Front Page Titles (by Subject) §24. - Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society
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§24. - 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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Under whose name and authority the Apostles did exercise this power of Absolution. Supposing then that the Apostles were to remit such Sins as were not committed against them, it must necessarily follow, That they, when they remitted Sins, did it either in the name of such particular Persons, against whom the said Sins were committed, or in the name of a whole Society, or else in the name of some (Human or Divine) Legislator. Now it is certain, that no body can remit another Man’s lawful Action, without his order or consent, no more than you can lawfully take away another’s Right or Property; and therefore it is absolutely necessary, first, to make our peace with the Person offended; without which, we ought not to seek for Pardon from God Almighty; at least, he, that has offended ought to take first, a firm Resolution, to give Satisfaction, as far as is in his Power. Christ says; First, be reconciled to thy Brother, and then come and offer thy Gift.89 And St. Paul offered to make Satisfaction to Philemon, for what Damage he had received from Onesimus.90 From hence arises that general and common Rule: That if Restitution be not made, there can be no Remission of the Sin. For, it is ridiculous, and a contradiction in it self, to profess to God Almighty a true Repentance for an unjust Act, and at the same time enjoy the benefit of it. But, as for the Remission of such enormous Crimes as were committed against a whole Society, the Apostles had their share in it, as is evident out of the 1 Epistle to the Corinth. c. 5:4, 5. and 2 Corinth. c. 2:10. c. 11:29. and will be more treated of hereafter. It will be sufficient in this place to take notice, that what Authority was exercised by them in this kind, was much inferior to that power which they had received of Retaining and Forgiving of Sins. But to remit Sins in the name of those that had the Sovereign and Legislative Power in the State, did not belong to the Apostles, their Commission and Power being not to interfer with the Civil Jurisdiction, or to diminish its Prerogatives; Wherefore Civil Magistrates justly may, and do punish, Offenders according to the Laws of the Realm, notwithstanding they have made their peace with God. The only way then for the Apostles was, to forgive Sins in the Name of God, by whose Authority they had received their Commission, as is evident out of these Words: Whatsoever you shall bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loosen on Earth, shall be loosened in Heaven.91
[89.]Matt. 5:24. See also Luke 19:8.
[90.]Philem. 1:19. [Puf.]
[91.]Matt. 16:19, 18:18. [SZu]