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2. That the Fathers are not infallible guides of Faith and Religion I shall prove in che next:Proposition.
3. But howsoever , They that affert the infallibility of the Facbers, when they relate the Churches Judgment, yer allow cheir Fallibilicy in expounding Scripture : Caistan, and Maldonate boch acknowledge ic, and pra&tise accordingly, that a man may in many cases preferre a new exposition, though it be repugnant to the expofitions of most of the Ancienc Fathers : And So Konelme Digby speaking of the infallibilicy of the Fathers , ex preily laih, he understands it onely of the Traditions, or Doétrines, delivered by them as the Faith received from their Ancestors, not of their Comments or Sermons mpor Scrie pture, which are to have no more weight then the reasons they give for them. Letters between Lord Digby and. Si Kenelme Digby, pag. 10.
S. Bur if all chese and other difficulties were cleared; yet, do two things remain behind , in which this Text, and all others are wholy filent, and for them they are foreed to fly to Tradition, and the Authority of the Fathers, (of which in the next place.) The first, That all this Supreme Authority and Infallibility, which chey luppore to have been in Peter, was transmited to his Successer (and consequently Linus St Peters Successor was Superiour to the Apostle and Evangelist s foon, which he had need have no squeamish Conscience chat can digeft) and yet all this amounts to nothing, unlesle another tbing be proved, viz : That the Bishop of Rome is Sc Pea ters Successor; and here the Scripture failes them and the Coronis or Apex of the Argument (without which it is both impertinent, and impotenc, as to the probation of the Soveraignty of the Roman Bishop is fetched Jolely from Tradition and the Testimony of the Fathers : And fo cheir Argument stands like the Angell in the Apocalypse with one foot on the Earth, another on the
Sea, one Leg of it in Scripture, the other in History; and because conclufou sequitur parlem deteriorem, the conclusion cannot be de fide; or rather, to speak the truth, the whole Syllogisme is extra-Scriptural. The prerogatives of St. Peter are transmitted to St. Peter's Successors, But the Bishop of Rome is St. Peter's Successor: where it appears
from what hath been said, that neither proposition is to be proved from Scripture, but wholly from Tradi. tion, and that is all at present I am concerned to make good. And yet if all this were over, they have not done. Behold the misery of a desperate cause: for whereas it is known, and granted by the Papists, that St. Peter had two Seas, he was Bishop of Antiocb for feaven Yeares faith Baronius, and Bishop of Rome, it must be furtber evinced, That the Bishop of Antioch was excluded from, and the Bishop of Rome invested with St. Peter's prerogatives: And would you know the proofe of this position (which is the very Foundation stone of the Pope's Supremacy. You shall have the Argument in Bellarmine's words.(a) It bad its rise à fado Petri from St. Peter's fact. Peter leaves Antioch and comes to Rome, and there he dies, and so his Holynesle got the day. Here I desire the Reader to observé, that all the Faith of the Romanists, concerning the Pope's Infallibility, depends upon, and is resolved into a matter of fact, and an uncertain Historical Relation: Nay, to speak truly, there are several matters of fact, every one of which must be solidly demonstrated, before their Faith can have a firme Foundation. I. That Peter was at Rome. 2. That Peter was Bishop of Reme pro. perly so called. 3. That St. Peter died at Rome. 4. Thar it was Christs, or Peter's intention, that Peter's Successor should enjoy all his Priviledges. 5. That Christ or Peter appoioged his Roman, not his Antiochian fucceffor to
(a) De Porpifaciis. Likites
be this person, to whom such priviledges were to be transmitted . If there be a flaw in any one of these their whole cause in this point is loft.And all chete are matters of fact. And such is the nacure,and uncertainty of matters of fad, that the Papists conless those persons whom chey suppose infallible in matters of faith, are fallible in matters of fact. Excepting chat modern dotage of some of the Jesuites, who have lately asserted the Popes infallibilicy in matters of fact : But that is such a piece of drollery, and impudence, that their own brechren, who have not forsworn all modesty are ashamed of it: now to af. lume, as some of these affertions are appareotly false, fo there are none of them, but are disputable points, and denied by divers learned men, not wichout a plausible appearance of authorities and argoments. And if the Jesuites opinion be true concerning the do&rine of probability,that a man may satisfy bis conscience,& venture his salvation upon the opinions of two or three learn'd Doctors, then a Protestant may sacisfy his conscience and ventare bis Salvation upon it, that all these propositions are false, being denied by far more then that number of learned Doctors. At least this must be granted, chat it ren. ders the fore mentioned posicions, dubious and uncertain: And so the Papists build their divine faith upon a dubious biftoricall faith. Yet again : what if Peler dies there? must the universall headship needs go to the Bishop of the place where he dies, and not to anocher where he lived ? Charles the fifth was King of Spain,and Emperour of Germany; if he die in Spain,must all the Kings of Spain be cherefore Emperours of Germany ? Haply chey will fay,no, because the Empire is elective, not hereditary and if that were granted, which the Papist will never be able to prove, that there was such a thing as this uni. verfall beadship, and that this was to continue, will they pawne çheir soules on it (for so indeed they do) chac this
'univerfall headship was hereditary, not eleđive ? How will they prove ic ? Christ dies at Jerusalem, by chis rule, the Bishop of Fernsalen must be univerfall head: Supe pose the Pope should leave Rome, and go to Avignen; (as once he did) and settle and die, chere, by this rule,the Bishop of Avignon must succeed in the universall headship. But I need say no more of so absurd a fancy,
Sečt. 10. A second place of scripture is, foh.21. Peter feed my Meep; And this feeding mult denote ruling as well as teaching, and this rule (forfooth) must needs be the Tupreme power, and that power must be arrended with Intallibility, and these sheep arust be all the theep in the world, nay, theplieards too, except the Pan, or princeps: paftorism at Rome. Tantæ molis erat Romanum condere Papam And rbis rope of land must be called an argument, by which one may see the intolerable confidence they have in themselves and their shamelesse contempt of the Readers, whom they think obliged to receive all their di&iates without enquiry. I would have you to wit that the Church of Ri me knew what they did, when they invented the doctrine of an implicite faith, and blind obedience to all the Churches decrees, for if men sbonld once dare to open their eyes and examine their abert ons, all cheir craft would be in danger to be set at nought and the temple of Dominus Deres 7.ofter pape, (as the Canon Law calls lijm) would be despised aod his magnificence woald be destroyed, whom so great a part of the world worshippeth. Eut' if indeed they will by Transubftantiation turn this handfull of straw into a pillar of their Church. (as I cannot blame one near drowning, for catching at every twig) then 1 Ihall offer these things to their consideracion.
í That Billarmine (as his manner is) bestowes feven arguments to prove.that which none ever denied, that those words were spoken to Peter alone, and neglects
that which he should have disproved viz, the reason thereof given by Aug. Cyril, Ambrose, and others, and. ader them the Protestants, which was, nor the collation of a new dignity fuperior to that of the other A postles, but his restauration to his former dignity of the A poftleship, from which by his great transgression he mighr seem to have fallen as fudas really did fall by his Transgreflion A&t. 1.
2. If this Text afford them any support, they must have it either from the Aft, or the word Fied, or from the object or plirase, my peep: For the first , By whať Arts can the Supremacy of che Pope be drawn from that word or precept! This seeding (in the judgment of the Romanists themselxes) implies nothing but teaching and ruling, and both those are ascribed to all the Apostles without any discrimination, Mat. 28. 19 20. Mar. 18. John, 20. 'And Bellarmine himself confesseth, that not only the power of Rule, but the supreme power was conferred *por all the Apostles: "(a) Nay, they are ascribed to inferiour Ministers. Heb: 13. Obey them that have the rule OVET Jon; and i Tim. s. 17. The elders that rule well and to foch the very fame precept is given, 1 P184.108.40.206. The Elders --I exhort - Feed the flock of God which is ao mong you: Doth Feeding in one place argue superiority,. and in another place imploy subjection? or rather in both places it seemes it signifies what the Pope pleaseth; But you must know the Romith Doctors having called the Scripture a Lesbian Rules and a Nose of wax, -they were bound in honour aut invenire aut facere, either to finde it so, or to make it such ; if it be said their charge is limited to the Flock of God ameng them, whereas Peters extends to all the sheep; the Answer is easie.if that be granted, for then the diference doth not lie in the
(a) Lió, de Pouliface Romario, lib. 1. capa 12, S. D'1 aulen.