Front Page Titles (by Subject) §20. - Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society
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§20. - 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 never assumed a Power to Command. Besides this Power of Preaching the Gospel, (even in opposition to any Civil Command) there is nothing to be met withal in the whole Apostolical Doctrine, that has the least resemblance of Command or force. ’Tis not to be denied, but that sometimes Teaching cannot so well be performed without something of Force or Command, especially among young People; But this has its off-spring from the Paternal Authority, and is from hence derived unto others. But the Apostles were to Teach whole Nations, such as were independent from others, and past all School Discipline. And what could one single Body, or perhaps two, and that without Weapons, pretend to do by Force against whole Nations and Commonwealths? It was therefore; That the Apostle said: The Weapons of our Warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of Strong-holds, casting down Imaginations, and every high thing, that exalted it self against the Knowledge of God; and bringing into captivity every Thought to the obedience of Christ.68 And these Weapons are more plainly described in the foregoing 6 Chap. to be, Patience, Tribulations, Necessities, Distresses, Stripes, Imprisonments, Labours, Fastings, Watchings, Pureness, Knowledge, Kindness, the Holy Ghost, unfeigned Love; the Word of Truth, the Power of God, the Armour of Righteousness, and such like,69 as may more at large appear out of several places, especially out of the Epistle to the Ephes. 6:11, out of the 2d. to the Corinth. 8:8, 9:7. to the Coloss. 1:23, 25; and out of the 2d. to the Thessal. 3:12, 14, 15. ’Tis true, in the Parallel of the great Supper, the Master of the Feast orders his Servants, to go out, and compel them to come into his House,70 which is as much to say, as to oblige them to come in, but not by forcible Means or Threatnings;71 or to pull them in by Head and Shoulders, but in such a manner as was suitable to an invitation to so great a Feast, by Prayers and Exhortations, and making them sensible of the Majesty and Greatness both of the Master and the Feast. In the same manner as St. Paul expresses it: We are Ambassadours for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christs stead, be ye reconciled to God.72 And, what can be more evident, than that Ambassadours never pretend to any Authority over those, unto whom they are sent, but that their Negotiations ought to be accomplished by force of Reason and Perswasions. The word also of feeding, which is used by St. John implies nothing of Command, but only the due Administration of Food; especially, since our Saviour told expresly to Peter, Feed my sheep, not thine;73 lest he should be apt to imagine by the said words, he had liberty given him to use his Flock according to his own Discretion; But, to make him sensible, he was bound up to the same Rules, which the Patriarch Jacob had formerly prescribed to himself.74 Lastly, our Saviour is very plain in this Point, when he says: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your Words, when you depart out of that House or City, shake off the Dust of your Feet, leaving them to receive condign Punishment for this Contempt of the Gospel, at the Day of Judgment.75 This was actually performed by St. Paul at Antiocha, and Corinth.76 But those Rules which are prescribed in the 1 Epistle to the Corinthians, Chap. 11, from v. 2, to 22, 23, 24; and 1 Corinth. Chap. 14; as also in Tim. 2:8 Ver. Chap. 5:9 Ver. and some other passages of the same nature, do not imply any Command or Legislative Power, but are only Moral Precepts, and Points of Doctrine.
[68.]2 Cor. 10:4, 5.
[69.]2 Cor. 6:4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
[71.]The Huguenot Pierre Bayle took these words of Jesus as a starting point to demonstrate that there is nothing more abject than making people convert by force. See his Commentaire philosophique sur les paroles de Jésus Christ “Contrains-les d’entrer,” translated as A Philosophical Commentary on the Words of the Gospel, Luke XIV: 23, “Compel them to come in, that my House may be full” (1708), reedited by J. Kilcullen and C. Kukathas (Indianapolis, Ind.: Liberty Fund, forthcoming). [SZu]
[72.]2 Cor. 5:20.
[74.]Gen. 31:38, 39, 40.
[75.]Matt. 10:14, 23.
[76.]Acts 13:51, 18:6.