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In these seven Epochs we have very ample and substantial evidence of Christianity, -a Christian Church in Britain founded by St. Paul, and subsisting for near six Centuries before the arrival of Austin, the Monk,-and in that subsistence a proof of its entire independence on any foreign jurisdiction.

Foreign jurisdiction is so obviously inconsise tent with the independence of any nation, that nothing can be more surprising, than that any considerable portion of the subjects of a civi

a lized and free country should adhere to such authority ; nothing more reasonable, than that effective barriers should be provided against its dangerous influence. For though (thanks to a kind Providence, and to the barriers provided by our Protestant constitution) that influence is at present dormant in this country, as lo any civil consequences; yet we cannot forget what it was for the four centuries preceding the Reforination; and we

; cannot but know, that the Church of Rome has renounced none of those principles, which were the causes of our separation.

The Roman Catholicks of this Empire, who conscientiously acknowledge the Pope's supremacy, and believe, that he and his

Church are infallible, have, probably, in that conscientious profession and belief a bias more than equal to any arguments that Protestants can bring against it. But if we cannot persuade them to renounce this untiational and anti-british jurisdiction, we are at least bound to strengthen our own consciences, and to maintain our own duty, by holding up to their view, as well as to our fellow-Protestants, this invincible truth, that the Pope's supremacy has no foundation in Scripture, nor in the primitive history of the Church. That it has not, I have endeavoured to prove in my former Letter, by shewing, from the natural construction of the context, that our Saviour, in his discourse to the Apostles, did not promise to build his Church on St. Peter; and from the first establishment of the Church, that it was not so founded; but on his confession, tue MESSIAHSHIP OF Jesus.

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To what I have there said, I take this opportunity of adding a few words, in answer to a challenge which Popish writers have been accustomed to hold out to Protestants on this subject : “ We defy them,” they say, *5* * 10 shew any passage of any Father, that excludes St. Peter.” Every passage in the comments of the Fathers which confines our


Saviour's promise to the confession of St. Peter, does, in effect, exclude the person of St. Peter. Such as the following passages of Chrysostom: “on this rock, that is, on the faith, which St. Peter had confessed.” (In Matth. xvi. 18.)

“ Christ said that he would build his Church on the confession of St. Peter:” (In John i. 50.) Many other

” passages of the Fathers to the same purpose may be seen in Juell, Barrow, Leslie, Leslie's Vindicator, &c. which as clearly exclude St. Peter, as if they had said, not on St. Peter, but on his confession. Cyril, however, ex.. presses himself more strongly: Christ “ gave the name of the Rock to nothing else, but to the unshaken and niost constant faith of the disciple.” (De S. Trin. Dial. 4.) But

. Chrysostom, or some ancient writer in his name, says more expressly, but not more significantly : upon

this rock ; he said not upon Peter ; for he did not build his Church on the man, but on his faith.” (Chrysost. Tom. 5. Or. 163.). And before Chrysostom it is not less expressly asserted by Augustin: “ Non dictum est Petro, Tu es Petra, sed tu es Petrus. Petra autem erat Christus, quam confessus Simon dictus est Petrus.” (Retractat. Lib. i. C. 1.) To the same purport the same Father in another passage : “ Super

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me ædificabo te, non me super te. (De Verb. Domini.)

The judgement, therefore, of the Fathers is adverse to the supremacy of the Pope by confining the promise of our Saviour to the confession of St. Peter, and excluding the person of the Apostle. And the history of the primitive Church is not more favourable to it. Indeed down as low as the end of the sixth Century the title of universal Bishop was considered by Gregory the Great, not merely as unscriptural, but as “ vain, im

, pious, execrable, blasphemous, antichris

It was however given to a successor of Gregory in the next Century by the centurion emperort. But the nefarious instrument, by whom it was bestowed, could not confer on it validity or authority. “The imperial edict, if we may so call the edict of an usurper and a tyrant, was not, as the Popish writers pretend, a bare confirmation

tian *

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* * Bower's Hist. of the Popes, Vol. II. p. 507. Forbes in his excellent Instructiones Historico-Theologicæ Lib. xvi. C. vii. Ş. 16, 21. says: Nomen universalis abjudicat Gregorius, ut scelestum, antichristianum, diabolicum, et hæreticum; iq isto enim scelesto vocabulo consentire, nihil est aliud, quam fidem perdere.

+ Phocas before his elevation to the Empire was a Centurion in the Roman Army,

of the Primacy, but the grant of a new title, which the Pope immediately improved into a power, answering to the title. And thus was the power of the Pope, as universal Bishop, or head of the Church, or, in other words, the Papal Supremacy, first introduced *."

As to the history, then, of the Pope's supremacy, as universal Bishop, it was unknown in fact, and condemned in principle, down to the end of the sixth Century. But if the sense of scripture, the judgement of the Fathers, and the evidence of history have no weight against the authority of the Romish Church; we may ask further, if, in this country at least, the Pope's supremacy is defensible on any rational grounds. Is it not contrary to every constitutional principle of a free and independent government? Let us hear, what the great master of the revolutionary drama, now acting in Europe, has said on the subject. Fas est et ab hoste doceri. In his address to the Legislative. body at Paris (Nov. 1809.) he says: “ The Popes, become sovereigns of part of Italy, have constantly shewn themselves enemies of

* Bower's Hist. of the Popes, Vol. II. p. 548. See also Dr. Hammond's Remarks on the Abbot of Bangor's Answer to Augustine, in bis Works, Vol. ii. p. 55.



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