Front Page Titles (by Subject) §8. - Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society
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§8. - 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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Of the Nature of revealed Religion. But the Condition of Mankind being such, That it was impossible by the sole help of Natural Religion, to attain to that Felicity which was proposed by the great Creator; it had pleased the Great and All-wise God, to reveal unto us Mortals his Will; and to instruct us by what means we may obtain his Favour, and how he expects to be Worshipped by us. It is for this reason, that no body of a right Understanding ought to make the least Scruple, but, that all such Matters as God has revealed to us, in a manner surpassing our Natural Understanding, ought to be reverenced by Mankind, and to be received with a general consent and submission. Among the several Doctrines, thus revealed, the Article of Justification, or the Purging us from Sins through the Merits of our Saviour, was one of the Principal ones. And, I am of Opinion, that these bloody Sacrifices, which from the very Beginning of the World were Instituted by God’s Command, were so many Emblems of this our Redemption by the Blood of Christ; for, without this supposition, it would seem scarce Rational, that a living Creature, sensible of Death and Pains, and which cannot be killed without great Torments, should be destroyed for the Honour of its Creator. As if Man should enter into the Work-House of an Artificer, and by destroying his Handy-Work, pretend to do him an extraordinary Honour. This most Antient way of Sacrificing (the chief Badge of True Religion, before it was Corrupted by Ignorance or Superstition) though it was no small addition to Natural Religion; yet did it cause no alteration as to the Exercise of it. For, in the State of Natural Freedom, every one had a right to Sacrifice, though at the same time, every one was not obliged to Sacrifice for himself. For, this Ceremony of Sacrificing being only an Emblem, representing the future Redemption of Mankind, one and the same Sacrifice might answer that End, in respect to all that were present at the time of the Sacrifice. From hence it was become a Custom, that the Heads of each Family used to Sacrifice for the rest; and if more Families were assembled in order to Sacrifice, it was to be Administered by him that was chosen by the rest, for that purpose. And it is observable, that the same Person that had the Right of Sacrificing, had also the Power of prescribing time and place for that Sacrifice.24 Thus when afterwards God had Ordained the Ceremony or Sacrament of Circumcision; Abraham did Administer the same in his House, as being the Father of his Family. What we have alledged concerning the Right of Sacrificing, may be proved from thence, that both Abel and Cain, after they had left their Fathers House, did Sacrifice. And by several Passages in Genesis, we are informed, That the Antient Patriarchs (being Fathers of their Families) did erect Altars. So, Micha set up a House of Gods at home, during the Anarchy in Israel, there being then neither King nor any other Man, that took care of the Publick Worship;25 thus attributing to himself (though unjustly) the same Right, which the Ancient Fathers of Families had been possess’d of in more Antient Times.
[24.]Gen. 4:3, 4.
[25.]Judg. 17:5, 6.