[Page] [Page] THE ANTIQUITY OF THE Protestant Religion: WITH AN ANSWER TO Mr. Sclater's REASONS, AND THE COLLECTIONS Made by the Author of the Pamphlet ENTITLED NUBES TESTIUM

In a Letter to a Person of Quality.

The First Part.

LONDON, Printed for Ben. Griffin, and are to be sold by Randal Taylor, near Stationers-Hall. 1687.

IMPRIMATUR.

Hen. Maurice Rmo. P. D. Wilhelmo Archiepiscopo. Cant. à Sacris.

ERRATA.

PAge 15. l. 6. for Aeneus read Aeneas, in the Margint [...], p. 22. l. 14. f. Canon r. Canons, p. 31. l. 20. f. where r. were, p. 41. l. 7. f. moduling r. modelling, p. 59. l. 11. f. Contro-sie r. Controversie.

THE ANTIQUITY OF THE PROTESTANT RELIGION; With an Answer to Mr. Sclaters Reasons, and the Collections made by the Author of the Pamphlet entitled Nubes Testium.

SIR,

VVHEN I receiv'd your Letter, I did at first a little wonder, that such a knowing per­son should desire me to give a plain and particular proof of that Point which we Protestants do stand upon, that our Re­ligion was Anciently and Generally profest in the Christian World, before the Refor­mation. For the matter seems so clear to those who converse with Books, and will not suffer themselves to be govern'd by partiality of judgment, that we may well be amazed at the great confidence of the [Page 2] Divines in the Church of Rome, who would fain perswade you to believe the contrary; whether out of a design, or by means of their violent Passions and prejudices, I will not say.

It is indeed taken for granted by peo­ple on that side, that at the Reformation their Church was the only Catholick Church in the World; and that their Faith was undoubtedly True and Primi­tive in all its particulars; because other­wise the Church (as they conceive) must have failed; and the Promises of God, touching his preserving and assisting his Church to the Worlds end, must have come to nothing. Upon which false suppo­sitions they run away at all rates with ma­ny strange notions of Ʋs, and of the Re­formation, believing and giving it out, that we forsook the True Church which was entitled to Gods Patronage and Guardianship, and did set up a new Reli­gion which no good Christians ever own'd; and therefore that we must needs be in a miserable and lost condition.

Seeing then the difference between us is so wide, either They or We must necessarily [Page 3] be under a very great mistake: And there­fore in compliance with your commands I shall indeavour to satisfie you, that the mistake lies not on our side; especially, since the Author of the Nubes Testium, and Mr. Sclater in his Consensus veterum, have taken so much pains to possess the World with a Notion to the contrary.

In the prosecution of this matter I shall,

1. First, take as short and as particular a view as I can, of the State of Christiani­ty, from the Primitive times to the Re­formation; and shew you how the Do­ctrines, we profess, were generally profest and own'd from Age to Age, in those Churches which are nearer home.

2. That at the Reformation and before, the Faith of those Churches, which are more Remote and distant from Us, was the same with Ours, in most of those ma­terial points which lie now under debate. And when these Two things are cleared, several inferences will easily follow, which will abundantly serve to justifie Our Re­formation, and to discharge the Protestant Religion from those Imputations, which are commonly but unjustly cast upon it.

[Page 4] 1. First, let us look into the condition of Religion from the Primitive Ages to the time of the Reformation; and see, if those Doctrines, which we Protestants profess, were not profest and own'd from Age to Age, before ever the Name of Protestant became a characteristical note of Distinction. And for the clearing of this, I think it too tedious to gather up Sentences, and ends of Sayings out of the Ancients, as Mr. Sclater, and the Au­thor of the Nubes Testium have endea­vour'd to do. For they know well, that we have a Catalogus Testium, to which their Nubes is but as it were of a Hands breadth. And besides the latter of these doth ingenuously confess, That many things in the Ancient Fathers are Obscure; that their Preface pag. 3. Names have been prefixt to Books, of which they were never the Authors; and that ad­ditions have been made to some of their writings; besides the divers mistakes of Transcribers in the publishing of their Works.

The most effectual way therefore will be to observe the Doctrines of the Anci­ents in their Disputations and Controversies with the Adversaries of the Truth, and [Page 5] that, either when they purposely wrote against some known Error, and generally used the same arguments, as so many Re­ceived Principles; or when they met to­gether in Councils to settle matters by pub­lick Canons and Definitions. These obser­vations will more readily, and more cer­tainly help us to understand the sense of the Ancient Church, than our having re­course to this or that passage in particular Authors. So that if it be made appear, that our Religion is agreeable to that which the Ancients did in their Disputati­ons and Assemblies maintain, as the Pri­mitive Faith, you need not enquire further for your satisfaction, nor trouble your self with Heaps of quotations out of single Authors; unless you have a mind to gra­tifie your Curiosity, and for that you may consult Bishop Taylors Disswasive, or Bi­shop Mortons Appeal, or Bishop Ʋshers An­swer to the Jesuites challenge; which the Writers in this Age would do well to try if they can Answer.

But to go to our business: It is noto­rious, that the first great Controversies in the Church were about the Common Do­ctrines [Page 6] of Christianity; a great many He­reticks for divers Ages, from Simon Ma­gus downward to Pope Honorius, and the rest of the Monothelites, violently oppo­sing, some the Reality of Christs Humane Nature; some his Divinity, some, the Distin­ction between his two Natures; some, the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, as a distinct Per­son from the Father and the Son, and the like general Principles which the Christian Church held. Against these Seducers, not only Books were written by the Primi­tive Fathers severally, but divers Councils were called; the first a Local Synod at An­tioch against Paulus Samosatenus, who taught that our Saviour was a meer Man. After this, Six general Councils met: The First at Nice against Arius, for asserting that Christ Jesus was a Creature: The Second at Constantinople against the Eunomians and Sabellians, and the rest that affirm'd the Holy Ghost to be a Creature too: the Third at Ephesus against Nestorius for re­viving the Arian Heresie: The Fourth at Chalcedon against Eutyches, who own'd the Divine and Humane Nature too, yet taught that upon the Ʋnion of them, both were [Page 7] mixt, Absorpt and Transubstantiated into One: The Fifth at Constantinople again, to stifle a fresh the Nestorian Blasphemy: and the Sixth there also against Pope Honorius, and his Associates, who own'd, as but one Na­ture (as Eutyches did) so but one Will neither.

Now what was the business of all these zealous Fathers, but to confirm the A­postles Creed, which had been handed, down to them from the beginning? They look't upon it to contain all things necessary to be believed; they reckoned it the saving, and the Only short Rule of Faith; the Faith that is Immovable (as Ignatius the Martyr call'd it;) the unmovable and Irreformable Faith (as Tertullian;) the Perfect Faith, that unites all Ignat. Ep. ad Smyr. Tertul. de veland. verg. Iren. l. 1. c. 3. Churches throughout the whole World into one body (as Irenaeus thought;) the Right Catho­lick Faith (as Athanasius and the rest of the Ancients did esteem it.) This was the rea­son, why they were so very in­dustrious and careful to keep Super haec autem iidem in Chal­cedone sancti Patres anathemati­zaverunt eos qui aliud Symbolum. tradiderunt aut tradunt, praeter hoc quod expositum est a trecentis decem & octo sanctis Patribus▪ & explanatum a centum quinquagin­ta sanctis Patribus. Justinian. in Quintae Synodi Collat. prima, Con­cil Tom. 4. part. 2. pag. 47. Edit Bin. the common Creed inviolable: So that, as Justinain the Emperor tells us, the Fathers of the Council at Chalcedon, anathe­matiz'd all those that had deli­vered, [Page 8] or do deliver any other Symbol, be­sides that Creed of the Apostles, which was explained by the two first general Councils, that at Nice, of 318 Fathers; and the next at Constantinople consisting of an hundred and fifty.

I know not what the Men of Trent thought of this heavy Anathema, when they Added to the Ancient Creed a great many New Articles of their own, as equal­ly Necessary to Salvation. But by this, Sir, you may see that the Apostles Symbol, as it was explicated in the first General Coun­cils, was that and that only, which the Primitive Fathers so zealously contended to maintain; which you cannot con­ceive, why it should have been, had not they concluded it to be a Perfect Summary. And this I note, not only to shew their great and most unreasonable uncharitable­ness, who condemn all that stick to this Primitive Creed only: But moreover to vindicate our selves, who own and teach the very same Articles of Faith, and ne­cessary principles of Christianity, which was the only thing contended for by the old Catholick Fathers. Upon which ac­count [Page 9] we are no more Hereticks, than They were, our Creed being the very same with Theirs: So that there can be no colour of Reason for any to forsake our Communi­on, as if our Faith were unsound or De­fective; or to be dissatisfied in their minds, as if there were any danger of their Hap­piness, if they be but careful to adorn this Faith with a sutable conversation.

And hence I cannot but look upon it, as a strange piece of weakness (at least) in the Divines of that party, that they are so grosly mistaken in their notion of of the Catholick Faith. For they quite over-look the Common Creed, as if that were not it, (whereas in Truth, that alone is the Catholick Faith;) and give that Title to the Trent-confession, which is the Roman Faith only; and yet whoever de­nieth any part of that Confession, though he owns the Apostles Symbol, must be hooted at presently as an Heretick.

Nor can it be thought any less than strange Inconsideration in Mr. Sclater, that he should leave our Church for that of Rome, upon an Idea he hath formed in his own fancy of that Churches Ʋnity in the Faith. [Page 10] For is not our Church in most perfect Ʋnity as to the Christian Faith? Were the A­postles Creed profest only in the Roman Church, we might all go thither. But is not our Faith the same with Hers, in those points wherein 'tis truly Primitive and Ca­tholick? If Mr. Sclater can shew us, wherein we contradict any of those prin­ciples of Christianity, which so many Ancient councils confirm'd as the One Catholick Faith, we will not blame him for thinking, that we have broken the Unity thereof. But we are so far from offering an hundred Faiths (as he unwor­thily Page. 5. insinuates) that we teach but One, and the same, which is Common to all the Churches in the World. Therefore his little quotations out of Ignatius, Cyprian, and the supposititious Clemens Romanus, are nothing at all to his purpose. But his Allegation out of Irenaeus (pag. 8) is grosly impertinent. For Irenaeus evidently speaks of the Apostles Creed, and of that alone. Pray consult the place, and see if Irenaeus doth not expresly and distinctly repeat the substance of that Confession, the Ar­ticles whereof we repeat daily in our [Page 11] Churches; and then he presently subjoyns, in the very next Chapter, This Doctrine and Faith the Church keeps with all care, as if she dwelt in one House, although she be disseminated over the whole World. Her Faith is agreeable to these Doctrines, as if she had one Soul, and one and the same Heart. These Articles she doth consonantly preach, teach and deliver, as if she had but one mouth. For though there be different Lan­guages, yet the Faith delivered is one and the same. Neither do the Churches in Ger­many believe or teach any other Faith, nor do those Churches in Spain, nor those in France, nor those in the East, nor those in E­gypt, nor those in Lybia, nor those in the middle parts of the World: But as the Sun is one the same in the whole World, so the Doctrine of Truth every where shines, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to the knowledge of the Truth: He adds too (which Mr. Sclater disingenuously con­ceals) that none of the Governours of the Church, though never such able men, do teach any other Doctrines than these (for no man is above his Master) nor doth the weakest di­minish the Faith delivered: But the Creed [Page 12] being one and the same, the greatest man doth not add more, no doth the meanest man believe less.

And now Sir, what is all this for the advantage of the present Roman Faith, which is superadded to the Apostles Sym­bol? This passage is so far from countenan­cing, that it utterly condemns that Addition. Or what is all this against Ʋs, who be­lieve & teach that very same Faith which all Christian Churches did adhere to in Irenaeus time? Or what encouragement is all this for any man to leave our Communion, as if we had violated the Ʋnity of the Faith? The truth is, Irenaeus & the rest of the Ancients said (as we do) that Christ hath but one Catholick Church on Earth; that all Churches make up this Catholick Church; that they are all united in one by one common Faith, and that the Apostles Creed, is that one and only Faith. Now this Faith is uniformly believed by us; and therefore Mr. Sclater needed not to say (as he doth pag. 10.) What would I have once given to have found such Ʋnity among Protestants? Let him but give us our Due, and we desire no more, and this he cannot deny without denying [Page 13] us our due, that in England, Scotland, Den­mark, Sweedland, Geneva, Zurick, &c. we have one common Creed, and the same which Ʋnited all Local Churches into one Catho­lick Church, in the Days of Old. But though we Protestants are United into one Faith, yet because we are not United under one Pope (no more than the Primitive Churches were) Mr. Sclater leaves us. Avery stout Rea­son! If yet that be one of the True Reasons: But by what we have seen of his Reasons yet, we have some cause to believe, he hath some other reasons that are stronger than this; some Reserv'd Reasons, among those which he calls (Pag. 5.) his Reserv'd Principles.

But to let Mr. Sclater go at present, till we meet him again. The Author of the Nubes Testium would perswade you to think, that in those By-opinions wherein we dif­fer from the Roman Church, the Primitive Fathers are on their side.

For the clearing therefore of this Mat­ter, I shall take a very short course; by giving you an Historical account of the Series of Affairs from the Primitive Ages, as Controversies about these Points did happen to arise: And by this account [Page 14] you will easily discern, that our Opinions are the most Ancient and Catholick Opinions.

After the Catholick Faith had been on­firm'd, and the Controversie with Arius de­termin'd at the Nicene Council about Anno 325. another Controversie arose about Pri­macy, some Bishops of Rome pretending to Supream Authority, and Universal Jurisdi­ction over the rest. But this was clearly an Innovation: for an Ancient Canon had [...], &c. Can. Apostol. 34. been provided (which was the Churches Rule, during the Reigns of Heathen Princes) That the Bishops of every Country should sub­mit to him that was their Primate, and own him for their Head, and do nothing (of Mo­ment) without his Approbation. By which Canon the Primacy was fixt in the Arch­bishop of every Province, and all Metro­politans throughout the World, stood up­on the same Level, and had the same Su­pream Authority in their Respective Ju­risdictions and Countries. You cannot but smile to see what a Marginal Note there is upon this Canon in Binius's Edition of it: Jurisdictio E­piscoporum, prae­terquam Roma­ni, certis & fi­nitis limitibus circumscripta est. The Jurisdiction of Bishops (except the Ro­man Bishops) is Circumscribed within certain and determinate Limits. But there is not [Page 15] the least ground or colour for that excep­tion: the continual practice of the Church in those times shews it to be a forced Inter­pretation of the Canon; for the Jurisdicti­on of the Roman Bishops was limited, as all the others was; so that Aeneus Sylvius (afterwards Pope Pius the second) inge­nuously confest, that before the Nicene Council, little respect was had to the Church of Rome.

Nor did the Nicene Council give the Ro­man Bishops any Title to their pretended Primacy. For in the sixth Canon of that Council the Fathers decreed, that the An­cient Customes should hold; that the Bishop [...], &c. of Alexandria should have power over them who were in Egypt, Lybia, and Pentapolis; because this was likewise the custome for the Bishop of Rome. Also that Antioch and other Provinces should have the same Privi­ledges preserv'd to their Churches. Whence it appears, that in those times the Jurisdi­ction of the Roman Patriarch was limited and bounded; and that to the Suburbicary Churches in Italy (as Ruffinus rightly understood that Canon.) 2. That other Provinces had the same equal priviledges [Page 16] within themselves, that the Roman Church had. 3. That those priviledges were every where founded on ancient Customes. 4. That those Customes should still continue in force.

But all this could not bound the Am­bition of some Bishops of Rome, who en­deavour'd and hoped to enlarge their Ju­risdiction by the great Interest they had in the (now Christian) Emperors, who ex­prest much tenderness to the Church in lieu of those hardships she had endured in times of Persecution; and thought it no little Piety, out of Veneration to the Me­mories of St. Peter and St. Paul, to be kind to their Successors: and this was one thing that by degrees brought the Church of Rome into great request. Besides, Schis­maticks and Hereticks who lay under Church-censures, were wont to appeal to the Emperor for redress, as the Donatists did to Constantine in the Pontificate of Mel­chiades. The Emperor thinking it pro­per for him to commit the cognisance of Church Causes into the hands of Church­men, did use to depute and delegate the Bishop of his own See, with some more of [Page 17] the Clergy, to examine the matters. And as this gave encouragement to Factious men, ever and anon to have recourse to the Church of Rome, so it gave encourage­ment also to the Bishops of Rome to in­croach upon the Priviledges of other Coun­tries, where such causes should regularly have been heard and determin'd in publick Synods. Yet it is observable, that for a long Tract of time, the Bishops of Rome ne­ver attempted to execute their usurped power, but still they met with great Op­position from those who asserted their own Canonical Priviledges and Rights: Thus when Julius endeavoured to interpose in the case of Athanasius, who had been un­justly condemned by the Oriental Bishops in the Synods of Tyre and Antioch, though Julius pretended only, that 'twas not Ca­nonically done, but that himself and o­ther Bishops ought to have been interessed too in an affair of that High nature; yet Julius his appearing in this cause put the Oriental Bishops into a rage, as you may see by his letter to them; wherein he takes notice of their Passion and opposition; and Council. Tom. 1. pag. 391. confesses, that they charged him with kind­ling [Page 18] a flame of Discord; and that they were Qu [...] dicen­di sunt flamina discordiae ac­cendisse; si qui­dem id nobis in vestris literis objicitis? Jul. Ep. Verè parem e­undem (que) hono­rem in omnibus Episcopatibus censetis esse, ne (que) ex magnitudine civitatum (ut vos Scribitis) honorem ejus rei crescere ar­bitramini. Id. ibid. positive in their Opinion, that in all Bishop­ricks the Honour was really equal and the same, and that the Honour (much less the Power of a See) did not increase by the great­ness of Cities. This was point blank to stop the growth of the Pope of Romes power as a meer Usurpation upon the Authority and Rights of other Bishops, when yet all that Julius seems to have contended for, was that Athanasius his case might be re-consi­dered in a general Council, wherein he himself and other Western Bishops might be concern'd.

But when Innocent the first made a try­al of his skill upon the African Churches, by occasion (as 'tis thought) of an Ap­peal made to him by Caelestius the Pelagian Heretick, who had been condemn'd at home in Africa; the Africans to maintain their own Priviledges, and the Canons of the Catholick Church decreed at the Mile­vitan Council, that when Presbyters, Dea­cons, Concil. Milevit. cap. 22. or other inferiour Clergy-men did appeal from their own Bishops, some neighbouring Bishops should hear the cause: and if they ap­pealed from them too, they should not appeal, [Page 19] but to the African Councils, or to the Primates of their own Provinces. But whosoever should appeal beyond the Sea, should not be receiv'd into Communion by any in Africa. Which decree, though it speaks particularly of Presbyters and Deacons, yet it reacheth Bishops also; as is clear from the 31. Ca­non of the Carthaginian Council (Three years after this) that the same thing against Appeals beyond the Sea, had been often de­creed concerning Bishops too. And this cuts [...]. Can. Carth. 5. 31. off the common subterfuge of the Roma­nists, who are wont to pretend, that the Milevitan Canon concern'd the inferiour Clergy onely; as if the Pope had not power of Jurisdiction over Presbyters and Deacons too, if he had any over Bishops, especially if he hath it (as they say) by Di­vine Right.

Notwithstanding all this, the Successors of Innocent, (Zozimus, Boniface and Caele­stine) pretended still successively to this claim of Jurisdiction in the African Churches: whereby you may see, what an ill use they made of that favour, which the Emperours shew'd some of their Prede­cessors; for now instead of being the Em­perors [Page 20] Delegates, or their Neighbours, friendly Arbitrators, they pretended to be the most rightful Judges of foreign causes.

During the time of the Three foremen­tioned Popes, the great case about Appeals to Rome was depending in Africa; and for the determining of the Controversie, the Carthaginian Council was called, consisting of 217 Fathers, whereof St. Austin was one, Anno 419. The Pope grounded his claim of Jurisdiction upon a pretended Canon of the Nicene Council: to which the Africans an­swered, They knew nothing of any such Ca­non, nor could find any thing to that effect in those Copies they had of the Acts of that Coun­cil. But being not willing either to make a Rupture in the Church, or to lose their own Priviledges, they condescended to let the matter rest, till they could procure the most Authentick Copies of the Nicene Canons. For which purpose they dispatcht away Messengers to Constantinople, to Antioch, and to Alexandria, supposing it impossible for them to miss of the True Copies in those Churches. No sooner did they re­ceive those Copies, but presently they found [Page 21] how they had been imposed upon by the Bishops of Rome, for their whole pretence was a Forgery: Whereupon they confirm'd and inlarged the former Milevitan Decree, against any Clergy-man's appealing to the See of Rome; and to justifie their Acts, they sent a Synodical Epistle to Pope Caelestine; wherein they call those Appeals, Improba Refugia, Wicked Refuges; they pleaded, That no Councils had ever taken away the An­cient Rights of the African Churches, but that the Council at Nice had left, not Presbyters onely, but all Bishops also, to the Judgment of their own Metropolitans; they shew'd the Reasonableness of this Decree, it being im­possible for any man to be tryed so fairly as at home, where every man was known, and Witnesses were ready at hand. For all this they referred themselves to the Nicene Ca­nons, the True Copies whereof they had now received; and in the End they chid his Holiness for his Ʋsurpation; earnestly Ne fumosum ty­phum Seculi in Ecclesiam Chri­sti, videamur in ducere. Vide Concil. Car­thagin. Can. 31. &▪ Epist. Syno­dicam in fine Canonum; Con­cil. Tom. 1. pag. 757. exhorted him, neither to encourage such Appellants to him, nor to send any Legates abroad in such cases, lest it should be a means of bringing (as they call it) the swel­ling Pride of the World into the Church of Christ.

[Page 22] This manifestly shews on our side, that the Bishop of Romes pretence to a Primacy over the whole Christian World is an Inno­vation, and incroachment upon the just Li­berties and Canonical Priviledges of all other Churches. And before I go on, I cannot but note it as great Weakness and Ignorance (for I am loath to call it a Fraud) in Mr. Sclater; who, to support the Ʋniversal Pastourship of that Italian Prelate (to whose Foreign power he hath subjected himself contrary to his Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance too) cites the Canon of the Nicene Council, and for the Authority of them sends us to a pretended Epistle of Athanasius ad Marcum. You may Pag. 12. observe, that the Author of the Nubes Testium was Wiser than to quote either those Canons, or that Epistle; because there is no Canon to that purpose among the Acts of the Nicene Fathers, nor was ever such a Canon pre­tended, but what was Forged and Suppo­sititious. And as for the Epistle ad Marcum which goes under the name of Athanasius; the Learned men in the Church of Rome have been ashamed long ago to own its Authority, knowing it to be a Spurious piece. [Page 23] Baronius and Possevine both reject that E-Epistle; and so doth Bellarmine, and the Abbreviator of Baronius, Henricus Sponda­nus, Bellarm. de Rom. Pontif. Lib. 2. c. 25. Spondan. ad. Anno. 325. Num. 42. rejects the Epistle and Canons both, though Mr. Slater is pleased to lay such stress upon them. Tis pity, that when he had thoughts of writing his Reasons, he did not consult some knowing Friend, what Authors he should use, and what Books were Genuine, and what Spurious; for when he quoted that Epistle ad Marcum, and call'd it Athanasius his, he might as well have quoted the Narrative of Titus Oates, and called it the History of Titus Livius.

But to go on to our Business: Soon af­ter these transactions in Africa, a General Can. 8. Council of 200 Fathers was held at Ephe­sus, and there it was decreed again, That no Bishop should invade anothers Province, but that every Metropolitan should retain his due power, and every Province should have its Ancient Rights and Priviledges preserved. Of which Decree they expresly gave Three reasons. 1. Lest the Canons of the Church should be transgrest. 2. Lest the Churches of Christ should unawares lose their Liberty. 3. Lest the Pride of Secular Power should be [Page 24] brought into the Church; which was the very Reason and Expression the Africans had used a little before against the in­croachments of Pope Caelestine.

About Twenty years after this, a New Scene of Affairs appear'd, which is well worth your Observation. A great Synod of 630 Fathers met at Chalcedon: and there, notwithstanding the Opposition of the Popes Legates, they confirm'd the Ca­nons that had been made at the Council of Constantinople, and gave the Bishop of Constantinople, equal Honours and Priviledges with the Bishop of Rome; meaning, not any Supremacy of Power or Jurisdiction, but Vide Con. Con­stantinop. Can. 2: & 3. Item Concil. Chal­ced. Can. 28. an Honourable Precedency for Order sake. The Reason of this was, because the Im­perial Seat was now removed to Constanti­nople: It was called, New Rome, and en­joyed the same civil Priviledges that the Old did: and because an Honourable Pre­cedency had been given to the Bishop of Old Rome (not upon any pretence of a Divine right he had to it, but out of respect to the Imperial City, as the Fathers at Chalce­don plainly declared) therefore they thought it reasonable, that the like Honourable precedency [Page 25] should be granted to the Bishop of New Rome also. Upon this there were strait ve­ry strong fears in Italy, that in a little time the Power would go along with the Ho­nour; and that the Bishop of Constantinople would carry away that Universal Suprema­cy and Jurisdiction, which some Bishops of Rome had hitherto contended for. Now 'tis very Useful and Pleasant to observe what a strange Change this presently wrought. For as other Chruches had hi­therto bestirred themselves against the pretences of the Church of Rome, so now the very Church of Rome bestirred her self against the pretences of the Church of Con­stantinople, and with the same Arguments. Now the Note was alter'd on a sudden, and even the Bishops of Rome were vehemently set against Pride and Ambition. They urg'd our Saviours precepts of Humility, and especially in Bishops: They insisted upon the Priviledges of all Christian Churches; they stood stifly for the Canons, especially for those of the Nicene Council (though some of their Predecessors had broken them.) So that could Authority alone for ever baffle the claim of Universal Pastour­ship, [Page 26] 26we need use onely the Authority of Three Bishops of Rome, that in their turns undertook the Quarel with the Constantinopolitans.

First Pope Leo engaged in it with all imaginable Zeal. He wrote to Anatolius himself, the then Bishop of Constantinople; rebuked him for his Insolence and Ambi­tion; pleaded the Canons against him; vindicated the Priviledges of all Primates; told him that every Primate should keep within his own bounds, without invading the Vid. Ep. Leonis ad Anatol. & ad Marcian. & ad Pulcher. & ad Syn. Chalced. ex. in Binii Concil. Tom. 2. Rights of others, and what not? He wrote likewise to Marcian the Emperor, com­plaining heavily of Anatolius for breaking the Churches peace, for violating the Decrees of the Council of Nice, and the like; and therefore desired the Emperor to pull his Pride down. He wrote too to the Em­press Pulcheria, accusing Anatolius to Her also, and begging her assistance against him. He wrote to the very Synod at Chal­cedon, and told them (though they cared not for it) that he would not look upon their Acts, as to Anatolius, to be valid. Besides all this, he wrote also to the Bishop of Antioch, desiring him likewise to be a [Page 27] Party, and to engage the rest of the O­riental Bishops against Anatolius: but I do not find that they would be concern'd, be­cause 'twas onely an Honourary matter which was granted to the Constantinopolitan See, being now the Imperial Seat; and they could not but understand what was the bottom of Leo's grudge.

Above an Hundred years after this, it seems a Synod at Constantinople gave John, the Bishop of that place, the Title of Oe­cumenical or Ʋniversal Bishop. Indeed the thing was evil, and it had grown to an Head by degrees; like a noxious Humour, that first gathers, then Suppurates, and at last comes to plain Impostumation. And now another Pope appear'd in the Contro­versie, Pelagius the 2d. He inveigh'd bit­terly against John; and in a Letter to him charged him, with the most severe re­bukes, to forbear that Rash, Proud, and Su­perstitious Title (as he called it.) And in Vide Gregor. lib. 4. Ep. 38. & lib. 7. Ep. 71. item Epist Pe­lagii ad Synod. in Binii Concil. Tom 2. Par. 2. pag. 257. It. Gratian. decret. Pag. 303. an Epistle to the Synod that had granted it he dealt very roundly with them, con­demning the Title as a Devilish Ʋsurpation; as injurious to the Honour of all Patriarchs, and to the power of all Bishops, and as that [Page 28] which violated the Nicene Canons, and would bring the Members of Christ into Sla­very: In which particular Pope Pelagius was too much a Prophet.

Pelagius dying, the quarrel was left in the hands of his Successor, Gregory the Great. Now he tells us, that this New Title, which John of Constantinople had U­surped, Scandaliz'd all men; that all the Bishops were inraged at it, and all their Greg lib. 4. Ep. 32, 36, 38. & lib. 6. Ep. 28. Mouths were opened against it; that the Ʋni­versal Church was disquieted about it; that the peace of the Church was broken, and that the whole Church was rent in pieces by the Scandal it had given. Such great and strong opposition did that Arrogant name presently meet with: and yet the Title of Universal Bishop was in those a Title of Dignity onely, without any Power of Uni­versal Jurisdiction: It was nothing in comparison of that which some have u­surped a claim to Since. And if a vain Name made such work in that Age, 'tis past imagination to conceive what cla­mours and disturbances would have been then throughout the whole Church, by a Newer pretence to Universal Power and Au­thority; [Page 29] a thing that is full of the most Terrible and Mischievous conse­quences.

But of all men then living, none seem­ed to have been set more fiercely against the Title of Universal Bishop, then Pope Gregory himself was. Concerning whom I observe briefly Three things. 1. That he declaimed against the Bishop of Con­stantinople, as a Robber, as a Wolf, as an In­croacher upon the Rights of all the Bishops; Lib. 7. Ep. 71. Lib. 4. Ep. 32. & 38. & lib. 6. Ep. 30. as the Imitator and follower of Lucifer in his Pride, and as the Fore-runner of Antichrist. 2. That he wrote several Letters to Mau­ritius the Emperor, to the Bishops of Alex­andria, Antioch, Thessalonica, and divers more, to strengthen his interest against the Usurping Patriarch, that he might take down his greatness before it swelled too High. 3. That he loaded his ill-got­ten Title with the most odious and re­proachful Characters he could invent, calling it a Vain, Novel, Profane, Blasphe­mous, Wicked, Foolish, Proud, Presumptu­ous Name, and I know not what besides. This was the fine Livery, wherewith he endeavoured to disgrace his Rival, John; [Page 30] not dreaming, I belive, that in a very short time, it would be due to his own Successors, and would much better become them.

However we have the Judgment of no less then Three great Popes against the Title of Ʋniversal Bishop: nor are we concern'd to enquire, whether they had not some By-ends of their own, which provoked them to use these Expressions. That they were unwilling any others should be Partners with them in their Au­thority, is very reasonable for us to be­lieve; though I am apt to think, that Gregory spake his thoughts sincerely; partly because he declared solemnly to the Em­peror, that 'twas not any respect to his own cause which moved him; and partly because he used so many severe expressions to ren­der the thing it self Invidious and Odious; which a man so zealous for the Honour of St. Peter's Chair, as Gregory was, would not have done, had he but dream't of His, or his Successors having that Title: 'Tis not like­ly that he would wittingly have branded himself or his See, with so many Ʋgly and Infamous Characters.

[Page 31] The true account of it therefore seems to be this. Some Roman Bishops longed for Superiority over the other Churches, and might Hope in time to accomplish their desires. But in Gregory's days, and some­what before, Rome began mightily to sink, by the great Oppression of the Lombards, and by the Translation of the Imperial Seat. Constantinople flourisht at a great rate: the Court was there: the Emperor favour'd it: the Patriarch of it had now gotten a very High Title; and the Bishops of Rome might fear, that Universal Au­thority would follow by degrees, and that their Cause was going apace. Therefore they might think it in vain for them to smother and conceal the truth any longer; & so to be Revenged upon the growing Patri­arch, they speak at last their thoughts freely. In short, if these Three Bishops of Rome where sincere in what they said, their memory is the more valuable for asserting the Truth: if they looked upon any Sinister ends of their own, the Glory of Truth is the greater, for being justified even by those who were no friends to it.

You will perhaps wonder now, how [Page 32] this Title should go unexpectly and so sud­denly from Constantinople to Rome? For it was obtained of the Usurper Phocas by Bo­niface the 3d. who was the next Successor (but one) to that Gregory, who had con­demned the Title with so much bitterness. Why, thus it was in short: Phocas had barbarously Murther'd his Prince, Mauri­tius the Emperour, and his Children. Cyri­acus then Bishop of Constantinople, hated and oppos'd him for his execrable Villany. Boniface of Rome presently strikes in, makes use of this Opportunity, sues for the Title of Universal Bishop, hoping now to in­vade the Church, by the help of a Tyrant that had invaded the State; and Phocas grants his request, partly out of Hatred to his enemy Cyriacus; partly, for fear lest Boniface should raise up some evil against him in the West; and partly too, because he saw, the Bishops of Rome, were ready to crouch and sneak to him, though a bloudy Ʋsurper, as long as they could gain any thing by their base Submission; of which he found a plain experiment in Gregory himself, who wrote a flattering Letter to him, which begins thus, Gloria in excelsis, [Page 33] &c. Glory to God in the highest; and so he goes on, Let the Heavens rejoyce, and the Greg. Regist. Lib. 11. Ep. 38. aa Phocam. Earth be glad, and let all the People that have hitherto been much afflicted, be chearful for your kind actions. This he thought might very well Merit something at the hands of Phocas; and so Boniface obtain'd the Title of Ʋniversal Bishop; and that too just about the time when Mahomet stept into Christendom; then it was that Oppression got into the Church; God pu­nishing the Pride and Factions of Christians with Two Scourges at once, which ever since have made the Christian World to Smart severely.

By this account you may see the Rise and Progress of the Popes Supremacy: What an Innovation it is, and how strongly it was opposed by the Catholick Church in the Primitive times for above 200 years together after it was first pretended to: Before I pass from this Topick, I shall lay hold on this opportunity to satisfie you touching those Allegations, which the Au­thor of the Nubes Testium hath collected, to prove (if he could) that the Bishop of Rome has the Primacy over the whole [Page 34] World, and that by Divine Right too, and by Commission granted him by Christ himself in the Person of St. Peter. Now I observe in general, that this Author hath wholly omitted that Historical account which has been now given you, because it evidently clears the point against him; but instead of that, he has pickt up some ends & shreds out of some of the Ancients, which may seem Specious to Ignorant peo­ple; but signifies nothing with a man that is rightly acquainted with the Series of the Controversie. Whereas he pretends to give us an History of the Donatists, of the Gnosticks, of Berengarius, of the Iconoclasts, &c. (which I shall take notice of hereaf­ter.) he takes no notice at all of those Fa­thers and Councils in Africa, and the East, which resisted the first incroachments that tended to the introduction of an Usurped Supremacy. He knew, that such an Hi­story would burn his Fingers, and there­fore thought fit, not so much as to touch it; but throws the whole matter, and that very briefly, upon the Donatists; as if the Pag. 22. Donatists were the onely men that denyed the Popes Supremacy, and broke with him [Page 35] upon that account: whereas indeed the Dona­tists were They, who gave the Bishop of Rome the first unlucky occasion to claim Juridicti­on out of their due bounds, by their Appeals at Rome, and by their running from their proper Judges in Africk; witness their Ap­peals in the Papacy of Melchiades. So that it was not those Schismaticks, that were the first or the onely men that opposed the Popes Usurpations, but the Catholick Fathers, who were forced to stand up in de­fence of their own just priviledges.

Now it is not imaginable, that any of the Fathers would (especially during that Controversie) say any thing that might really serve to strengthen the unlawful pretences of the Bishops of Rome, against themselves: and therefore you may very ra­tionally conclude, that those passages which are gather'd out of the Fathers in favour of the Popes Supream Authority, are forced & wrested to a sence which they cannot natu­rally bear. But to examine particulars:

If you please to peruse (for 'tis tedious to Transcribe) all the Authorities this Man cites, you will find that they are concer­ning Four things: 1. Concerning those [Page 36] high Characters which some of the Ancients gave of S. Peter himself. 2. Concerning those honourable Titles which they gave to the Bishops and See of Rome 3. Concerning those Applications which were sometimes made to the Bishops of Rome upon emergent occasi­ons. 4. Concerning the Acts of the Bishops of Rome upon such Applications. And upon a full and impartial consideration of these several things, you will easily find, what false grounds they go upon, who endeavour so eagerly from these Observations to prove the Universal supream power of the Pope, especially by Divine Right.

1. These Authorities are concerning the high Characters, which some of the Anci­ents gave of S. Peter himself; as that he was the Prince, the Head of the Apostles, and the like. Now what doth this mean, but that S. Peter was the most Eminent Apostle, in re­spect of his age, in respect of his zeal, in re­spect of his couragious Professions of his Con­stancy and Love to his Master, in respect of the Precedency he might have for Order-sake, and in respect too of the Honour he had in Founding Christ's Church; for the First Converts were made by his Preaching, [Page 37] 'Twas he that gather'd at once those Three thousand Souls, which were call'd, The Church, Act. 2. 42; and because he was the first Foun­der of the Church, he was very fitly called a Rock; But doth all this import, that he was above all the other Apostles in Power? Or that he had Supream Authority and Jurisdi­ction over them? S. Paul speaks twice of the very chiefest Apostles: and what if S. Peter was the chiefest of all? Doth it follow that he was the chiefest in Authority? No, S. Paul's power was as great as His; and therefore he saith in one place. I was not a whit behind the very chiefest Apostles, 2 Cor. 11. 15. and in another place, in nothing am I behind the very chiefest Apostles, 2 Cor. 12. 11. So the Ancients allow'd S. Peter a preheminence of Honor, but not a Su­premacy of Power; as 'tis clear from that single passage which our Author cites out of S. Je­rome (and I wonder he did not better con­sider it) As Plato was Prince of the Philoso­phers; Pag. 34. so was Peter, of the Apostles. Had Plato any Authority or Jurisdiction over the Rest? No; all that is meant is, that Plato was the most Eminent and Renowned Phi­losopher. S. Gregory call'd Peter the chief Greg: lib. 4. Ep. 38. Member of the Holy and Ʋniversal Church: [Page 38] and (saith he) Paul, Andrew and John, What were They but the Heads of particular Churches? If the word Head always imports Authority; then had those three Apostles as much Authority over Peter, as Peter had over Them. But the Truth is, the Ancients ever thought, all the Apostles had authority alike: And so St. Cyprian (for instance) tells us, that what Peter was, that were the rest of the Apostles too, endued with an equal Part­nership Hoc erant u­tique & ceteri Apostoli, quod fuit Petrus, pari consortio praediti & honoris & potestatis. S. Cy­prian. de Ʋnit. Eccles. Ep. ad. Quintum. in Honour and Power. And else­where he saith plainly, that Peter, whom the Lord chose first, and on whom he built his Church, in his dispute with Paul about Circumcision, did not insolently claim, or arrogantly assume any thing to him­self, as if he held the Primacy, or ought to be obeyed rather then those Disciples who were called after him. Whence it is clear, that though some of the Ancients styled him the Prince and Head of the Apostles, yet they did not ascribe to him any Su­periour Authority or Power, but onely an Honorary Precedency, like that which is given to the Chair-man of a Committee, who is above the rest in Eminence, but in Power the same with the rest, that are equally and [Page 39] jointly in Commission with him. And thus all our Authors Collections touching St. Peter's great Characters, are answer'd in short.

2. Other of his Authorities are concer­ning those Honourable Titles, which some of the Ancients gave to the Church and Bishops of Rome; as that There was the most potent Principality (or, the Imperial Seat of the Emperor) that the First Chair, and the principal Church was There, that it was the Head Church, that the Bishop of it was a Great Pastour, and the Head, to whom Antiquity had Given a Prehemi­nence of Priesthood (or, the Precedency be­fore all other Bishops.) And what is all this, and Ten times more, to the Popes pretended Authority over all Churches, and all Bishops, and that by Divine Right too? Antiquity bestowed upon the Bishop of Rome a Preheminence, saith our Author out Pag. 45. of the Emperor Valentinian's Letter: and who doubts it? But it was nothing but a Civil Respect, and an Honourable, yet vo­luntary Deference to him, because he was Bishop of the Chief City, and was near the Emperor, and was capable of doing the [Page 40] Catholick Church (by his Interest in the Emperor) more good Offices, then other Bishops could do; therefore they were willing to Complement him with great Titles, and to give him the upper hand, and the precedency, for Order and Peace-sake. To the Episcopal Chair at Old Rome, because it was [...]. Concil. Cal­ced. Can. 8. the Imperial City, the Fathers very fitly gave an Honourable preheminence, as those 630 Fathers profest at the Council of Chalcedon; But this was a Frank-gift, a voluntary Act, and Courtesie of the Catholick Church; and from these Respectful compellations and Honorary Grants of Precedency, to argue, that the Bishop and See of Rome had Au­thority over the rest, is the same thing as if you should say, that because among our Magistrates the Mayor of London hath the Title of Lord, therefore all other Majors and Headboroughs are under his Com­mand: Or, because among our Cities, London is the Chief and Head-city, there­fore all other Cities and Corporations are under its Jurisdiction: Or, because among our Peer's there is a Primier Duke, or a First Earl, therefore all other Peers are in subjection to him: Or, because amongst [Page 41] our Bishopricks that of Durham hath some singular Favours granted to it, therefore the Prelate of that Diocess is in his Episco­pal Power and Authority Superior to all the rest. The Ancients did not begrudge that fair Preheminence, which upon the New moduling of the Roman Empire they found it necessary for them to give to some Patriarch or other, and for some special Reasons thought it best and most proper for them to give to the Patriarch of Rome; but they did not give away their own Authority, or that Power they had at home, in respect whereof all Bi­shops were his Equals: No, saith St. Cyprian, The Episcopal Authority is one and the same, Episcopatus unus est, cujus a Sin­gulis in solidum pars tenetur. S. Cyprian de Ʋnitate Eccle­siae. whereof all particular Bishops are equal and joint-possessors, like joint-Heirs in Fee. And St. Austin (whom our Author cites) saith clearly against him, that though the Bishop Pag. 41. of Rome had the Preheminence, yet the Epis­copal power was common to all that were of that Function: and therefore Optatus call'd Pope Siricius his Fellow; Socius, is the word (which our Author hath very igno­rantly, or very disingenuously rendred, Contemporary; but the plain meaning is) our [Page 42] Fellow, or Equal. The Ancients distinguisht between Priority in point of Honour, and Su­premacy or Primacy in point of Jurisdiction. The former they denyed not the Bishop of Rome; but when once he went about to take advantage by their free concessi­ons, to incroach upon their due privi­ledges, they resolutely opposed his Ʋsur­pations, though at the same time they gave him an Honourable deference. This was the ground of that Controversie whereof I have given you a short account; and for your further satisfaction you may consult the vehement Epistles of St. Cyprian to the Bishops of Rome, and particularly that to Cornelius, where he stoutly defends the priviledges of foreign Churches and their Right of judging matters at home, against all Appeals to the Roman See; and if anything be needful to be added, it shall be onely what St. Cyprian said afterwards at Neque enim quisquam no­strum Episco­p [...] se Episcopo­rum con­stituit, aut Tyrannico terrore ad obse­quendi necessita­tem collegas suos adigit, &c. Cyprian. de baptizand. Hae­ret. in initie. the Carthaginian Council; None of us makes himself a Bishop of Bishops, or by any Tyran­nical Threats, compelleth his Colleagues to a necessity of Obedience; in regard that every Bishop hath by vertue of his own Liberty and Authority, a Power of Judgment in himself, [Page 43] and can no more be judged by another Bishop, than another Bishop can be judged by him. This he spake designedly against the Bishop of Rome; and if you consider the place, you will find it to be such a pregnant Te­stimony against the pretended Supremacy of the Pope of Rome, as I believe the Au­thor of the Nubes Testium will be puzled how to answer.

3. Next we are to consider those his Quotations which relate to those Applica­tions which Foreigners were wont to make to the Roman Bishop upon special Occasi­ons; and examine whether these did im­port and argue that Supremacy, which 'tis pretended he had in the Primitive Ages. 1. Then 'tis true, that other Bishops were anciently wont to acquaint the Bishop of Rome with the state of Church-affairs in their several Provinces; especially if any new thing hapned. And this was all that the Sardican Fathers meant, when writing to Pope Julius, who had excused himself for his absence from the Synod, in regrad they had accepted his excuse, they sent him an account of what they had done; because they thought it most proper for the [Page 44] Bishops from several Provinces to relate or com­municate their proceedings to the Head, that Si ad Petri A­postoli sedem, de singulis provin­ciis domini refe­rant Sacerdotes. is, to St. Peter's See (the sence of which place our Author hath perverted by rendring it so, as if they thought it best for them to Pag. 25. have recourse to the Bishop of Rome: an un­just innuendo, that he was not so much their Brother as their Judge.)

Now what can any man get by this, that the Bishops in those times would not keep one another in Ignorance? In order to the Peace and Unity of the Catholick Church, it was absolutely necessary for them to hold a mutual, brotherly, correspondence: And why should they pass by one that was Bishop of so eminent a City as Rome was? Yet this is no argument of any Authority he had over them for he was wont to do the same thing himself; as other Bishops com­municated the affairs of their provinces to him, so he communicated the affairs of his Province to Them too; and so, this is no more an argument for the Authority of the one, than 'tis for the Authority of all the rest.

2. It is true too, that the Primitive Fathers did many times consult the Opini­on [Page 45] of the Bishop of Rome, in points that were controverted and good reason they had to do so; for the Church of Rome was then uncorrupt; men of great Learning and Note flockt thither, some out of curiosity, and some upon business; because, Rome was the chief Seat of the Empire (which is the Genuine sence of Iraenus, as he is cited Pag. 22. by our Author) And where was any Controversie so likely to be determin'd, as at Rome? But what of all this? Doth it follow hence, that they lookt upon the Pope as the supream Judge? You know, many of the Reformers did either go or send to Geneva, to consult Cal­vin's Opinion; but did any of them think, they were under his Jurisdiction? This is as strong an Argument on the behalf of the Presbyterians for the Su­premacy of their Pope, as 'tis on be­the behalf of the Romanists for the su­premacy of the Pope of Rome. And yet we would not take away any of his due Honour from him: Let him cleanse his Church from those Errors and Corruptions we justly complain of; [Page 46] let him keep within his own bounds, without invading the Liberties of other Churches, and the Rights of Princes; let him make Rome the Seat of true Piety and Literature: let him be, as he should be, like a right Primitive Pa­triarch; and then he shall see whether we will not give him the same deference, that the Primitive Christians did.

3. It is true also, that foreign Bi­shops were wont, as occasion did re­quire, to give the Bishop of Rome an account of their Faith. But what then? Did they not give the same account to the whole Church, and to other Bishops, as well as to the Roman? It was a common Cause; and every Bi­shop was deeply concern'd to be sa­tisfied, whether such as were of the same Order, were sound in the same Catholick Faith. And therefore when they were newly Ordain'd, or were at any time suspected of Errors, they were oblig'd to satisfie all their Fellow-Bi­shops, and did often give an account of their Faith, under their hands for the satisfaction of the whole Church. [Page 47] Nay 'tis notorious that even the Bishops of Rome did the same thing (and some of them were commanded to it in open Synods) and the Learned and Moderate Archbishop of Paris, Petrus de Marca, ingenuously tells us, That Pet. de Marca de Concord. Lib. 6. Cap. 5. 'twas usual in those times for a Patri­arch, and for the very Bishop of Rome, when he was newly chosen, to send Letters abroad concerning his Ordination; to which was added a Profession of his Faith. So that 'tis impertinent what our Au­thor Pag. 28. alledgeth, of Dionysius of A­lexandria giving his Name-sake of Rome, a Declaration of his Faith; for if this was an argument of his subje­ction to the Pope, it is as strong a proof, that the Pope himself was in subjection to other Bishops.

4. Nor is it to any more purpose, what our Author has collected touch­ing the Popes hearing of Plantiffs Causes, though he seems to lay a great deal of stress upon it. For what the Bishop of Rome did of this kind, he did either as the Emperors Delegate, or as an indifferent Referee, or as a [Page 48] friendly Neighbour, whose Mediation and intercession in foreign parts (espe­cially when other Bishops concurr'd with him, as commonly they were wont) might and did go a great way towards the Righting of those who were sup­posed to have been unjustly or hard­ly dealt with at home. But that Ap­plications were made to him upon this ground, that he was the sole Head of the Catholick Church, and so might by virtue of his unlimited Ju­dicial power, command Redresses to be made in any case, upon his own hearing of it, is more than our Au­thor hath as yet proved, or is able to prove with the help of all his friends. And for the clearing of this, I shall, 1. Give our Author a General answer; And then, 2. Consider the particulars, touching the Applications made to the Bishop of Rome by Eustathius Sebaste­nus, by Athanasius, Chrysostome, and others, whose cases he is pleased to instance in.

1. Then in general, it is certain that every mans Cause was in those times [Page 49] to be heard and determin'd in his own Province, without any Liberty given him to appeal to any foreign Bishop whatsoever, as to a superiour Judge. This is proved already by the fore­going Historical account: but for your further satisfaction I shall referr you to the Learned Writer Petrus de Marca himself, whose observations had our Au­thor read and considered, he would hardly have collected any thing of this nature, unless he had designed to abuse and impose upon his Readers Ignorance. For that Learned Writer doth of set purpose prove these Seven things, which utterly over-throw what the Au­thor of the Nubes Testium drives at. 1. That all Causes Ecclesiastical were anciently determined by Definitive and Decretory sentences in Provincial Sy­nods, De Concord. Lib. 7. Cap. 1. 2, &c. as the supream Authority. 2. That when an Ecclesiastical person thought himself wronged by a Povincial Sy­nod, though he had no power of Ap­pealing from it, yet he might use his endeavours to get the actions of the Synod review'd. For that great man [Page 50] doth excellently distinguish between an Appeal, and a Review. An Appeal (saith he) is, when a Cause is entirely removed to the Cognisance of a superior Judge; but a Review is, when the Judgment of a Cause is left to the same Court to be re­heard and re-considered, some other Judges being joined with those, who before past the Definitive sentence, for the reversing of it, in case upon a review, there appear­ed new and sufficient reasons for it. 3. That in order to such a review, Applications were wont to be made to the Emperor himself, until the time of the Sardican Synod, which was about Twenty years after that at Nice. 4. That though the Sardican Synod allowed Applications to be made to the Bishop of Rome (out of respect, as I suppose, to the Empe­rors quiet, and to save him a great deal of trouble and vexation) yet they gave him no power to decide or hear the Cause himself, but onely that power of ordering a review, which the Empe­rors had. 5. That the Synod which granted the Pope this power, consisted but of Eighty Western Bishops. 6. That [Page 51] even this little power thus freely given by those few men, was not grounded upon any right the Bishop of Rome had to it, either from Scripture, or Canon, or so much as Custome, but a thing of Cour­tesie onely; and therefore it was put to the Vote in that Synod by Hosius and Gaudentius, If it please you, if it seem Can. 3. & 1 Synod. Sardic. good unto you, let us grant unto the Bi­shop of Rome, out of respect to St. Peter's Memory, &c. 7. That these Canons of the Sardican Synod were not receiv'd in the Oriental Churches, which still stood stifly to it, that neither the Bishop of Rome. nor any other Bishops of the West had any thing to do with the proceedings in the East, so as to over-rule those Determinations which were made in Provincial Synods. These things are so strongly and evidently proved by Petrus de Marca himself, that every man of sense must rest satisfied in the in­genuous account he has given touching this point. And therefore, though our Author pretends by his Collections to prove, that in those ancient Times the Bishop of Rome had an unlimited [Page 52] power over Synods, so that he could re­scind their actions Authoritatively, and as a supream Judge, yet what he saith, is nothing but Banter.

2. As for those particular cases, which he hath instanced in, if you consider them rightly, you may easily discover the fallacy. For what if Eustathius Se­bastenus Ad Annum. 365. 3▪ applyed himself to Pope Libe­rius? Doth this argue that he lookt upon him as the supream Judge? No surely; for it is notorious, and Sponda­nus himself doth acknowledge it, that he applyed himself also to several other Bishops in Italy, France, Africk, Sicily, and Illyricum, and that with Letters from all these he addrest himself to the Synod at Tyana, for his restitution to his Bishoprick: So that according to this rate, a great many other Bishops were supream Heads of the Church, as well as the Bishop of Rome.

As to the case of Athanasius, what if he applyed himself to Pope Julius, when he had been unjustly cast out of his Bi­shoprick by his enemies at the Tyrian Synod? Our Author doth acknowledge [Page 53] out of Sozomen, that Julius sent for A­thanasius to Rome, because 'twas not safe for him to continue in Egypt: and can­not you invite any distressed man to your House for protection, but pre­sently you must be his Judge? Again; what if Julius did afterwards cite him and his Adversaries to appear at Rome? This is no argument that he was by his Place and Office supream over all, but that he was onely an indifferent Referee in that particular Cause. For Petrus de Marca himself doth tell us, that the O­riental Bishops, who had deposed Atha­nasius, did by joint Consent refer the re­viewing of the whole matter to the Bishop of Rome; and yet not to him onely, but to a Synod of Western Bishops together with him; and that Pope Julius called a Sy­nod at the request of those who were Legates from the Oriental Bishops: So that all this was nothing but an Arbi­tration; nor was the Pope sole Arbitra­tor neither, but a great many other Bi­shops too were desired to be Ʋmpires with him, because it was unreasonable that so great a man as Athanasius, Bi­shop [Page 54] of so eminent a See as Alexandria was, should be deprived of his rights by a Factious party after a clandestine manner. For the removing of this Scandal, the whole business was by Mu­tual Agreement left to the consideration of a Synod at Rome; which argues not at all, that the Pope or They had an in­herent Authority to Judge in that case; no more than it argues, that every se­lect number of Referees and Arbitrators in London, have the decretive power of my Lord Chancellor in Westminster­hall.

I shall onely add, that our Author hath perverted the sense of Pope Julius, in translating his Epistle: For whereas he renders it thus, Are you ignorant, that ac­cording to the receiv'd Custome, you ought first to have writ to us, that hence what was just might have been determin'd; it ought to be translated according to the impor­tance [...]. of the words in the Greek Copy, thus; Are you ignorant that this is the Cu­stome, first to write to us, that so afterwards things which are just may be determin'd. Whence it appears, that all the right [Page 55] which the Bishop of Rome claimed to the Complement of an Epistle, was grounded upon meer Custome; and that the consi­deration of Athanasius his case did belong not to him onely, but to other Bishops also, that Right might be done him (not hence, or from Rome, but) afterwards, by the concurrence and common Suffrage of all. And therefore Petrus de Marca re­prehends Cardinal Perron, for abusing Pope Julius, and for perverting and wre­sting his sense, after the same fallacious manner, as our Author has done: And De concord. Lib. 7. C. 4. § 8. for his reprehension I referr him to that excellent Writer.

I shall not need to detain you with a long answer to what he saith concern­ing Paul Bishop of Constantinople, Mar­cellus Pag. 30. of Ancyra, and the rest, who were ejected as Athanasius was. For their case was the same with his; and several Bi­shops (and the Bishop of Rome among others) were pitcht upon by the Consent of all Parties to re handle it; and impowered (as Petrus de Marca doth con­fess) to send for them to Rome, for the Ibid. § 2. re-examination thereof: and all this [Page 56] doth amount to no more, than a friend­ly and neighbourly Reference. I shall onely note, that the Eastern Bishops were so far from owning any Authori­ty in the Pope to decide the Contro­versie himselfe, that because he presumed so much as to receive Athanasius, and the rest into his Communion, before the Cause had been determin'd in a Sy­nod of Western and Eastern Bishops too, they fell out with him horribly, and grew out ragious, as you may see in their Synodical Epistle, in Binius.

Much like to this was the Case of St. Chrysostome, which our Author doth in­stance in too, as if St. Chrysostome, being unjustly depos'd by Theophilus of A [...]ex­andria, had Appealed to the Bishop of Rome, as the supream Judge. But the vanity of all this is sufficiently proved by the ingenuous Petrus de Marca, who bestowes a whole Chapter upon this case onely; where he shews, that St. Chryso­stome De concord. Lib. 7. Cap. 9. appeal'd, not to the Pope, but to a general Council; that he wrote indeed to the Pope, but not to him onely, but al­so to the Bishops of Milan and Aquilea; [Page 57] that the end of his writing was, that the Italian Bishops would consent to the cal­ling of a Council, and would help to perswade the Emperors to call one, and that nothing can be drawn from St. Chrysostome's case to prove the Popes Su­premacy. And the Truth is, St. Chryso­stome disown'd the Jurisdiction of a foreign Bishop, as you may easily see by his Epistle to Pope Innocent. Therefore our Author falsifies the sense of St. Chryso­stome; Chrys. Epist. ad Innocent. Tom 7. pag. 154. Ed. Savil. for towards the end of that E­pistle he speaks, not to Innocent onely, but to other Bishops of Italy too, calling them his most honoured and Religious Lords: and that which he desires of them all, is, that they would write to Theophilus and the rest, to convince them, and [...], &c. let them know that such irregu­lar proceedings as had been car­ried on by a Party against Chry­sostom, when he was absent, and did not decline a fair Try­al, ought to be lookt upon as null and void, as in­deed they were in their own nature; and that such men ought to suffer according to [Page 58] the Ecclesiastical Laws. To which he adds a further request, that Innocent and the rest of his brother-Bishops would own him for a Brother; that he might receive com­municatory Letters from them, and have their love, and the love of all others, as formerly he had. And what is all this to the supream and sole Jurisdiction of the Pope over all other Bishops? Suppose some eminent Divine of a Protestant Church abroad in Denmark, or elsewhere, should now be in St. Chrysostome's hard case, and should send to my Lord of Canterbury, and the rest of the English Bi­shops, to declare their minds against the un­canonical Actions of his enemies, and to tell them that such proceedings were not bind­ing, and that they would be pleased, till his cause was duely tryed, to let him continue in their good esteem, and to look upon him as a Brother, and vouchsafe him their love and communion; would this argue, that our Arch-bishop and his Suffragons, are the su­pream Heads of the Catholick Church?

4. By all this you may see, that those Applications which were upon occasion made to the Bishop of Rome by foreign [Page 59] Bishops, are no good argument to prove that his unlimitted power over all Churches, which is now contended for. Let us now consider the last point, whe­ther any such thing can be concluded from those Acts, which did sometimes follow after such Applications. For the Author of Nubes Testium doth Appropriate divers acts to the Bishop of Rome, for which his Collections cannot bear him out. As, 1. The sole power of deposing other Prelates, that which was ancient­ly the proper business of Synods, as Petrus de Marca abundantly shews, and which he confesses was not obtained by the Pope till about Eight hundred years ago. As for Nestorius (whom this Author doth in­stance De Concord. l. 7. Cap. 1 § 7. in) he was Deposed by the Ephe­sine Council; nor was the Pope con­cern'd in it more than any other Bishop. Because he was such a notorious and ob­stinate Heretick, all the Bishops of the Catholick Church were engaged in a common cause against him. St. Cyril of Alex­andria would have Excommunicated him before, as he signified in his Epistle to Pope Caelestine, who in his Answer to [Page 60] Cyril concurr'd with him, and consented to it, as any other Bishop might have done. He did not delegate any power which St. Cyril had not of himself, so making him his Substitute (as this Author is please to Romance) but onely went hand in hand with him, joining the Au­thority of the Roman See with his. And [...]. Ep. Cae­lestine ad Cyril. when the Ephesine Council deposed Ne­storius, it was the Authority of the Church-Canons they went upon; and tho' they took notice of Pope Caelestine's Letter to them, it was only in commendation of him, that they might extol him for his Rea­diness in that matter, as they said in their Sy­nodical Epistle to the Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian. Nay, tho' Caelestine had censur'd Nestorius before that Council met, yet he did it in a Synod at Rome, with the consent and joint-concurrence of a great many Bishops more; so that in all that affair the Pope used no more Authority, than other Bishops did.

2. Besides this, our Author appropriates to the Pope the power of restoring Bishops that had been outed of their Bishop­ricks; and so he pretends that he restored [Page 61] Eustathius, Athanasius and the rest. But as for Eustathius, he was restored by the Synod at Tyana; and that at the in­stance, not of the Pope onely, but a great many other Bishops in Italy, France, Africk, Sicily, and Illyricum; nay, at the instance of the Emperor himself; for he went to that Synod with Letters from all these, as 'tis acknowledged. 'Tis true, the Western Bishops concurr'd, and gave oc­casion to the rest to do so too, for which St. Basil blames them. But if the Pope had the sole power in his hand, why did Eustathius go to any other? What need had he to give himself so much trouble, having once made a friend of the Pope? And as for Athanasius, and the other Eastern Bishops, who our Author saith Pag. 30, 31. were restored to their Sees, by Pope Ju­lius, it is evident by the whole story, and honestly confest by Petrus de Marca, that De Concord. Lib. 7. C. 3. 7. their Restitution was decreed by the Sar­dican Council, and was actually pro­cured and effected by the Emperors com­mand. 'Tis true, Pope Julius receiv'd those Bishops into his Communion, because he believ'd they were unjustly depos'd by [Page 62] the Arian Faction. 'Tis true too, that he wrote into the East for the restitution of those Bishops: but 'tis as true, that he pretended not to any power of doing this himself, but that those great men ought not to be ejected without the knowledge and consent of himself and other Bishops of the East and West. This Petrus de Marca proves undeniably, and Ibid. Cap. 4. quarrels with Baronius, Bellarmine and Perron, for wresting the sense of Julius his Epistle to their own Opinion (just as our Author hath done) And as touching Sozo­men's words, which our Author quotes, that Learned Writer shews in the same place how they are abused; and that they are to be understood, not as if the resti­tution of those Bishops was effected di­rectly, or by vertue of Julius his supream Jurisdiction, but by Consequence onely; that is, Julius his Example and Interces­sion had such an Influence upon other Bishops and the Emperors, that it be­come the means and occasion of the Resti­tution of Athanasius and his injured Bre­thren. And now what is all this to prove, the sole supream Authority of the Bishop [Page 63] of Rome? Especially since Athanasius him­self acknowledg'd, that he was restored by the suffrage of no less than Three hun­dred forty and four Bishops.

Sir, if you think I have been too pro­lix upon this Theme, I must intreat you to consider that it is one of the most Principal of those points which are in Controversie between Us, and the present Roman Church, and a point of great con­sequence. I hope that by what has been Written, you will be able rightly to un­derstand those passages which the Author of the Nubes Testium hath collected upon this Head; and before I pass on to the the next point, I shall take notice but of Four passages more.

1. He saith, the General Council of Chal­cedon own'd the supream Authority of the Pag. 44. Pope; inasmuch as the chief accusation a­gainst Dioscorus was, that contrary to the Tradition and Practice of the Church, he had presumed to call a Council, without the consent of the Bishop of Rome; as appears from the words of Lucentius, Legate from the See Apostolick, Act. 1. But this he falsisies wretchedly. For the Crimes al­ledged [Page 64] against Dioscorus, (Bishop of A­lexandria) were, that he was a Favourer of the Heretick Eutyches, and was guilty of Outrages and bloodshed. This made the great Outcry in the Council, that he should be turned out of it. Indeed Lucentius (the Popes Legate) pleaded, that Dioscorus had called a Synod without the Popes Authority. But this allegation was not admitted, nor taken notice of by the Council; they required Lucentius to shew, wherein Dioscorus had offended? And when Lucentius persisted in his allegation, the Fathers reprehended him for accusing him; and so Dioscorus was commanded to keep his place; which he did till he was cast out for other reasons. If you consult the first action of the Chalcedon-Council, you will find what I say to be True; and by that you may judge, whether they lookt upon Lucentius his allegation to have been any Crime in Dioscorus, as this Author would make you believe.

2. He tells us, that the Monks of Syria, cal­led Hormisda the Pope, the Head of all. And can we believe, that those men, who were then persecuted by the Eutychians [Page 56] neglected by the Emperor, would apply themselves to Hormisda without com­plementing him with an Honourable Title? Yet that Title imports no more, but that he was one of the principal Bishops of the Catholick Church; and such Titles were usually given to any very Eminent Bishope specially if he was a Patriarch. For so St. Basil himself said of Athanasius the Pa­triarch Basil. Ep. 52. of Alexandria, that he had the care of all the Churches; and that he thought it most convenient for them to fly to him, as the Head of them all, and to make use of him as their Counsellor, as their Captain and Prince in the government of their affairs. What a noise should we have about our ears, had St. Basil said so much of the Patriarch of Rome? And yet St. Basil did not mean, that Athanasius, was the supream Ʋniversal Pastor.

3. He saith, that the first Council at Constantinople desir'd their Decrees to be confirm'd by Pope Damasus; especially as to the deposing of Timotheus, an Apollinarist. But this doth not appear: for all that the Council required of him was, that he, being absent from the Council, would [Page 57] concur with them in the condemnation of the Heretick. Now this was no argu­ment of Damasus his Supremacy: For all Bishops were bound to do the same thing: all of them were ingaged against an He­retick, as in a common Cause, and as a­gainst a common Enemy. Thus Novatian was excommunicated by several Synods in Rome, Italy, and Africa; nay, by all the Bishops over the World, as Petrus de Marca doth confess out of St. Cyprian. And the reason given is this, because all the De Concord. Lib. 7. C. 2. Bishops were but one body; an Order of men that were Ʋnited together; so that if an Heretical Bishop arose in any Province, all the Bishops were presently to lend their help and assistance against him. And be­sides, it is notorious, that by the Canons of the Catholick Church, no Bishop was to receive any man into his Communion that had been justly Excommunicated by another. So that when the Council of Constanti­nople requir'd Damasus (for that is the word) to concur with them against Timo­theus, they onely requir'd him to observe the Laws and Practice of the whole Catho­lick Church. It was no token of his Juris­diction [Page 58] over them, but of his fraternal Communion and Ʋnity with them.

4. Last of all, our Author produces the definition of the Florentine Council, that the Holy Apostolick See, and Bishop of Rome has the Primacy over the whole World, &c. But surely a man that entitles his book, A Collection of the Primitive Fathers, should have left out this Council, which was not Three hundred years ago, far from a Council of Primitive men. And as for those Fathers (if they must be called so) every one knows, that there were not Thirty Greek Bishops among them; nor were the Latines any other, than such as were packt and shuffled together, to play the Popes Game for him. Nor was the Popes Primacy debated at all among the Legates: No, the great business was about the manner of the Procession of the Holy Ghost: And when some of the Greeks were perswaded at last to subscribe to that Article, the poor Greek Emperor be­ing wearied out by delayes, subscribed the Doctrines of Purgatory, of the Popes Pri­macy, &c. himself, not so much as im­parting the matter to the Greek Legates. [Page 59] This was the fine Council of Fathers, whose definition our Author reckons a­mong the rest; though perhaps with a design to make up that by Tale, which was wanting in Weight. I say no more of that Council, because you may see enough to invalidate the Authority of it, by that account which our Learned Dr. Stilling-fleet has given, out of Sguropulus, in his defence of the Greek Church. But having said thus much concerning this Contro­sie, I shall the next time endeavour to sa­tisfie you in that point concerning Images and Image-worship, about which the next great Controversie was in the Ancient Church.

FINIS.

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