图书图片
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors]

themselves, one Affecting Superiority over another, and Encreasing it to an Absolute Temporal Dominion. Of which Christ said to the Apostles, [a] It shall not be so among you.' And again, (for they Contended more than once for the Superiority) after the Institution and Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, just as He was going to Enter upon His Sacred Paffion, and to take His final Leave of them, this Dispute arose again, Which of them ßould be the Greatest, and that was the Time to Determine it if Ever, but He again Checked their Ambition, and the Error of their Thought, as if the Church were to be Go. verned with Temporal Sway and Authority, like the Grandeur of Secular Princes, but told them plainly [6] Te fall not be fo.

And in His farewel Sermon, continued upon the fame Occasion, and at the same Time, He insisted much upon their Unity, and Placed it, not upon the Superiority of any One of them over the Others, but in their Murual Love and good Agreement with Each other, in their Vni. on with God and with Himself, upon which He wonderfully Expatiatesin moft Exalted Words. which take up four whole Chapters in S.John, and begins, (c) Little Children, jet a little wkile I am with you A new Commandment I give unto you, That ye Love one another By this shall all Men know that ye are My Disciples, if ye have Love one to another. This is the Vnity of which Christ

N 4 . speaks

[a ] Matth. XX. 25. [6] Luk. xxii. 26. [1] Joh. xiii. 33. speaks in these His last Words to the Apostles. He said, [a] My Kingdom is not of this World: If my Kingdom were of this World, then would my Servants Fight - But he that calls himself Servus Servorum, the Servant of His Servants, has Fought, and Raised bloody Warsin Defence, as he says, of this his Master's Kingdom! And he will have the Government of it just the same as of other Kingdoms of the World, and its Vnity to Consist, like theirs, in being under one Absolute and Despotick Head or King. But no Kingdom of the Earth will Content him. He will be Universal Monarch of the whole World. And why? Because Christ is the Head of all Churches, and therefore must have an Universal Vicar. And from the same Parity of Reason, because [b] God is the King of all the Earth, therefore He must have an Universal Vicar in Temporals. And it England, France, Spain, &c. should Contend which of them were this Universal Vicar, would not the Answer be Easy? That the Contest was foolish and vain, for though one Kingdom might be Greater or more Ancient than another, yet was * it still but a Part of the Wbole, that is of the World. And that God had Appointed no fuch Universal Vicar. The Case is exactly Parallel, unless it can be shewed, that Christ has Appointed fuch an Universal Vicar in the Church; And told us Plainly who it is, that we may PS. ..

*° obey

[4] Joh. xvii. 36. [6] Pal. xlvii. ?:

obey Him. Which when done, we will own our selves Hereticks, Schismaticks, and what you will, till we Return and Pay our Obedience to Him. '

But on the other hand, if Christ has Appointed no such Universal Vicar, then are you under a Mortal Miftake concerning the Vnity of the Church, which you place wholly upon our being United in Obedience to such an One. And your Church is the Great Breaker of Ecclesiastical Unity, while Mhe will bear no Sister Church, but will be the Mother of all Churches, though she be not the Eldest. .

This, My Lord, is the very Heart of the Cause. And we are verily Persuaded that ther is not the least Ground for this Universal Su. premacy, either in the Holy Scriptures; or in Antiquity, or in the Reason of the Thing, or in Fact, since the first Foundation of Christianity to this Day,or that it was ever Acknowledged, or is Now, by the Majority of Christian Churches. And yet this is the Foundation of all the Difputes betwixt your Church and ours, and all other Christian Churches.

Christ forsaw the Consequences of trusting an Universal Supremacy in the Hands of Fallible "Men. An Universal King muft Ruin the World, for Appeals to Him must lye in all Causes from all the parts of the Eartli, and Men must Attend with their Witnesses, and all other things Necessary to carry on a Law Suit. The Oppression of this (beyond all other Tyranries) may Appear by the Ap

Fact, lince to that it was ev of Christiaall the Dita

peals peals to Rome, in the times of Popery, no further than from England thither, where Caules lasted from Age to Age, loudly Complained of in those Times and Attempts made to Restrain it in some Measure by several of our Acts of Parliament, but not to Purpose till the Reformation : And this indeed made the Reformation even Necessary, for the Prefervation of the People, as well Laity as Clergy, who Groaned under this Burden which neither they nor their Fathers were able to Bear. Dr. Parker late Lord Bishop of Oxford, in his Excellent Discourse sent to the late King James, when he was Arch Deacon of Canterbury, Printed here in the Year 1690, says upon this Head, p. 29. I my self enjoy a small Office in this Church, wherein my Predecesor's had a Suit for a Privilege belonging to it, hanging in the Court of Rome for some Hundreds of years, till the very Time of the Dissolution of the Pope's Power. Hence we may Judge how it would be with the Churches, in the Indies and the moft Remote Places in the World, if it were All under his Power, as he Pretends ! But the Good Providence of God has not Suffered it to Extend to Half of the Christian Churhces (as before is said) and His Wifdom and Goodness has ftill Preserved the Major Part true Protestants against this vsurpation; besides the great Number He has Rescued from it, and has never Suffered any of these Reformed Churches or Nations to Return to it again, as before has been Observed : And belides that the Principle it

self,

self, and the Pretensions of the Pope to this
Universal and Unlimited Supremacy arc Beat
down and Exploded by the Gallican Church,
and others the most Learned who still Remain
in his Communion whether he will or not,
and though he Excommunicates them afresh e.
very Year!
... And now, My Lord, I cannot but think
it made Plain to a Demonstration, that this
Vniversal Supremacy is a thing Impracticable;
and that if it could be in Fact, it would be
the greatest Ruin and Oppression to the
Church that is Pollible. And if an Universal
King would be Insupportable to the World.
how much more an Universal Bishop to the
Church? For he must have an Absolute Do-
minion over our Faith, over the Holy Scrip-
tures, and over the Church, which must sud.
denly Fall (as I before quoted Gregory the
Great) if it comes to depend upon One. And
that whoever Should Assume it, would be
as he Prophesied a Lucifer, and the fore-run-
ner of Anti-Christ. And can he be less, if he
has Vsurped so vast an Authority, and Infallibi-
ty it self to support it.

I said before, that an Universal King would make all Wars to be Rebellion, and to Incurable but by utter Destruction. Thus it is with the Universal Bilbop, Opposing his Supremacy is Herely, Schism, and Excommunication : And is the only Article in your Creed to be Believed Explicitly, as for the others, Implicit will do for them all! That is, it is no Matter

. .. whether

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« 上一页继续 »