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doctrines of Romanism, and makes her boast of matters more defensible, but of less importance. She trumpets every numerical accession to her ranks, and points to the divisions and the heresies which are springing up around her. She has something in her system for every body to do, some place for every peculiarity of the human mind. She has self-denial for the devotee, enterprise for the enthusiast, romance for the sickly sentimentalist, learning for the pedant, stern authority for the timid, sympathy for the disappointed, promotion for the aspiring, and sophistry for the inquiring. And under one or another of these influences, some restless spirits, under the revulsion from the extreme Sectism of the country, have been, and probably will continue to be, ensnared.

With this new force in the field, the Church has now, and for some time to come, to contend. The ground which has been so ably contested in England since the Reformation, has all to be gone over again, on our own shores. The armor which those old giants wore, Barrow, and Bull, and Hall, and Jewell, and Chillingworth, and Comber, and Bramhall, must be burnished up, and put on anew. In England, and in our own country, the work has been already begun, and well begun, and there are scores of valiant sons of the Church, of stout heart and strong arm, ready for the work.

With such a work before the Church, I will not decline the labor which you propose, and will attempt to expose the pretensions of the Romish Church, and to set forth, plainly, her Corruptions and her Errors; for I know that those pretensions are false, that those Corruptions can be made apparent; and I believe that those Errors are destructive to the Catholic Faith, and ruinous to the souls of men. My work must, of course, be brief ; and hence, I fear, on some points unsatisfactory. I only regret, my dear Doctor, that, with your abundant learning, and your well-proved skill, you have not taken this specific labor into your own hands. I commend what I shall write, to the most careful and conscientious reading of those into whose bands these pages may fall.

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I CANNOT BE A PAPIST, BECAUSE THE DOCTRINE OF THE SU

PREMACY OF THE POPE IS ANTI-SCRIPTURAL.

This is a cardinal Doctrine of the Romish System. It teaches that Peter was the Prince, or Chief of the Apostles, the Supreme Head of Christ's Church upon earth, and the Vicar or Representative of Jesus Christ; and that the Pope of Rome is, in all these things, his successor,

The formal language of the doctrine is :

“I promise to swear true obedience to the Pope of Rome, who is the successor of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.'

My first position in respect to this doctrine is, that it is Anti-Scriptural.

1. It is contrary to the spirit of the Holy Scriptures. We read that once, as the Apostles were on their way to Capernaum,

They had been disputing among themselves who should be greatest? And Jesus sat down and called the twelve unto Him, and saith unto them, if any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all and servant of all.”+

Such was the manner in which our Saviour met this question.

2. The doctrine that Peter was Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ, is contradicted by the Scriptural history of the Apostles. Not long after the Ascension of Jesus Christ, we find the College of the Apostles assembled, to appoint one to fill the place of the traitor, Judas. Peter, from his natural temperament conspicuous among the Apostles ; the first to walk on the water to go to Jesus, and the first to sink ; the first to declare that he would go with Him to prison and to death, and the first to curse and swear that he did not know such a person as Jesus ;—he, at this meeting of the Apostles, appears, taking an active part. But when the official action of the Apostles is recorded, Peter's name is lost in the

+ Mark ix. 33–35.

* Creed of Pius IV. Art. 23. VOL. XVII.

35

equal part which each of the Apostles there sustained. It was theywho appointed two, and they gave forth their

lots.

A little while after, we find the Apostles together again, in the performance of official action. News had reached Jerusalem that Philip, one of the Deacons, had preached the Gospel with success at Samaria. And we read that they (the Apostles] sent unto them Peter and John,” who went down, and laid hands on the disciples whom Philip had baptized. So far from Peter being regarded as Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ, he appears before us, yielding obedience to the Apostles, and subject to their direction.t

A little while after, we find another event in the history of the Apostles, still more indicative upon the point in question. It was at Jerusalem, where a Council was called, sometimes regarded as the “First Council,” to decide upon a question, then troubling the infant Church, concerning Circumcision. At that Council, Peter and Paul and Barnabas, all appear as counsellors; but when, finally, the decision of the Council was judicially declared, it was done, not at the mouth of Peter, but of James, first Bishop of Jerusalem. And the decree went forth, not in the name of Peter, but “The Apostles and Elders (Presbyters] and brethren, Greeting.”I

The history of that Council throws light, also, not only upon the question of priority of rank and power, but it shows, also, that if any Church deserved the name of “Mother and Mistress of all Churches,” it must be that of Jerusalem, and not of Rome. This point we shall consider more fully hereafter.

Subsequently, we have a considerable number of Epistles, written by the two Apostles, Peter and Paul. Some of these were written under such circumstances, that it is morally impossible no allusion should have been made to such exalted claims of Peter and of Rome, if any such existed. Paul, in his long Epistle to the Church at Rome, writes with great plainness and great particularity; and yet, does he make any allusion to Peter as baving any connection whatever with that

* Acts i. 15-26.

| Acts viii. 14.

| Acts xv. 1-23.

Church ? Not the slightest. The Scriptures nowhere give us any such intimation, and, as we shall see, by-and-by, there is no reason to believe that Peter ever had any connection with the Church of Rome at all. Throughout the whole of Paul's fourteen Epistles, there is not the most distant allusion to any such priority of power in Peter, or of such rank in the Romish Church. In one of Paul's Epistles, we do find him, indeed, alluding to Peter; but is it as to a Prince among the Apostles, as to a Vicar of Jesus Christ ? He says to the Galatians, that he withstood Peter at Antioch,to his face because he was to be blamed,” for insisting upon the Circumcision of the Gentiles ; conduct not corresponding with the doctrine that Peter was the Vicar of Jesus Christ and Prince of the Apostles ; a doctrine of which the Apostles knew nothing, and one, the origin and rise of which, we find in the subsequent history of the Church, together with the causes thereof.

Nor is this all. St. Peter also himself has left us two Epistles. And yet in them we have the same important fact, the same unaccountable omission of any peculiar claim, due to himself, or to the Church at Rome.

3. What Scriptural authority do the Romanists themselves urge, if any, in proof of the Papal Supremacy ?

The Scripture mainly and confidently relied upon by them, is the following:

“When Jesus had come into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples (not Peter only] whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am ?"

And they repeated the various opinions abroad concerning Him. He now addresses them collectively >

“ But whom say ye that I am ? And Simon Peter answered and said, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in beaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this 'rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.*

* Matt. xvi. 13-19.

Let us briefly examine this passage. Who or what is this “Rock ;” upon which Christ declared He would build His Church ? That is the question, and the whole question. Was it Peter as an individual ? or, was it the Apostles collectively, to whom the Saviour addressed his inquiry, and in whose name Peter spake ? Or, was it the confession of the true faith by Peter,—“ THOU ART THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING God?"

In other words, was this “Rock” Peter, as an individual ? or was it CHRIST, whom Peter had just now so openly confessed ? A moment's consideration will show that it was not, and could not have been Peter, as an individual. The argument is drawn from the original Greek language ; and is one which, from the structure of our language, is not so apparent in our translation. Our Saviour's language to Peter was, “ Thou art Petros.But He does not say “upon this Petron“I will build my Church ;" as He would have said, if the individual were meant. He uses another word, of different gender, and meaning. He says, “upon this Petra I will build my Church ;" not Petros, a stone, but Petra, a Rock. Who that Rock is. we learn in other portions of Holy Scripture ; for the word is often used, both in the Old Testament and the New; and it never refers to St. Peter, but to the LORD JESUS CHRIST. To torture it into any other application, is impious presumption. Thus St. Paul says :—“For they drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.”*

This is the meaning of the passage, as understood by the most ancient and learned Fathers; who would have been shocked by the modern Romish perversion.

St. Ambrose says :

• The Rock is Christ; for they drank of that spiritual Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”+

Justin Martyr says :

“Christ bestowed upon Simon the name of Peter, because, by the revelation of the Father, he confessed him to be the Son of God.”I

Is. viii. 14.; xxviii. 16.

I. Pet. ïi. 8.

* I. Cor. x. 4. See also Ps. cxviii. 22. Rom. ix. 33.

+ St. Ambros. Op. Tom. I. S. 97

# Jus. Dial. cum. Try. p. 255.

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