Front Page Titles (by Subject) §92 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§92 - 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 Toleration.The third way of Reconciling Controversies, Jurieu will have to be: If while the Controversies remain entire, both Parties keeping their Principles, and maintaining them, a Concord be however preserv’d, by Vertue of those things which are agreed between the Contending Parties, a Liberty being left to every one by a mutual forbearance to think what they will. Where we do indeed easily yield to Jurieu, that in the United Provinces they transgress in excess in the Tolerating all sorts of Religions.74 And that while this is endeavour’d, by some especially, that the things necessary to be believed may be brought into as narrow bounds as may be, there may almost nothing of Christianity be remaining in Religion. Perhaps too I would not deny but that with many of our Divines there may be found too warm a Zeal, and such as is wanting in Knowledge and Discretion; by which they are often carried to inveigh against Principles which they do not themselves well understand, and against which they receiv’d a Hatred from others who are no wiser than themselves; or who do at least so manage Controversies, as that they seem rather to afford Matter to cherish them eternally, then to apply their Endeavours towards the lessening of them. Nor will I much oppose that which is presupposed by Jurieu, (p. 152.) That without Forbearance, Piety and Peace cannot be preserv’d in the Church, provided that be not extended too far. But that is what cannot be commended in Jurieu that he should alledge the Example of the Roman Church, to prove that Toleration by it. For all the Institutions of this Church tend, not to the Establishment of Divine Truth, but to confirm an unlawful Dominion introduced with the Pretence of Christian Religion. If they can but be safe here, there is with them little care what becomes of other Matters. But the Doctrine of the Omnipresence of Christ is so explain’d by our Men, that the Obsolete Reproach of Ubiquity ought not to be repeated, since our Men stretch that Doctrine no further then the express Sayings of Scripture lead us, and as that they may not divide the indissoluble Conjunction of Natures in one Person. Much less is it fitting that the absurd Saying of Flacius75 should be brought out of the dark, and mention’d to the Reproach of our Churches after an Age and half, which was imprudently thrown out in the Heat of Dispute, and more imprudently defended; and which had I believe not one follower, and which with the Author is long since vanish’d. Yea, and many think him injur’d in the Opinion which is imputed to him commonly, as being a Person that thought right, tho’ sometimes he spoke unfitly. Further, that he may the more easily perswade the Forbearance of his Particularism,76 Jurieu would not have it made odious by the bad Consequences which our Men are wont to deduce from it, and which the Reform’d on the contrary do neither admit nor see. (p. 165.) But we on the contrary say that as from true Premises a false Conclusion cannot follow, provided it be rightly form’d: So if it be rightly form’d, and any thing Evil does follow from the Premises, it must needs be that one of the Premises is in fault. Nor is that Fault taken away by this, That the Authors of the Premises deny that they see the Consequence, much less if by an Obstinacy of Mind they will not admit it. For he who Establishes any Proposition is accountable, not only for that, but also for all those things which by a necessary Consequence are thence deduced. And therefore if our Men can deduce any thing that is Ill by Lawful Consequence, and without Cavil, or Calumny from the Doctrine of Particularism, they who are addicted to this Opinion are bound to answer for it, altho’ they should say they do not admit that Consequence; since that were all one as to yield the Premise, and deny the Conclusion; unless a good Reason can be given why the latter should be thought not rightly inferr’d from the former. Further, he says, If the Doctrine of Particularism be truly Erroneous, yet the Foundation of the Faith is not weakned thereby; or that Errour is not a Fundamental one. What seems to us true concerning this Matter may be gather’d by what has been said above. Indeed for that Errour alone I would not doubt of the Salvation of any Man. Yet I deny that it can consist with a Genuine System of Divinity. Those things which Jurieu largely disputes with his Adversary, it is not to our purpose particularly to examine, since we take a course very different from his. Nor do we think it follows, because prophane Men, and those who take upon them to Reason about Divine Things without the Scriptures, are wont to make as many Objections against our Opinion, as against the Particularism, that therefore one Doctrine is no better then the other, nor comes any thing nearer to the Mind of Holy Scripture. And if any one would regard the Cavils of prophane Men, he might give heed to the Turkish Argument: God hath not a Son, because he hath not a Wife. Nor did Paul therefore cease to Preach Christ Crucified, because that Doctrine was to the Jews a Stumbling-block, and to the Greeks Foolishness. But neither are we bound to approve of that which Luther in the beginning, or some others of our Churches have thought about this Matter; since we have not sworn to his, nor any other Doctor’s words, but do acknowledge the Scripture alone to be above all Exception. And if we grant that Luther follow’d the Opinion of the Particularists, and that it was not for many Years cast out of our Churches, (which yet we leave to be more strictly enquir’d into by those that Will,) and that Aegidius Hunnius77 was the first, or was among the chief of those who recall’d the ancient Doctrine, and that which was receiv’d in the first Ages before Augustine, and introduced it into our Churches and Schools; yet we reckon this so far from being a Disgrace to us, that we rather account it a Matter worthy of Praise to have chang’d the Opinion which we had formerly receiv’d for one that is better. And therefore when the Reform’d may see that their Absolute Decree does so much hinder Concord, the earnest Desire of which they in words profess, why do they not cease to contend for this, as they would do for all that may be dear to them? What the Adversary of Jurieu has judg’d concerning the Doctrine of Amyraldus,78 and some other of the French-men, these things cannot prejudice our Churches. And besides that his Doctrine is sharply oppos’d by others of the Reform’d, our Men also have long since observ’d, that they as well as others agree in the Center of the Doctrine of Predestination, and the Means of Saving, and the Decree of Reprobation with the rest, with this only difference, that Amyrald and his Companions suspend the Execution of the Decree, not the Decree it self upon an impossible Condition, and that which is absolutely denied to the Reprobate by an eternal Decree, namely, If they can believe. Which God is absolutely unwilling that they should be able to do, and absolutely will’d that they should not be able to do. So as that their Temperament is Vain and Illusory. Which will sufficiently appear if you consider what Jurieu writes concerning their Opinion. (p. 225.) What Jurieu shows at large, that there were many Differences about the Doctrine of Grace after Augustine’s Time, which however did not break out into a Schism; does not oblige us to a blind Forbearance. Since from that time the Christian Doctrine began to be involv’d in a great deal of Darkness, and the Sum of Divinity was commonly made up of vain and subtle Disputations. But he rightly says, (p. 239.) That in the first Ages after Christ, before any Corruption was brought into the Church there was no Contention about Predestination, and the manner of the Divine Grace. Then the good and pure Christians did not attempt to Penetrate and meddle with these secret things of God. It were to be wish’d that at present the Doctors would use more Modesty, and abstain from such curious Disquisitions. But why do not the Reform’d suffer this to be said to them. Lastly, His eighth Argument (p. 240.) for perswading Toleration: That the Reform’d, if our Men would bear with the Particularism, would be willing on their side to Tolerate other Errours of ours; is what we think has no Place in a Matter of Faith. Whereas it would make much more for Concord if the Errours of both sides were put away. Tho’ we hardly acknowledge those to be Errours which Jurieu would in compensation take away. For we profess a Real Presence indeed of the Body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, but not a Carnal one. We think there may be said to be a Corporal Presence of the Body, tho’ it is not obvious to the Senses. Nor do the Consequences which the Papists joyn here concern us who only depend upon the words of the Institution. Nor is there any danger that from our Opinion the Eucharistical Bread should be again ador’d, and afford Matter for Idolatry. Such an Ubiquity as some of the Reform’d would fasten upon our Churches there is none of us that does not abhor. Also there is none of us that acknowledges the humane Nature of Christ to be become Omniscient, Omnipotent, or Omnipresent in this Sense. As if these Idioms were become Properties of that Nature, but because in the Person of the Word they are Communicated to it. Lastly, The Controversies of our Men about the Necessity of good Works, were in the bottom meerly Contentious about Words; and in truth the Merit of them has not been excluded but from the Articles of Justification; and if any have err’d, it comes to pass by their not being able rightly to distinguish the Articles of Justification and Sanctification. But those things which Jurieu has largely discours’d concerning Toleration, (we mean the Ecclesiastical one,) might perhaps have found place before the Separation was made between our Churches and the Reform’d: But after that is come to pass there is need of a new sort of Transaction.
[74.]This point was already addressed by Pufendorf in his Introduction to the History of the Principal Kingdoms and States of Europe. This led to a controversy with the Calvinist theologian Jean Le Clerc about the usefulness of diversity of religion in a state. See Pufendorf, Kleine Vorträge, ed. D. Döring, 467–87; Simone Zurbuchen, “From Denominationalism to Enlightenment: Pufendorf, Le Clerc, and Thomasius on Toleration,” in Religious Toleration: “The Variety of Rites” from Cyrus to Defoe, ed. John C. Laursen (New York: St. Martin’s, 1999), 191–209.
[75.]Matthias Flacius Illyricus (1520–75), German Lutheran reformer. Leader of the strict Lutherans, he disputed with Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560), objecting to the latter’s compromise with the Roman Catholic Church about nonessentials.
[76.]See note 72.
[77.]Aegidius Hunnius (1550–1603), orthodox Lutheran theologian.
[78.]Moïse Amyraut (1596–1664), French Calvinist and eminent professor of theology at the Academy of Saumur, established in 1598 by the French Reformed Church and abolished by Louis XIV at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.