Page images

Luke xxiv. 47.? And till after the Vision of the Sheet to St. Peter, Acts x. No Gentile was admitted, as it is said, Ats xi. 19. They travelled Preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. So that the Jewish Christian Church was the only Church for some time and she it was who Converted the Gentile Na tions, and therefore was the Morber Church to them all. I

:: : : : And Rome was not the first Gentile Church, for the Difciples were called Christians firft in Antioch, Ads xi. 26. And the Greek Church was before the Latin ; the New Testament was wrote in Greek for their Use, therefore the Greek Church could not be the Daughter of the Latin Church, which was born after her.

(2.) L. But St. Peter having been Bishop of Rome, and Christ having Constituted him to be the Head of the Catholick Church throughout the whole world, the fanje must descend to his Successors the Bishops of Rome.

G. This will not make her the Mother Church. You may call her Supreine, Absolute, Universal, or what you please, any thing but the Mother Church, to which it is impoffible the should have any Title.

In the Conversion of the Gentiles to Christi, anity onę Man and one Nation, must receive the Faith before another, they were not all Çonverted on a Day, And as when one Mani Converts another, so it is of Churches and


[ocr errors]

Nations, it gives the one no Superiority over the other, except that of Gratitude and Efteem, but nothing of Authority.

But whatever the Privilege of the Mother Church may be, if it can be Translated from the Mother to the Daughter, from one Church to another, froin Jerusalem to Antiocb, and thence to Rome, as you must be obliged to say; then it may be Translated from Rome also to some other Church, unless fome positive Command of Christ can be produced, first to fix it at Rome, and then a Promise that it shall never thence be renoved. But the Church of Rome is not once named in all the New Testament, unless she is meant by the Church at Babylon, 1 Pet. V. 13. Nor is there any Promise whatfoever made to her, or any the least Intimation of her being the Head of the Churches, the Standard and Center of Unity to them all. Strange! if that be the Summa rei Chriftianæ, as Bellarmin calls it (in the Preface to his Book de Romano Pontifice) the Sumin and Founda. tion of the Christian Religion.

And as silent are the Scriptures concerning the supposed Universal Supremacy of St. Peter, or that he ever was at Rome, or Bishop of Rome. Some after Writers have mentioned it; but that is far from such an Universal Tra. dition as is sufficient for the mighty Superftri&ture which is raifed upon it. But let it be granted it signifies nothing, becaufe all is founded upon fome Words faid to St. Peter, such as, Thor #r6 Peter deed my Sbeep

&c, Which cannot be ftrained to such an Universal Supremacy as the Popes have claimed, nor were founderstood in the Primitive Church, For which I refer your Lordship to a Book I know you value, and favoured me with the Perufal of it, the Learned Monsieur du Pin his Traité de la Puisance Ecclefiaftique &Temporelle. Printed at Paris, 1707. where p. 495. to p. 501. and p. 754. to p. 765. you will find all these Texts urged for the Supremacy of St. Peter, answered in the fame manner as is done by the Protestant Writers, and it is shewed how very Foreign they are from the Purpose intended. And that the Rock upon which

which Matth. xvi. 18. Cbrist said he would build His Church was not Peter, but the Faith which Peter then Confessed, your Lordship may see the current Sense of the Fathers, and consult at your leisure St. Augustine, de Verb. Dom. Ser: 13, Nazianzen de Vet. Teftam. St. Cyril, de Trin, lib.4. St. Chryfoftom, Hom. 55. in Matth. St. Ambrose, Com. in Ephes. 2. Hilary, de Trin, lib. 2. cap, 6, And there are ipany pthers.

But nothing that was said of St. Peter is so express for an Universal Supremacy as what St, Paul said of himself, 2 Cor. xi. 28. That the Care of all the Churches lay upon him. And again, 1 Cor.vii. 17. Sp Ordain I in all Churches. If such a Decretal could be produced of St. Peter's, I doubt not it would have been made use of towards proving his Universal Supremacy. 19. the Ąžts of the Apostles it is told that St.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Poul was at Rome Preaching the Gospel for two whole Years together, A&s xxviii. 30, 31.

But not å word of St. Pater's being there. And as St. PAUL planted the Gospel at Rome, so he wrote to the Church there as his particular Charge, for says he, Rom. xi. 13. Ispeak to you Gentiles, in as much as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine Office. But St. Peter was the Apostle of the Jews, they were his particular Charge; and he himself allowed that the Gospel of the Uncircumcision pas committed to Paul; as the Gospel of the Circumcision was to bimself, Gal. ij. 7, 8, 9. And accordingly he directed his Epistle to the Jews of the Difperfion who were Strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Afa,and Bithynia. But he wrote not to the Gentiles, particularly not to Rome, which would seem itrange if he had been Bishop of Rome, and that had been his Chief and Principal Charge. And St. Paul's both withstanding him to the Face before the whole Church of Antioch, in behalf of thë Gentiles whom he had mifled, fearing them whowere of the Circumcision, shews the Care St. Pariel took of those who were more" particularly his Charge; and seeis a Behaviour not very suitable to the Supreme Head of the Church both Jews and Gentiles, if St. Paul had known any thing of St. Peter's being fo Constituted by Chrift. . And as little had it become the other Apostles to send their Soveraign upon Business, as they fent Peter to Samaria, Ads. viii. 14.


But if, as fome fay, St. Peter was Bishop of the Jewish Converts at Rome, and St, Paul of the Gentiles there, St. Paul would have had a much greater Flock than St. Peter, and the Successors of St. Paul, and not of St. Peter must have been Bijbops there, because the Church of Rome is now, and has long been all of the Gentiles.

But the furest way to find out the Truth is by Fax, and not ftraining Expressions, which may have several Meanings. The Ea= stern Monarchs have used to give themselves imighty Titles, -as Son of the Sun, and Bros ther of the Stars, and King of all the Kings of the Earth, c. But will any believe that any

of them was the Universal Monarch for all this

, contrary to plain Fact/? Pray, My Lord, let me alk, you, do you: think one could Write the History of a King,

, History neither call him King, mention his Restoration, Coronation, or tell of one Regal Act ever he did; as calling a Parliament, or Presiding in it, Sending or Receiving an Ambafsador, or Granting a Commission, &c. And for of a Pope, could his History be wrote without calling hlin Pope, or telling of onė Papal Ac of his?

L. No, it is impossible, For such añi History could not be called the History of a King, or of a Popee

G. Now, my Lord, let me apply this. We have the History of the Acts of the Apo


« PreviousContinue »