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Thus, we hope, we have herein briefly and satisfactorily shew'd, that the late invented Errors of the present Church of Rome, had no Allowance from the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ, the Practice of the primitive Church, or the Monuments of Antiquity, from the best and moft learned Christian Writers of each of these fix first Centuries, of which Period, the first three Centuries, must be ackoowledged to be the very Flower of the primitive Church, and most purely to have received the Faith delivered to the Saints, and to have maintained it. Because, the Truth of the Gospel was first infallibly taught by Christ and his Apoftles, in their own Persons, and afterwards by holy Men, who had the Opportunity of hearing and conversing with these blessed Disciples ot Jesus. But that the Doctrines then maintained in the most material Heads in dispute between us and the present Church of Rome, were the same as areat this Day taught, and generally believed by the Protestant Churches;
which is what was to be demonstrated. We shall now proceed to refute more particularly and distinctly the most notorious Doctrines held by the present Church of Rome, as necessary to Salvation, which in themselves are either new, or absolutely false, or condemn'd by God's Word.
C H A P.
CH A P. II.
Against the Pope's Supremacy
HE antient Statuaries never bestowed half so much
Pains and Cunning on the Images of their abomi. nable Deities, as the late Romish Doctors have done, on their darling Idol the Papacy; fo that now (save Truth. and Sincerity, there is nothing wanting to make it awful and venerable. " As the Gentiles with their Hands, so “ Hereticks with their Words, faith Tertullian, are the u Makers of Idols. For every Lie that they speak of
God, whole Essence is Truih, becomes a Kind of l.. « dolatry." And in this Sense, our Men ot Rome are palpably guilty. They have finished their Dagon, and sec it before the Ark of the LORD, and fall down and wor.ship it themselves, and wou'd force all others to adore it likewile, as the Oracle of Infallibility, the Touch-stone: of Truth, and the Pillar of Salvation. Thus the Pope hath claimed and usurp'd the Prerogative of the great God. of Heaven and Earth, by making himself the immediate Foundation of all Faith; so that Norbing is to be taken for Matter of Faith, but upon his Authority, dispensing against the holy and eternal Laws of God, pardoning Sin, disposing of Kingdoms, and doing whatsoever to him seems most meet. 'Tis for upholding this Supremacy of the Pope, that all the Romish Clergy are in Arms. He that holds not this, whatsoever else he holds, cannot by the Doctrine of the Romish Church be a true Catholick. Hence arises the Impossibility of a Reconciliation beween us and them; we cannot be Members ofi their Church, but we must join with them in Acknow.
ledgment of this Papal Authority, They cannot renounce this Opinion, but they mult withal utterly diffolve their Church, the essential Form whereof consisteth in this very Manner of Government. Surely here we see that of the Apostle fulfillid, (a) « And for this Cause, God shall
send them frong Delusions, that they should believe a “ lie.” For, what greater Delusion can there be, than. for a Man to believe
that of every Pope that no Pope ever believed of himself, or any of his Predecessors? And tho' no Roman Bishop pretended bimfelt qualified with the Title of Universal, 'till after the Years of Christ fix hundred, yet having once taken it up, as Rebels when they have usurp'd a Crown, endeavour by fome forg'd Pedigree to colour an antient Titie; so the Pope then began, and to this Day continues, to derive his Right from. St. Peter : Therefore, it will be convenient for us to con-sider the Validity of that fundamental Plea.
The Story they wou'd have us believe, is in Mort this; that Christ conferr'd a Power on St. Peter over the rest of the Apostles, and to him committed the Government of bis Church throughout the whole World as bis Vicar; and that Peter being Bishop of Rome, this Right is devolved upon his Succeffors, the Bilops of Rome, unto the End of the World.
Against this vain Pretence, and this Tale of Succel, fion, we shall offer thele Arguments.
ift, If such a Power were granted to St. Peter above the rest of the Apostles, the Evangelists, who by lospiration of the Holy Ghost, wrote all Things that are neceffary to Faith and Salvation, would not have been filent therein ;, but they record no fucá Thing, therefore, no Man can think, that a Matter of fo great Importance wou'd have been passed over in silence, if there were any ground to believe it.
2dly, If this pretended promise had been made to Str Peter, it is not to be suppos'd that Christ's Disciples, attes having knowo the Mind of their Lord and Master, wou'd have disputed about Superiority notwithstanding, but we find they did ; and that Christ called the twelve, ('tis to be suppos'd that Peter was amongst them) and said unto them, (a) “ If any Man desire to be first, the same shall « be last of all, and Servant of all.” Therefore tbere cannot possibly be
fuller or clearer Proof of an E. quality among the Apostles.
3dly, If our Saviour had appointed St. Peter his Vicar general upon Earth, 'tis to be presumed, the other A. postles wou'd have acknowledged him their Governor in all their Proceedings, relating to fpiritual Matters : But the contrary is manifest, because, when there was a Vacancy in the College of Apostles, the History tells us, that (b) the whole Assembly to about an hundred and twenty agreed upon him that succeeded Judas; St. Peter being present thereat, without the lealt Mark of Distinction.
4thly, When that great Question concerning the Ob. fervation of the Mosaick Ceremonies was in Agitation, there was no Appeal to Peter as the Judge of Controver-fies; for they determined, (c) “ That Paul and Bar. “ nabas, and certain other of them mou'd go up to Je
rusalem, unto the Apostles and Elders about this
Question, donc.” And when there had been much disputing, and after Peter had made his Speech, James closed: the Debate thus:.(d) “ Wherefore my Sentence is, c. (How wou'd the Romish Doctors have boasted if Peter had closed the Debate, as James did ? Yet they will not allow him any Supremacy of Power.) And the Re-fult was, That it pleased the Apostles and Elders of the whole Church, to send chosen Members to. Antioch,
(a) Mark 9. 35, BC, (b) Afts 1. 15, 16, ex 26. (c) Acts 15. (d) Ibidem.
and they wrote Letters by them after this Manner : "The “ Apoftles and Elders, and Brethren, send greeting, or. So that, in this whole Affair, there is not any Notice taken of Peter's Authority, and especially in this Epiftle, which the Apostles wou'd not have neglected upon this Occasion, had they thought Peter their supreme Governor ; therefore it is indisputable, that Peter had no fucb Superiority.
gihly, !a) It St. Paul were not inferior to the very chiefeít Apoftles, then Peter cou'd not be vested with this high Dignity; (b) “ And Paul withstood Peter to tho “ Face, and did find that he walked not uprightly, ac“cording to the Truth of the Gospel: " Therefore Peter had neither fuch Authority, nor Infallibility over other Apostles.
6thly By St. Peter's Behaviour all along to his Brethren, he neither looked upon bimself, nor did they ule him, as: Heads of the universal Church : He calls the Rest of the Disciples his Brethren : He calls himself Compresbiterium, fellow Elder : He neither commanded, nor commission. ed any of them, but both heard and treated them as his Equals and Fellows: And being sent into Samaria by his Brethren, he made no scruple of going as their Messene" ger, (c) And they reproved him for going to Cornelius, and converging with Heathens: And he submitted to the Judgment of the Council; therefore it is not to be fuppos'd that the Rest of the Apostles wou'd have dared to make Peter their Meffenger, whom they knew Christ had made their Prince and Governor; or that they wou'd have presumed to contend with Peter, had they thought him the Vicar of Christ.
Lastly, If Peter had been appointed by Christ such a Monarch in bis Church, and vested with such Authority,