Front Page Titles (by Subject) §32. - Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society
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§32. - 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 inward Structure of the Church is quite different from that of a State. But if we take a full view of the whole Structure of Civil Societies, and by what means Subjects were united under one Government; we shall find them to differ as Heaven and Earth from that Union, which belongs properly to the Body of a Church. If we trace that Original of Civil Societies or Commonwealths, it is evident, that Men having found the Inconveniencies and Dangers which attended a solitary Life in the free natural State, did enter and unite themselves into Societies for their common Security: And having agreed to a certain Form of Government, did constitute one certain Person, or a Counsel, who were to be the supream Governours of that Society; unto whom they submitted themselves and their fortunes, for the common Benefit of that Society. But Churches were erected upon quite another Foundation. For here, Men, being made sensible of their miserable condition, did not by their own accord and a general agreement, turn themselves to God Almighty, but, being on the contrary overwhelmed with Darkness and Ignorance, so, as to be over secure, and neglecting their own Salvation, God did send his Messengers among them, commanding all men every where to repent.156 Here is not the least footstep of any general Agreement of Men to erect and submit themselves under one Church; but each particular Person for himself, without any respect or regard to others did follow Christ and his Doctrine. And, whereas in a Civil State, the whole family has its dependency from their Master, and enjoys all the Privileges belonging to them under his Protection; it is quite different in the Church, where the Wife is not obliged to follow her Husband’s Religion, nor the Servant the Master.157 So, were in the family of Narcissus (who himself was not a Christian) several Christian Servants, who are saluted as such by S. Paul.158 And in this sense is to be taken what is said by Christ, He that loved Father or Mother, Son or Daughter, more than me, is not worthy of me.159 As likewise what is mentioned concerning Divisions, Discords, Dissensions, which are to be raised by the Doctrine of Christ among the nearest Friends, is to be understood of the strict Union betwixt Christ and the Believers, which surpasses, and is to be preferred before all the Tyes of Consanguinity among Men.160 So that, if a Father, Husband or Master, should turn Apostate, the Son, Wife or Servant are not obliged to follow their footsteps. Neither is it requisite to be solicitous about any particular or certain Form of Government in the Church, viz. whether the same ought to be Monarchical, Aristocratical or Democratical. For, these several Forms belonging only to a Civil Government are very preposterously made use of in the behalf of the Church, which is far different from a Temporal State. And as Churches and Commonwealths are erected for different Ends: so the Offices belonging to both are altogether of a different Nature. Who is so ignorant as not to know, that for the obtaining the Ends of Civil Societies, it was requisite to constitute various Degrees of Dignities appertaining to the Managers of the State; whereas the most plain and natural Distinction betwixt Christians in reference to the Church, is only that of Teachers and Auditors.
[157.]1 Cor. 7:12.
[159.]Matt. 10:37, 12:50; Luke 14:26.
[160.]Matt. 10:34. (Luke 12:51. [Puf.])