Front Page Titles (by Subject) §3. - Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society
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§3. - Samuel von Pufendorf, Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society 
Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society, trans. Jodocus Crull, ed. and with an introduction by Simone Zurbuchen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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How the same is to be exercised in the free State of Nature. From whence it is evident, That, Religion having its relation to God, the same may be exercised without the Communion of a great many; And, that a Man ought not to judge of the Soundness of his Doctrine or Religion, by the Number of those that adhere to it. So, that it is manifest, That, at the beginning of the World, our first Parents might, and did really perform Religious Duties; And, that, if one alone, or a few together, live in a solitary Place, they are therefore not to be deem’d to live without Religion, because, they do not make up a Congregation. For, God being the only Judge, of what is best pleasing to him in his Worship, knows and searches the very bottom of our Hearts; And, since we are not able, without his Assistance, to perform religious Duties, the same can’t be esteem’d properly our own Invention. As those that live in the free State of Nature, are not Subject to any Human Power, So, in the same State, their Religion, having only a relation to God Almighty, unto whom alone they are bound to pay Reverence, it is free from all Human Force or Power; which, in this State of Natural Freedom, they may exercise, either according to the Dictates of Reason, or, according to Divine Revelation; and, according to the best of their Knowledge, may dispose the outward Form of their religious Worship, without being accountable to any body, but God Almighty: Neither can they be Controuled, or forced, rather to worship God according to another’s, than their own Opinion. But, if any body pretends to bring them over to his Side, he ought with suitable Arguments, to Convince them, how far he is in the Right, and they in the Wrong. There may be, besides this, another Reason be given, why no body, in what Condition soever, ought to be forced to another Man’s Religion; because the Knowledge of Truth can’t be implanted in us, without proper and convincing Arguments, such as are capable of preparing our Minds for the receiving of the True Doctrine of Religion: And, as to the Mysteries of the Christian Religion, which transcend our Reason, these must be acquired by the assistance of Divine Grace, which is contrary to all Violence. ’Tis true, a Prince may force a Subject to make an outward Confession by way of Mouth, to comply in his Behaviour, with his Commands, and to dissemble his Thoughts or to speak contrary to his Belief; but he can force no body to believe contrary to his own Opinion. For we ought to believe with all our Hearts;11 but, whatever is done in order to obtain any worldly Advantage, or to avoid an imminent Evil of this kind, can’t be done with all our Heart. But, Faith cometh by Hearing, and Hearing by the Word of God.12 Neither does our Saviour force his Word upon us; but by all gentle means, persuades us to a Compliance with his Will, according to St. Paul’s Saying: Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christs stead, be ye reconciled to God.13
[13.]2 Cor. 5:20.