« ElőzőTovább »
doth more than conquer; because it conquers not by repelling, but by suffering.
And this shows the sacrilege and sauciness of the church of Rome; which, in this point, doth with a double impiety therefore pervert the Scriptures, that it may derogate from the honour of Christ and his kingdom. And those things which are spoken of the infallibility, authority, and fulness of power, Christ hath in his body,of the stability, cons tancy, and universality of his church upon earth,-she doth arrogate only to the Pope and his see at Rome. As the Donatists in Saint Austin's time, from that place of the spouse in the Canticles, “ Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest in meridie,” excluded all the world from being a church, save only a corner of Africa, which was at that time the nest of those hornets : so because Christ says, “ his church is built upon a rock, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it," therefore the Romanists from hence conclude all these privileges to belong to them, and exclude all the famous churches of the world besides, from having any communion with Christ the head. That scornful expostulation which Harding makes with that renowned and incomparable bishop', (under whose hand he was no more able to subsist, than a whelp under the paw of a lion) 'Shall we now change the song of Micah the prophet,
“ Out of Zion shall come the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem," and sing a new song, Out of Wittenberg is come the gospel, and the word of the Lord from Zurich and Geneva ??—may, most truly and pertinently, be retorted upon himself and his faction, who boldly curse and exclude all those Christian churches from the body of Christ, and the hope of salvation, who will not receive laws from Rome, nor esteem the cathedral determinations of that bishop, (though haply in himself, an impure, diabolical, and intolerable beast, as by their own confessions' many of them have been) to be notwithstanding the in
Aug. Epist. 48. & tom. 7. de Unitat. Eccles. cap. 16. I B. Jewel's Defence of the Apology, part 4. page 360. * Idem à Romano Pontifice dividi, quod ab universa Ecclesia separari. Baron. tom. 2. A. 254. sect. 100. I Crantzius in Metropol. ). 5. cap. 1. in Bonifacio 6. Stephano 6. Theodoro Christophoro Joanne 12. Sylvestro 2.-Sigon. de Regno Italiæ, lib. 7. Anno 964.-Guicciard. de Alex, 6. I. Hist. 1 pag. 3, 4.- Pet. Bembus de codem in Hist. Venet. I. 6.
fallible edicts of the Spirit of God, and as undoubtedly the word of Christ, as if St. Peter or St. Paul had spoken it;an arrogancy, than which there is scarce any more express and characteristical note to discern Antichrist by. It is true, that Christ's regal power doth always show forth itself in upholding his catholic church, and in revealing unto it out of his sacred word such necessary truths, as are absolutely requisite unto its being and salvation : but to bind this power of Christ to one man, and to one see, (as if, like the Pope, he were infallible only in St. Peter's chair) is the mere figment of pride and ambition, without any ground at all, raised out of a heap and aggregation of monstrous presumptions, of human, and some most disputable, others most false conceits; of which though there be not the least
vestigia' in sacred Scriptures, yet must they be all first rested in for indubitate principles, and laid for sure foundations, before the first stone of papal authority can be raised.
As, First, that the external and visible regiment of the whole church is monarchical m; and that there must be a predominant mistress-church set over all the rest, to which in all points they must have recourse, and to whose decisions they must conform without any hesitancy, or suspicion at all: whereas the apostle tells us, that “the unity of the church is gathered by many pastors and teachers ";" for as if several needles be touched by so many several loadstones (all which have the self-same specifical virtue in them) they do all as exactly bend to one and the same point of Heaven, as if they had been thereunto qualified by but one ;-so inasmuch as “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers," come all instructed with one and the same spiritual truth and power towards the church ; therefore all the faithful, who are anywhere, by these multitudes of preachers, “taught what the truth is in Jesus," do all, by the secret sway and conduct of the same Spirit of grace (whose peculiar office it is to guide his church in all necessary and saving truth) with an admirable consent of heart, and unity of judgement, incline to the same end, and walk in the same way, acknow
Platina in Christophoro 1. Joan. 13. Sylvestro 2. &c.Vid. Mornæum de Ecclesia, c. 90-Reynold Confer. cap. 7. divis. 1, and 5.-B. Carlton of Jurisdict. cap. 7.Bishop Usher de Statu Ecclesiæ, c. 3, 4, 5. m Bellarm, 1. 1. de Pontif. Rom.
n Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13.
ledging no monarch over their consciences but Christ,-nor any other ministerial application of his regal power in the catholic church, but only by several bishops and pastors, who, in their several particular compasses, are endowed with as plenary and ample ministerial power, as the Pope and his consistory within the see of Rome.
Secondly, That Peter was prince and monarch, rock and head, in this universal church, and that he alone was custos clavium,' and all this in the virtue of Christ's promise and commission granted unto him, “ Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church: Feed my sheep, feed my lambs, unto thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven :" in which respect Baroniuso calleth him lapidem primarium'P, the chief stone: and again, Though Christ, saith he be the author and moderator of his church, yet the princedom and monarchy he hath conferred upon Peter; and therefore as 9 "
no man can lay any other foundation than that which is laid," namely, Christ, --so no man can lay any other than that which Christ hath laid, namely, Peter. And it is wonderful to consider what twigs and rushes they catch at, to hold up this their monarchy. Because Peter" did preach first, therefore he is monarch of the church. By which reason, his monarchy is long since expired: for his pretended successors scarce preach at all. And yet if that may be drawn to any argument, it proves only that he was
lapis primus,' the first in order and forwardness to preach Christ (as it became him who had three times denied him) but not • lapis primarius,' the chief in dignity and jurisdiction over the rest: and why should it not be as good an argument to say, that James had the dignity of precedence before Peter, because Paul first names James and then Cephas, and that in a place where he particularly singles them out as pillars and principal men in the church; as to say that Peter hath jurisdiction over James and the rest, because
• Baron. An. 33, sect. 17. Bellar, de Pont. Rom. lib. 1. cap. 10. P Quod non audet Bozius :-Præter Christum (inquit, non potest aliud fundamentum poni, quod sit item primarium. De Sign. Ecclesiæ, 1. 18. cap. 1. ob. 5. 9 Sicut (quod certum est) nemo potest aliud ponere fundamentum præter id quod positum est, quod est Christus; ita etiam nec aliud quispiam quam quod posuit Christus, neque convellet quod ipse firmavit, dicens, 'Tu es Petrus,' &c. Baron. An. 33. sect. 20. r Baron. A. 34. sect. 247. Boxius de Signis Ecclesiæ, lib. 18. cap. 1, 2. Bellarm. de Roman. Pontifice, lib. I. c. 17, 25.
in their synods and assemblies he was the chief speaker ? Because · Peter cured the lame man that sat at the gate of the Temple, therefore he is universal monarch. By which reason likewise Paul, who in the self-same manner cured a cripple at Lystra, should fall into competition with Peter for his share in the monarchy. But the people there were not so acute disputants as these of Rome: for though they saw what Paul had done, yet they concluded the dignity and precedence for Barnabas ; they called him Jupiter,—and Paul, Mercury. Again, because Peter pronounced sentence upon Ananias, therefore he is monarch of the universal church : and why Paul should not here likewise come in for his share, I know not; for he also passed judgment upon Elymas the sorcerer ; (and we nowhere find that he derived his authority, or had any commission, from Peter to do so.
And surely, if by the same apostolical and infallible Spirit of Christ, (wbich they both immediately received from Christ himself) St. Paul did adjudge Elymas to blindness, by the which St. Peter adjudged Ananias to death; I see not how
any logic from a parity of actions can conclude a disparity of persons, except they will say that it is more monarchical to adjudge one to death, than another to blindness. Again, because Peterhealed the sick by his shadow, therefore Peter is monarch of the universal church: and even in this point Paul likewise may hold on his competition: for why is not the argument as good, that Paul is monarch of the church, because the handkerchiefs and aprons which came from his body, did cure diseases, and cast out devils, as that Peter is therefore monarch, because, by the overshadowing of his body, the sick were healed? But the truth is, there is no more substance in this argument for Peter's principality, than there is for their supposed miraculous virtue of images and relics of saints, because the shadow (which was the image of Peter) did heal the sick; for that also is the cardinal's great argument. Again, because Peter w was sent to Samaria to confirm them in the faith, and to lay hands on them that they might receive the Holy Ghost, and to confound Simon Magus the sorcerer, therefore he is primate of the catholic church, and hath monarchical jurisdiction. And yet the Pope is, by this time, something more monarchical than Peter; for he would think scorn to be sent as an ambassador of the churches, from Rome to the Indians, amongst whom his gospel hath been in these latter ages preached ; and, doubtless, they would be something more confirmed than they are, by the sovereign virtue of his prayers and presence. But, alas ! what argument is it of monarchy, to be sent by others in a message, and that too not without an associate, who joined with him in the confirmation of that church ? and if the confuting or cursing of Simon Magus were an argument of primacy, why should not St. Paul's cursing of Elymas, and Hymeneus, and Alexander, and St. John's of Cerinthus, be arguments of their primacy likewise ?--Again, because Paul* went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, therefore Peter was monarch of the catholic church. And why should not, by this argument, Elizabeth be concluded a greater woman than the Virgin Mary, and indeed the lady of all women,-because the blessed Virgin went up into the hill country of Judea, and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth ? But we find no argument but of equality in the text; for he went to see him as a brother, but not to do homage to him, or receive authority from him as a monarch: else why went he not up immediately to Jerusalem, but stayed three years, and preached the gospel by the commission he had received from Christ alone? and how came St. Paul to be so free, or St. Peter to be so much more humble than
» Baron, A. 34. sect. 264.
t Baron. Ibid. sect. 269.
u Baron. Ibid. w Ilid. sect. 275. An. 35, sect. 9. 25.
of his pretended successors, as the one to give with boldness, the other with silence and meekness to receive, so sore a reproof, in the face of all the brethren, as, many years after that, did pass between them? Certainly St. Paul, in so long time, could not but learn to know his distance, and in what manner to speak to his monarch and primate. By these particulars we see, upon what sandy foundation this vast and formidable Babel of papal usurpation and power over the catholic church is erected; -- which yet, upon the matter, is the sole principle of Romish religion, upon which all their faith, worship, and obedience dependeth. But we say, that
x Baron. An. 39. sect. 6.