Will that they should afterwards live in Sin, but that they should be Holy, and so bring forth the Fruits of Faith. The Expression also, 2 Thess. 2:13. Establishes our Opinion: God hath chosen us from all Eternity in the Belief of the Truth. The same thing is to be thought of what is said, Eph. 1:11. which must be compar’d with 2 Tim. 1:9. Where that Purpose is said to respect Christ, and so Christ and the Faith, which apprehends him in no wise to be excluded from the Counsel of the Divine Will concerning our Salvation, but rather must be included in it. And to do all things according to the Counsel of his Will, is not the same thing as to do all things from an absolute Pleasure, without the Intuition of, or respect to any thing whatever. Concerning what remains, Jurieu says rightly, (p. 108.) that the Purpose in Paul signifies a Will in opposition to the Merit of Works. But that is never oppos’d to Faith. Also nothing can be gather’d from the Expression, Acts 13:48. that is against us. As many as were Ordain’d to eternal Life believ’d. Indeed they were Ordain’d, but not by an absolute Decree of God, but because they would accommodate or conform themselves to the Order appointed by God for them who shall obtain Salvation. In the 9th. Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, where the Reform’d were wont formerly to place the chief Strength of their Cause, Jurieu seems to acknowledge that there is not much Defence to be expected. Yet he produces the 11th. Verse of the fore-mention’d Chapter. But the words there, when they had neither done Good nor Evil, show that they are unjustly apply’d to the present Question, for as much as Man fallen into Sin, is set as the Object of Predestination, and so when he had already done something that was Evil. Further, those words, The elder shall serve the younger, do manifestly argue that he Treats not concerning Election to Salvation, or of Reprobation, but of the Temporal Prerogative which Jacob and his Race enjoy’d beyond Esau and his Posterity. Add. Gen. 27:29, 37, 40. As also Jurieu acknowledges that Jacob and Esau, do not here signifie single Persons, but whole Nations. But he will have it notwithstanding that they are Types of Election and Reprobation. But if that should be admitted, the third of the Comparison ought to be sought only in the Denial of any Respect to good Works, not to Faith. But we utterly deny that what God did towards Esau and Jacob, with respect to temporal Prerogative, he can do the same consistently with his Justice towards other Men in the Matter of Election and Reprobation. For God may without the Consideration of any Merit assign one a larger, and another a straiter Measure of Temporal Goods: But he cannot consistently with his Goodness and Justice condemn any Man to eternal Torments without any Consideration of Merit. Nor is it more true that the whole Idumean Nation was reprobated by God, so as that they should not partake of eternal Life, then that all and every Person of the Descendants of Jacob were among the Elect. It is certain that the Idumeans being subdued by the Jews, receiv’d their Religion. So the Similitude of a Potter ought not to be applied but to Temporal Prerogatives, and the denial of them. In the Expression, Rom. 8:30. is shown in what Order the Execution of Salvation is perform’d, but it is not there said that Predestination is made without any Intuition of the Acceptance of Vocation. Lastly; the Exclamation, Rom. 11:33. does not regard only those things which are discoursed on in the immediately foregoing Chapter; but those which Paul had deliver’d concerning the Business of Man’s Salvation through the whole Epistle. In truth there are many things, no less deep and profound which go before the 9th. Chapter, so as that they might justly carry Men to the Admiration of them. But in truth there were nothing worthy of Admiration, if God had without any respect chosen some to eternal Life, and had pass’d by others no worse in themselves then they, and if so the naked Will of God had stood for a Reason of his Actions. For that such a manner of Acting seems more becoming an insolent Tyrant, then the wise and mild Moderatour of the Universe. As Suetonius mentions it among the Specimens of a barbarous Nature in Caligula:68 That he set himself in the middle of a Company of Prisoners, and without any regard to their Crimes, sent one part of them to be devour’d by the wild Beasts, and sav’d the other alive. On the contrary that Temperament of Divine Mercy and Justice is worthy of Admiration, and unsearchable by humane Reason.
[68.]G. Suetonius Tranquillus, De vita Caesarum: Caius Caligula.