Front Page Titles (by Subject) §19. - Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society
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§19. - 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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The Apostles had received their Power of teaching from God alone, without any dependance from any Temporal Power. The Apostles had nevertheless much more Authority for the exercising of their Functions than others, who profess Human Sciences or Doctrines; For, these cannot pretend to any lawful Authority of Teaching, in publick, unless with Consent, or at least Connivance of the Higher Powers, who may put a stop to them at Pleasure. But the Case is quite different with the Apostles, who having received their Commission of Teaching from Christ, the same cannot be annulled by any Civil Power, so, as to oblige them either to be silent, or to alter their Doctrine, when commanded; neither can they be esteemed disobedient or rebellious, if they refuse, in this Point, to follow the Commands of Civil Magistrates. It is very remarkable what Christ spoke to his Apostles by way of Preface, when he was just going to put them into Possession of their Office, These were his Words: All Power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth.62 And that this Power might not be mistaken for a Temporal Authority, as exercised by Sovereigns over their Subjects, but to be understood of the Power of leading Mankind, and shewing them the true Way to Salvation, plainly appears out of our Saviour’s Words, when he speaks thus concerning himself to his heavenly Father: As thou hast given him power over all Flesh, that he should give eternal Life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is eternal Life, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.63 And in St. Luke: He that heared you, heared me, and he that despised you, despised me; and he that despised me, despised him that sent me.64 The holy Apostles therefore could not by any Civil Power on Earth be absolved from this Command of Preaching the Doctrine of Christ throughout the World, and Baptizing such as received this Doctrine. They were instructed with the Gift of doing Miracles, as a Proof of their Authority, and Verity of their Doctrine, which being now sufficiently propagated and received by so many, these Miracles are become useless: Like it is the Custom in some Countries, that new Laws are published, under the Sound of Trumpets, which is never repeated after the first Promulgation. They having then received their Authority from Christ, it was a vain Exprobration which was made to St. Paul by the Athenians, when they said: What will this Babler say?65 Neither could they be justly punished, because they went about to abolish the antiently received Rites and Ceremonies; And when they were commanded to desist from spreading their Doctrine, they might legally refuse to be obedient in this Case; For, they ought to obey God rather than Men;66 Nay, they were rather to undergo corporal Punishment, than to renounce the Doctrine of Christ.67 And those Princes, that violently opposed the Christian Doctrine, are so far from having exercised a legal Civil Authority, that they have rather made themselves guilty of a most enormous Crime against the Divine Majesty, by violating his Legats or Ministers, it being sufficiently known, that publick Ministers, sent by Temporal Princes, are esteemed inviolable.
[63.]John 17:2, 3.
[66.]Acts 4:19, 5:29.
[67.]Matt. 10:28, 32, 33.