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have learnt to state them with more precision and accuracy, and also to reason upon them with more solidity and force than you have done.

The necessity of that much degraded science of logic, for reasoning justly on theological and other abstract subjects, is evident from your first attempt to dispossess the Roman Pontiff of his pre-eminence and authority in the Christian Church. This is grounded on the precepts of Christ, addressed to all his disciples, to learn his meekness and lowliness of heart,(1) not to asume, but disclaim authority,(2) as you profess to give the sense of the passages, (3) and not to consider bis kingdom to be of this world. (4) Who, that is able to draw a conclusion, does not see that this argument, as you manage it, by prov. ing too much, proves nothing at all? In fact, Sir, it equally militates against the gradations of honour and authority of that church in which you hold so high a ftation, as it does against those of any other church; and, being addressed to the followers of Christ in. discriminately, it would, in the same manner, prove the unlawfulness of every distinction or power in civil magistrates, nobility, and kings.

The best use, Sir, you could have made of your scriptural knowledge for your present purpose, would have been to explain away, in the best manner you could, that

clear, that he was a most notorious diffembler in religious matters, and that be continued to profess the Catholic religion and to wear the fri. ars habit in order to serve the interests of Protestants. Dr. S. also reproaches me with having said nothing of Thuanus. What I might have said of him with truth is, that he is a most partial writer, and very much of the character of the Venetian friar.]

(1) St. Mat. xi, 2-9. (2) St. Mat. xx. 25, 28. (3) P. 9.

(4) St. Joha, xviii, 36.

clear and energetical declaration of Christ, for the superiority of the first Bishop of Rome, St. Peter, over the rest of the apostles; where this saint, in reward of his glorious confession of his Master's divi. nity, is pronounced by him blefjed, where his name, which was before Sinon, is changed into that of Pe. fer or Rock, (1) with an assurance that the church itself shall be principally built upon him, (2) and where, immediately afterwards, the mysterious keys of heaven, to the exercise of which such important effects are here ascribed, are specially committed to him; (3) as likewise that other paílage, where the fame Peter, who on every other occasion, is named the first on the list of apostles, is in a most folemn and impressive manner, three several times appointed to the supreme pastorship in Christ's fold; with authority not to feed the lambs only, but also the sheep themselves, whom the lambs are accustomed to fol, lov.(4)

You allow that the Popes during the first three hundred years from the time of Christ were exemplary and pious, (5) but you do not admit that they had then any rank or authority superior to that of other bithops during those ages. Nevertheless we find this superiority in the clearest and strongest terms attributed to them, during thofe primitive ages, by the illustrious fathers and writers who lived in them, particularly by St. Irenæus, (1) who boasts of his having been instructed by St. Polycarp, the disciple of the apostles; (2) by Tertullian, the most ancient Latin father whose works are extant; (3) and by St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, the great light of the church in the third century. (4) We find this prerogative claimed and exercised by Pope Victor in the case of the churches of Asia Minor, which he threatened to excommunicate; (5) whether on sufficient grounds or not, is foreign to the present question; likewise in the case of the Montanists, and reveral other heretics, whom the same Pope actually did cut off from the communion of the church.(6) Finally, not to multiply instances, we find this prerogative exercised in the cases of several bishops and other individuals in Gaul,(7) in Spain,(8) and in Africa,(9) which were judged and decided upon at Rome by Pope Stephen during the period in question.


(1) Σ' ει Γέτρος, και επί τάυτη τη πετρα, &c.

(2) Bluffed are thou Simon Barjona ; for flesh and blood hath not sevenleil this to thre, but my father, which is in benven. And I say to Bree, tbou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. St. Mat. xvi, 17, 18.

(3) And I will give unto ther the keys of the kingdom of heaven,

&c v. 19.

(4) S. John, xxi, 15. “ Prins agnos, deinde oves commisit ei, quia non folum pastorem, fed et pastorum pastorem eum conAitait.' S. Eucher. Ep. Lugd. Sec. v. Serm. la Vig. S. Pet.

(5) 7. 10.

Your account of the time when the fees of Rome and Constantinople acquired ecclesiastical pre-emi. nence, viz. the reign of Constantine, and the means by which this was affected, namely, the secular dig. nity then ascribed to thofe cities, “ the episcopal diocesses, being the diocesses of the empire, and the ecclesiastical conforming itself to the civil division of the country;" (1) this account, I say, is full of inconsistencies, and contradicts the clearest records of church history. In the first place, it is fully confut. ed by what has been already proved. For we have shewn that the fee of Rome enjoyed its superiority, no less before the reign of the first Christian emperor, than it did afterwards. 2dly, Constantine, by transferring the seat of empire from the Old to the New Rome, did not augment, but diminished the civil dignity of the former city; it is therefore fin. gularly abfurd in you to fix upon that particular period for the commencement of Rome's ecclefiaftical dignity, when, on your supposition, it must rather have been abridged. 3dly, The imperial city itself of Constantinople, which you describe as acquiring, by its civil elevation, an equal rank with Rome, not only remained, for a long time after the period in queftion,(2) inferior to Alexandria, which was the fecond great patriarchate, being next to that of Rome; and to Antioch, which was the third on the list; (3) in a word, to Jerusalem, Cesaræa, &c. but also to the comparatively small see of Heraclea, on

by (1) “ Ad hanc ecclefiam (Romanam) propter potiorem principalitatem neceffe eft omnem convenire ecclefiam, &c.” Iren. 1. iii, contra Hæres, c. iii.

(2) Apud Euseb. I. v. c. 20.

(3) « Audio edictum esse propofitum... Episcopus cpiscoporum dicit,” &c. Tertul. l. de Pudic. c. 1. (4) “ Petri cathedra, ecclefia principalis

unde unitas facerdotalis exorta eft.” S. Cyp. Ep. ad Cornel. Pap.

(5) Eufeb. Hift. 1. v. also l. v. c. 25. (6) Tertul. advers. Prax. &c. (7) St. Cyp. Ep. 67. (8) Id. Ep. 33. (9) Id. paffum. which

(1) P. 10.

(2) The first attempt to raise Conftantinople to the patriarchal dignity, was made by the Greek bihops, in the first great Council held in that city during the reign of Theodofius, viz. in 381. But this dignity was always opposed by the western church, until ilie

great Council of Lateran, in 1215, when it was allowed, but fill in fubordination to Rome.

(3) Concil. Nic. 1. cum. can. vi,

which it was immediately dependent.(1) Laftly, the seat of empire, or imperial residence, was frequently transferred, both in the caft and the weit, 10 different places; for we occasionally find it at Nicomedia, at Sirmium, at Milan, at Ravenna, at Lyons, at Treves, and at York, but this happened without any change in the rank or authority of the bishops of such places. In general no regulation or alteration of this sort ever was, or could be effected, but by the act and deed of the church herself,(2) and this in such sort, that the chief superiority ever was immutably and necessarily acknowledged to refide in the fee of Rome (3)

Enough has been said, Sir, to prove that your dissertation on the rise of the Pope's ecclefiaftical power, however plausible it may seem to an ignorant reader, must excite the astonishment and indignation of men who are acquainted with the monuments of Christian antiquity. This would appear more fully were I to pursue, from the reign of Constantine down to the middle ages, the history of the general councils which have confirmed this fpiritual supremacy, (4) the testimonies of the ancient fathers and hif


(1) Balsamon. apud Caballut. Not. Concil. &c.

(2) Even Bingham, whose testimony Dr. S. appeals to, acknowledges, in contradi&tion to him, that “ the church was not tied to observe this model (of the state) but used her liberty in varying from it.” Antiq. b. ix. c. I, s. viii.

(3) “Ecclefia Romana semper habuit principatum.” Concil. Ecum. Chalced. can. xvi. « Videmus omnes ante omnia primatum et præcipuum honorem, fecundum canones Dei, Archiepiscopo veteris Romæ confervari.” Ibid.

(4) Particularly Concil, Sardic. can. vi. Ephes. A&. iii. Chalced. A&. ii, &c. [To these I must add the great Western


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