Lutheran Religion P continues our Online Christian Library under Lutheran orthodoxy with links to the Lutheran books by Samuel Pufendorf.
Lutheran Religion P
Samuel Pufendorf, the son of a German Lutheran pastor, was born in 1632. He studied theology at the University of Leipzig, but believing it to be too narrow, abandoned it for the study of mathematics at the University of Jena. He was highly influenced by such philosophers of his time as Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, and Hugo Grotius. His writings had a great influence on such men as Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson, and were considered to be the precursor of the Enlightenment in Germany.
The following is an excerpt from the Preface of Pufendorf's work, An Introduction to the History of the Principal States of Europe, Vol. 1.
It being allowed by the learned that History is a most useful as well as pleasant Study, and particularly so to those who are intended for publick Employments, young Gentlemen of Family should be exhorted to apply themselves thereto while young; because their Memory is at that Time in its full Vigour. It is moreover to be feared, that such as have to Relish for History will not make any considerable Progress in the other Sciences.
Some of the ancient Historians are indeed read in Schools, and so far from condemning this Practice they should in my Opinion be always begus with: But it seems to be a great Mistake in those to whom the Education of Youth is committed to neglect the History of later Times; for if it be true that young Persons ought to understand those Things most which will be most useful, it is certainly more proper for them, and especially for such as are likely to be employed in Affairs of State, to understand well the modern History of their own and the neighbouring Nations, than to be ever so great Masters of Cornelius Nepos, Curtius or any other of the Ancient Historians.