« 上一页继续 »
Ples, in which S. Peter has a great thate, though not fo much as St. Paul, and there is a Council mentioned wherein both of them were present; and there is not a Tittle of any Superiority of St. Peter over St: Paul; or any other of the Apostles, either in that Council, or any where else throughout that whole History, which, as your Lordship has determined, is impossible if St. Peter had that Supremacy which the Popes have Claimed as his Successors."
This is fo Demonstrative a Proof that the Writers on your side think it necessary for them to endeavour fome Solution to it. But the Weakness of their Answer is a yet greater Confirmation on our Side. For they can find no other way to get some Superiority to St. Peter in this Council than to fuppose that he opened it, because, as they say, he spoke first; which would not infer the Supremacy they intend, if it were true; but it is plainly otherwise, for it is said, A&S XV: 7. And wheri there bad been much difputing, Peter rose up and said Nor did he speak laft, for after he had done Paul and Barnabas declared the Conversion of the Gentiles, by their means, with.' out putting them under the Law, which was the Point in Debate ; and after they had held. their Peace, St. James who'was Bishop of Jerufalem, where the Council was held, did, as President, resume what had been said by St. Pe
ter and others, and gave his definitive Sentence | upon the wholez berefore my Sentence isa
And the Decree of the Council was drawn up in the Words of St. James. So that it is plain he closed the Council, whoever opened it or spoke first, which is not fo inaterial as to be told in this Account of that Council. But dismissing the Council, and putting an End to it seeins of greater Authority. If what is said of St. James here had been said of St. Peter, I question not it would have been made use of as a full Proof of his Supremacy, and Presiding in that Council.
L. I must confess the History of the New Teftament is very barren, as to Facts relating to the Authority of St. Peter over the other Apostles. We must depend upon the Texts be. fore mentioned of Feed my Sheep &c.
G. None of these Texts are so express as what I quoted of St. Paul. ; But if they were meant in that Extent for which you produced thein, it is impossible but that must appear in the Facts of St. Peter, especially in the part he bore in that Council at Jerusalem. And Facts are the surest Éxplanation of Words.
We discourse now only of Authority, what Authority one Apostle had over another, for that is the point wherein we are concerned, We speak not of their Gifts and Graces, and their Labours in propagating the Gospel, wherein one might be more Eminent and Successful than another, but this gave him no Authority over the others. And in this also St. Paul had the Preference, for He laboured more abundantly than tbey all, 1 Cor. xv. 10. "And all the Epifles
might be hurt this gave him. St. Paul had the than
almost are his, to the several Churches. And his Miracles and Conversions of Infidels take up a much greater part in the Aets of the Apostle's than those of St. Peter...,?' - I have said so much of this Matter, because the supposed Supremacy of St. Peter, his being at Rome, and Bishop of Romne, is the whole Foundation of that Supremacy claimed by the Bishop or Church of Rome. .
And if that be so Efential a Point, and upon which the Unity of the Church depends, infomuch that without it there is no Church at all, according to the Scheme drawn by Modern Rome, it is inconceivable the Scriptures fhould be so wholly filent in it, nay, shewing the very, contrary in Fact, as I have faid already concerning St. Peter. And when the direct' Oueition was pur to our Blessed Saviour upon the Contést among the Apostles which of them should be the Greatest, Luke xxii. 24. I say if this was so material a Point as to the very Being of the Church, it is inconceivable. He should not have Determined it, but by His Answer rather checkt the Error of their Thought, and left them all upon the Level. :
6.) L. I would gladly know your Notion of the Unity of the Church, if all Bifhops, as you fay of the Apostles, were upon the Level, with out any Head Bishop, or Principle of Unity among them; for we are told that Christ has but one Church upon Earthi
G. Your Lordship may add, and in Heaven too, for all are one Church to Cbrift, of which He alone is the Head. And one Part being Mis litant, the other Triumphant, makes them not two Churches, but two States of the fame Church which is called One Family in Heaven and Earth. Eph. iii. 15. In like Manner, Heaven, Earth, and Hell are one Kingdom to the Great Creator', for His Kingdom ruleth over all. And of the Earth it is faid, The Kingdom is the Lord's, and He is the Governor among the Nations, Pfal.xxii. : 28. All the Nations are one Kingdom to Him. But he has appointed no Universal Monarch as His Deputŷ of his Kingdom of the Earth, but each Nation is Governed by their respective Rulers, independent of each other. For so His Wisdom has Disposed, according to the Capacity of his Creatures, for what Mari would be sufficient to Govern the whole World? And where must the Seat be of this Universal Monarch? Must he not have as many or more Deputies under him as there are now Kings of Nations? And what Prudence could prevent Defections and Rebellions in far distant Provinces? This has overthrown great Monarchies, which have fallen with their own Weight. What then could support an Universal Monarchy ? when Nations go to War, other Neighbour Kings and States may Interpose, assist the Oppressed, be Mediators and Griarantees of Peace. But this could not be in Case of Defection from the Universal Monarch, for: who assist Rebels'i are Rebels themselves,
And fuch Wars could not bat end in the utter Destruction of the one Gde or the other. Therefore God has Consulted best for the Peace and Safety of Mankind in Distributing the World into several Independent Governments, rather than to put all under the Dominion of One.
L. But when Nations are at War, where is the Unity of this one Kingdom of God upon Earth. : : ! G. It is disturbed where those Wars are. But it is not yet totally Dissolved : For there are Laws of War, wherein all agree. There is still what we call the Law of Nations, which as it Maintains Commerce in Peace, so it regulates the Fury of War. And there is one Unity which nothing can Dissolve, that is, God having made of one Blood all Nations upontbe Earth. So that here is an Unity of Relation, of Humanity, and of common Principles which all retain. · L. But how is this Unity kept ?
G. Not as it should be. But so as is Consiftent with our fallen State, and the Corrup. tions of Mankind. It is not such an Unity as is in God's Kingdoin of Heaven ; which yet was once Disturbed by Rebellion.
L. But there ought to be a stricter Unity in the Church than in the Temporal World?
G. I wish it were so, but alas it is not. And the Frailty of Man thews it self in the Church as well as in the State. The inany Herefies and Divisions in the Church have rent her to pieces and broke her Unity, as much as Wars have that of the Temporal World. .