網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

he wou'd some time or other have exercised the fame, but this he no where did ; neither when present with the Rest of the Apostles, nor in his Epistles to them : His Stile is not commanding as a Superior, but only exhort ing as amongst Equals. Nor are these Rominh Doctors able to produce any one particular Act of Peter's which may imply his Superiority, during the whole Course of that Apostle's Life: Therefore he had no such Authority at all, and the Notion is groundless and vain.

The chief Text which the Papists abuse to countenance this Matter is from these Words of our Saviour. (a) “ Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock wil I build my “ Church, and I will give unto thee the Keys of the King. “ dom of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on " Earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou “ fhalt loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven." But this

makes nothing to their Purpose, the Meaning is plain : For in the foregoing Words, our Saviour de mands of his Disciples Who they faid he was." To. which Péter for them all answers, « Thou art Cbrif the “Son of the living God." Thereupon, Christ said unto him, “ Thou art Peter, thy Name signifies a Stone, and

upon this Rock of thy Confeffion, I will build my « Church, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against " it.” That is, against that Church which by thy Miniftry, and the Ministry of thy Fellow Labourers, thall be built upon this great and fundamental Article of your Faith. And as for those words, “ I will give you the

Keys," 'tis a Promise made to all his A pokles in the Person of Peter, who had answered in the Name of them all; which is plain from the Words of our Sae viour, when he appeared unto them after his Crucifixie on, (b) “ And breathed upon them, and faid unto them, re« ceive ye the Holy Ghost ; and, whose Sins ye remit,.

they are remitted, c." So that by this, Power was given unto them all equally of Ministration in the

(a) Matt. 16, 18, 19, (b) fohn 20, 22, 23.

Churchi.

Church. And this is the Judgment of the old Catholick
Fathers.

St.Cyprian pronounces, that, (a) “ All the Apostles
" were of like Power among themselves, and the Rest
« were the same that Peter was, and it was said indifferent-
“ ly to them all
, feed ye; indifferently to them all

, go in“ to the World; indifferently to them all, Teach ye the « Gospel."

And thus Gregorius Nyssenus expoundeth this Text, (b) “ Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build my as Church. He meanech the Confession of Christ, for « he had said before, Thou art Ghrift the Son of the

living God."

So faith St. Hillarie, (c) “ This is that only blefled Rock w of Faith that Petêr coñtefled with his Mouth: And up“ on this Rock of Peter's Confession is the building of 16 the Church."

So faith St. Chryfoftom, (d) “ Upon this Rock, that " is, upon this Faith, and this Confellion I will build my • Church.”

So faith Origen, (e) " He is the Rock whosoever is the « Disciple of Christ, and upon such a Rock, all Chrifti

an Authority and Knowledge is built. If thou think « that the whole Church is built only on Peter, what then “ wilt thou say of every of the Apostles: Shall we dare a to lay that the Gates of Heil fhall not prevail only a“ gainst Peter, or the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

given only unto Peter?

And this agrees with what St. Paul says to his Con. verts; (f) “ Now therefore ye are no more Strangers a and Foreigners, bue Fellow Citizens with the Saints, « and of the Houfhold of God, and are built upon the “ Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ

[ocr errors]

(a) De fimpl. Prelator. (b) In Testimoniis Dilectis ex veter. Teft. (c) De Trin. Lib.2.06. (d) In Mast. Hom. 55. (e) In Mart. Trad. 1. (f) Ephef. 2. 19, 20, 21, 220.

himsele

« himselt being the chief Corner Stone, in whom all “ the Building fitly framed together, groweth into an “ holy Temple in the Lord, in which you also are build. ed together, for an Habitation of God thro the “ Spirit.

From thele Testimonies of holy Scripture and the pri. mitive Fathers, it is abundantly plain, that this is the true and just Interpretation of those words of our Saviour; so that not St. Peter's Perfon, but his Confeffion is the Rock upon which the Church is built ; and confe. quently that Argument that the Papists draw from the Words of our Saviour to prove the Pope's Supremacy, is founded upon a Mistake, and must necessarily fall to the Ground.

Now as to the Pope's being St. Peter's Succeffor as Bi. fhop of Rome ; It is so far from being demonstrable, that St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, that it is hardly probable he was ever there. And for these Reasons.

ift, By St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, it appears, that Peter and Paul (a) made an Agreement, by the Di.. rection of the Holy Spirit, that Peter shou'd preach to the Jews, and Paul to the Gentiles, and that Peter is therefore called the Apostle of Circumcifion, and accordingly did write his Epistles to the Icattered Jews, but he neither directs to, nor dated any from Rome. It is therefore most unlikely he shou'd be Bishop or Resident there,

2dly, When St. Paul(b) writes to the Romans, and sends greeting to above forty by Name; he lays nothing of Peter whom it is not likely he wou'd have omitted, either then, or afterwards, when he sent particular Salutations from others in several of his Epistles. Nay, he complains that, (c) All that were at Rome sought their own,

not the Things which are Jesus Christ's.”. Besides, when St. Paul first came to Rome, the Jews there, who

(a) Gal. 2. 7. 'Ais 28.

(bRom. 16.

(c) Phil. 2 25

Were

were St. Peter's peculiar Charge, feem’d to know nothing of the Gospel. And elsewhere, he 'names a few whom he faith, (a) “ Were his oply Fellow Workers there: And complains, that, (b) “ At his firft Answer, when os summoned before Nero, no Man ftood with him, but «s all Men forsook him," all which sure cou'd not have happened, if St. Peter had been at Rome.

3dly, The Papifts Stories do not agree in the Time of St. Peter's coming to Rome, and concerning that of his Death, contradict the Truth apparent from Scripture and approv'd History; therefore it is unreasonable to im. pose upon us so dubious a Matter. Besides, if St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, and that the Pope is his Successor, there is no Reason that his Supremacy shou'd be made an Article of Faith: Because we ought not to make any Thing an Article of our Faith, but that which can be proved by Scripture; now, the Pope's Supremacy cannot be proved by Scripture, and of Consequence ought not to be received as an Article of Faith.

4thly, But allowing St. Peter to have been at Rome, If the Pope succeeded Peter, it must be in his extraordinary Quality as an Apostle, or as he was Bishop of Rome, or as he was Head of the Church; but he cannot succeed him as an Apostle, for shat Office ceased with the Perfons, the Apostles not constituting Apostles to succeed them, but only Bishops, Pastors, &c. Nor cou'd he succeed him as Bishop of Rome, or head of the Church, because Peter himseit was neither of them, and a Man cannot be said to succeed another in that, which such other Person had never any Poffeffion of, or Right to, therefore it follows, the Pope succeeds not at all St. Peter.

[ocr errors]

5thly, St. Peter's Primacy (if he had any) did not exempt him from paying Tribute, even to (c) " An

(a) Coloslo 4. 11. (b) 2 tim.4.16. (e) Matt.17.27

“ Heathen."

* Heathen." His Epistle has many urgent Precepts of Obedience to Princes. as, (a) “ Submit to every Ordi# nance of Man, whether it be to the King as Supreme," pray mark, “ Or to Governors, cc." But the Rope net only denies a:l Obedience to the Emperor, his rightful Sovereign, and other Kings and Princes, but plays the Tyrant over them, and pretends a Right to dispose of their Crowns, and over-rule them in their own Dominions at his Pleasure. Therefore the Pope can never assume this Insolence from St. Peter.

6thly, St. Peter's Primacy (if we shou'd allow him to have had any) did not priviledge him from Subjection to the Rest ot his Brethren, (b) “ Before whom he plcad. “ cd his Cause,” and by whom “ He was sent as a

Messenger:" Nor did it free him from (c) “ Error, or “ from being with tood to the Face." But the Pope claims a Right to domineer over the whole Church at his Pleasure, and boasts himself infallible: lafomuch that the Council of Lateran most compliantly tells him, (d) “ To thee is given all Manner of Power, as well of * Heaven, as of Earth: " He that faith all, excepteth nothing. These vast Prerogatives which are the brighteft Jewels of the Triple-Crown, we are sure were never Part of Peter's Inheritance.

Lastly, Were the Popith Pretensions true, we must conclude the Fathers extremely negligent, not to say defective, that they have not lett exprefly let down in any of their Works, this most important Point, that Chrift made Peter and his Succeffor's Head of the Church and endued them with Infallibility. And farther, the fame Fathers must have troubled themselves and their Flocks very impertinently, in toiling to compose tedious Confutations of Hereticks, it they might have had pre,

(a) 1 Pet. 2. 13. (b) Ads 8. 14. et Ch. 11. 2, 3, 4, C. (c) Gal. 2. 11. (d) Sub. Leon, 10. Sell. 10.

sens

« 上一頁繼續 »