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G. But they were first given to the Jewift Church, and belong even literally to her, and i much more uncontestably than to the Church of Rome, to whom no Promise whatsoever was made : Nor has she any other Pretence to the Promises made to the Church in General, than her supposed Supremacy over all other Christian Churches ; which is disputed with her, and Denyed by the other Churches. But there was none to Dispute it with the Jewill Church, for she was then the only visible Cburch of God upon Earth. And if the Promises made to her, can fail, in vain does the Church of Rome, or even the whole Gentile Church claim thefe Promises as indefeasible and unalterable to Her : For if the Promises made to the whole Church of God upon Earth can b fail at one time, they may likewise at another, aud there can be no Certainty, i
L. Can the Promises of God then fail?
G. No, that is impoflible, but we may miftake his Promises and not understand them aright. And we may not perform the Conditions required.
L. But the Promises made to the Church (that particularly which I have named of Ifa. lix. 21.) are Positive and Unconditional. :, G. But there is still a Condition implyed. that is, of our Obedience ; which our Saviour has fully Exemplified in the Parable of the Husbandmen who did not render the Fruits of the Vineyard. As Treason forfeits an Estate or Honours given by a Prince, though in ne
ver fo positive Terms, and without any con: dition expressed, but that of Allegiance to the Prince is always implyed. And thus the Church may forfeit her Charter. God said to El the High-Priest of the Jewish Church, I said indeed that thy House and the House of thy Father should walk before me for ever ; but now the Lord faith, Be it far from me ; for them that Honour me I will Honour, and they that Despise me ball be lightly esteemed, i Sain. 11.30. And He said, Num. xiv, 34, Xe ball know my breach of Promnife, or as our Margin reads it, the altering of my Purpose, And He has told us plainly that we are thus to understand his Proinises as well as Threatnings, Jer. xviii, 7. &c. At what ins fiant I shall Ipeak concerning a. Nation (or a Churchy to pluck, up, and to pull down; and to destroy it, if that Nation against whom I bave pronounced, turn from their Evil, I will repent of the Evil I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I wall speak concerning a Nation (or Church) to build and to plant it, if it do Evil in my light, that it obey not my Voice, then will I repent of the Good wberewith I said I would benefit them. ****, - This was the Language of the Prophets to the Jewish Church. But the understood it not, and leant upon the Promises made to her as Unconditional and Indefeasible; let her be
her against her Prophets, whom the persecuted for this reason as Enemies to the Church, as you find, Jer. xviii. 18. Come and let us devise
Devices against Feremiah, for the Law shall
Church stuck, and here the Church of Rome
the Fewish, for then there would be no Church Sat all. : ; . . . . " ! Sisi ni :
G. The Apostle of the Gentiles. says to the Gentile Church, Thou also Malt be cut off, if etborí continue not in the Goodness of God. And ; that the Jews, if they abide not fill in Unbelief, shall be graffed in for God is able to graff them in again, Rom. xi. 22, 23. This shews that all Ithe Proinifes made either to the Jewish or the Gentile Church are conditional, viz. If they scontinue in the Goodness of God: Otherwise, fays St. Paul to the Gentile. Church, Thou also fbalt be cut off, and of all the Gentile Churches this was said more particularly to the Church of Rome, for this is in the Epistle wrote to Her, and to Her it was said, Thou also falt be cut off. ; . ; **And of the Church in General, whether Fewiß or Gentile, it is said, Luke xviii. 8. Wben the Son of Man cometb, ball be find Faith upon the Earth ? Where will then that'' Visibility be'which Rome boasts of as an essential Mark of the true Church?
L. The Church is compared to a City set upon a Hill, to a Candle giving Light to all that are in the House. This is to thew her Visibility.
- G. She is likewise compared to a Woman
different times. :
G. So God called the Church of the Jews, Jer. xii. 7. The dearly Beloved of His Soul. Yet fays. He had forsaken her for her Wickedness, and bated her. And Isaiah represents her as inost filthy and corrupted, chap. i. 4, 5, 6.
The Church is called Holy and Beloved because of God's Covenant with her to be His Holy and Beloved, which will be hereafter in those that are perfected; when the Tares and the Wbeat shall be separated, but they must grow together till then, when Cbrist sall gather gut of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do Iniquity. Mat. xiii. 41. Then; and not till then, will the Church be all Glorious; without Spatior Wrinkle.. &c. As the Text says, Epb. v. 25.Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it ; that He might fančtify and cleanse. it-that He might prefent it to Himself a Glorious Church not having Spot: 04-Wrinkle, &c. But He has not yet so presented it. That tiine is not come. She is Atill in her cleansing State, but not yet thorough
ly cleansed. And the Scripture speaks of both these States of the Church, but when we diftinguish not, and would apply to the most cor. rupt State what is said of the most Glorious, We ✓ must needs fall into many Errors and Mistakes.
This is the Difficulty under which the Church of Rome now labours, She first making her self the Catbolick Church: And then apply. ing to her felf, in this her corrupt State, what. ever is said of the Churcb even in her Perfe&t. Glorious, and Triumphant State; creates her infinite Trouble, and endless Distinctions, to reconcile these ; which is as impoflible to be done as to make the State of the Church in Heaven and upon the Earth to be the same: And while the Corruptions in the Church of Rome are confessed and lamented by the most Learned and most Pious in her own Communion.
And she may as well maintain her Impec, cability, as her Infallibility į for Sin is the greateit Error : And therefore I think nothing can be Infallible, but what is likewise Impeccable.
(10.) L. The Apostles were Infallible, but not Impeccable. : G. As much the one as the other. St. Peter Erred, and Walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel. And many were carried away with his Diffimulation. Gal. ii. 13, 14. And St. Paul owned that in some cases he had no Commandment of the Lord,only gave bis fudgment,as a private Person, and spoke by permission, and not