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and with mine own eyes, that there are popes against popes, councils against councils, some fathers against others, the same fathers against themselves; a consent of fathers of one age against the consent of fathers of another age; the church of one age against the church of another age. Traditive interpretations of Scripture are pretended ; but there are few or none to be found : no tradition, but only of Scripture, can derive itself from the fountain, but may be plainly proved, either to have been brought in, in such an age after Christ, or that in such an age it was not in. In a word, there is no sufficient certainty but of Scripture only, for any considering man to build upon. This, therefore, and this only, I have reason to believe; this I will profess; according to this I will live ; and for this, if occasion require, I will not only willingly, but even gladly, lose my life. Propose me any thing out of this book, and require whether I believe it or no, and seem it never so incomprehensible to human reason, I will subscribe it with hand and heart, as knowing no demonstration can be stronger than this,— God hath said so, therefore it is true. In other things I will take no man's liberty of judgment from him, neither shall any man take mine from me. I will think no man the worse man, nor the worse Christian ; I will love no man the less, for differing in opinion from me. And what measure I mete to others, I expect from them again. I am fully
assured that God does not, and therefore that men ought not, to require any more of any man than this,- to believe the Scripture to be God's word, to endeavour to find the true sense of it, and to live according to it.”
Church of Rome. “I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman pontiff, successor of the prince of the apostles, St. Peter, and the vicegerent of Jesus Christ.”-Trent. Profess. Art. xi.
Church of England. “ The king's majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England, and other his dominions, unto whom the chief government of all estates, whether they be ecclesiastical or civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction.
“ The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England,” &c.--Art. xxxvii.
The supremacy of the pope, as “the successor of the prince of the apostles, St. Peter, and the vicegerent of Jesus Christ,” is a fundamental principle of the church of Rome. However Papists may differ on other points—and some are willing to give up the infallibility of the pope-yet for this point, the supremacy of the pope, they universally and most strenuously contend. What Luther said of the doctrine of justification, calling it the article
by which the church stands or falls, may with equal truth be affirmed concerning this dogma of the church of Rome. On this account, the learned Bishop Bull says, “ The church of Rome hath quite altered the primitive ecclesiastical government, by erecting a monarchy in the church, and setting up her bishop as the universal pastor and governor of the whole Catholic church, and making all other bishops to be but his vicars and substitutes, as to their jurisdiction.”
The doctrine of the church of Rome concerning Papal supremacy will be best stated in the words of some of the writers of that church.
“ What is the Catholic doctrine as to the pope's supremacy? That St. Peter was the head of the church under Christ; that the pope or bishop of Rome is at present head of the church, and Christ's vicar upon earth. How do we prove these
propositions ? By the unanimous consent of the fathers, and the tradition of the church. The bishops of Rome are the successors of St. Peter, who translated his chair from Antioch to Rome, and died bishop of Rome. Hence the see of Rome in all ages is called the see of Peter, the chair of Peter, and absolutely the apostolic see; and in that quality has, from the beginning, exercised jurisdiction over all other churches, as appears from the best records of ancient history. Why do you call the Romish church, the mother and mistress of all churches ? Because her bishop is St. Peter's successor, and Christ's vicar on earth, and consequently the father and pastor of all the faithful, and therefore the church is the mother and mistress of all churches." *
The Roman Catholic Bishop Chaloner says-“ Nothing can be more evident from Scripture, than that our Lord did make St. Peter the chief pastor of the church : giving him a name that implied no less than being a rock, or foundation-stone, (John i. 42,) declaring that upon this rock he would build his church, (Matt. xvi. 18 ;) promising him the keys of the kingdom of heaven, with the chief power of binding and loosing ; praying for him that his faith might not fail, and giving liim the commission to confirm his disciples, viz. the rest of the apostles. (Luke xxii. 31, 32.) In fine, three times solemnly committing to his care all his lambs, and also all his sheep, without exceptionthat is, his whole flock, (John xxi. 15, &c.) after having asked him, “Dost thou love me more than these ?'”+
Bishop Hayes is still more explicit. the successors of St. Peter as head of the church ? The bishops of the city of Rome, of which St. Peter was the first bishop, and suffered martyrdom in that city for the faith of Christ, leaving his successors there the heirs of all his power and authority. Wherein consists the power of the bishop of
* « The Grounds of the Catholic Faith,” p. 51,52.
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