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christianity in this island by St. Paul, and extending from the first to the seventh Century; at each of which we clearly see the independence of the British Church.
These epochs are
In these seven epochs we have very ample and substantial evidence of Christianity,-a Christian church in Britain founded by St. Paul, and subsisting for near six centuries before the arrival of Austin, the monk, and in that subsistence a proof of its- en we independence on any foreiga jurisdiction.
Foreign jurisdiction is so obviously inconsistent with the independence of any nation, that nothing can be more surprising, than that any considerable portion of the subjects of a civilized and free country should adhere to such authority ; nothing more reasonable, than that effective barriers should be provided against its dangerous influence. For though (thanks to a kind Providence, and to the barriers provided by our Protestant constitution) that influence is at present dormant in this country, as to any civil consequences ; yet we cannot forget what it was for the four centuries pre: ceding the Reformation; and we cannot but know, that the Church of P.ome has renounced none of those principles, which were the causes of qur separation.
“ Be not wise in your own conceits,” is an apostolic admonition of which the Romanists for ever lose sight. Implicit believers in the authority of their Church, they conclude that its doctrines cannot be disproved, nor its averments contradicted. They seldom read any books which are not previously selected, or at least allowed by their priests; and they fondly conclude, that what they never hear questioned, must needs rest on a basis of truth. Hence they are not a little given to the conceited folly of daring the Protestants to combat ; and to the rash measure of assigning reasons for opinions which cannot be supported. -A great English divine, on the 30th of March in the year 1559,
preaching at Paul's Cross* challenged the Papists, who took up the gauntlet, and entered the lists with him; but the ablest champions of their host were discomfited by Bishop Jewel. The Bishop of St. David's (p. 3) notices a Popish challenge which the partizans of the Romnish religion have been bold enough to hazard.
I take this opportunity of adding a few words, in answer to a challenge which Popish writers have been accustomed to hold out " We defy them to shew any passage of any Father, that excludes St. Peter." Every passage in the comments of the Fathers which confines our Saviour's promise to the confession of St. Peter, does, in effect, exclude the person of St. Peter. Such as the following passages of Chrysostom: “ on this rock, that is, on the faith, which St. Peter had confessed." (In Matth. xvi. 18.) “ Christ said that he would build bis Church on the confession of St. Peter:" (in Joh. i. 50). Many other passages of the Fathers to the same purpose may be seen in Juell, Barrow, Leslie, Leslie's Vindicator, &c. which as clearly exclude St. Peter, as if they had said, not on St. Peter, but on his confession• Cyrill, however, expresses himself more strongly : Christ“ gave the name of the Rock to nothing else, but to the unshaken and most constant faith of the disciple.” (De S. Trin. Dial. 4.) But Chrysostom, or some ancient writer in his name, says more expressly, but not more significantly: “ upon this rock ; be said not upon Peter ; for he did not build his Church on the man, but on his faith.” (Chrysost. Tom. 5. Or. 163.)
We trust that our readers will think with us, that he Papists acted indiscreetly in frequently hazarding this challenge.
The Bishop of St. Davia's, after thus producing the judgment. of the Fathers, appeals next to the history of the primitive Church.
As low as the end of the sixth century the title of universal Bishop was considered by Gregory the Great, not merely as unscri ptural, but as “ vain, impious, execrable, blasphemous, antichristian." It was however given to a successur of Gregory in the next century by the centuriont emperor. But the nefarious instrument, by whom it was bestowed, coud not confer on it validity or authority. “ The imperial edict, if we may so call the edict of an usurper and a tyrant, was not, as the Popish writers
* The terms of this memorable challenge, affording a catalogue of the main Errors of Popery, shall shortly appear in this work.
pretend, a bare confirmation of the Primacy, but the grant of a new title, which the Pope immediately improved into a power, answering to the title. And thus was the power of the Pope, as universal Bishop, or head of the church, or, in other words, the Papal Supremacy, first introduced.!"
The Right Rev. anthor quotes Bower's history of the Popes in support of what he advances respecting the title of universal Bishop. We have looked into Bower's work, and we think the whole passage of such importance, that we shall here iusert it at . length.
“ Boniface III. succeeded Sabinian (who sat in the papal chair only one year, having succeeded Gregory called the Great) A. D. 607; Phocus bcing Emperor at Constantinople. He was per: šonally known to Phocas, having been sent by Gregory to, conto gratulate him on his accession to the Imperial Crown; and obtain: ed froin him the title of universal Bishop, which had beeti given to the Greek Patriarch Cyriacus, and had been condemned in the strongest terms by the best and greatest of the Popes. Boniface could not but know that the controverted title had been stigma. tized (as vain, profane, impious, execrable, blasphemous, antichristian, heretical and diabolical,] over and over again by two of his predecessors successively, Pelagius II. and Gregory ; that whosoever should join it to, or approve it in another, was de, clared by Gregory a heretic; and that whoever should presune, in the pride of his heart, to take it to bimself, was by the same great Pope, declared a follower of Satan, a rival of Satan in pride, and the forerunner of Antichrist. All this Boniface well knew; but so inconceiyably great was his ambition, so utterly unbridled was his desire of exalting bis See, that rather than to let slip the favourable opportunity that now offered, and might. never offer again, of raising it higher than it had ever yet been, or, in the opinion of his own predecessors, ought ever to be, he chose to stand condemned, out of their mouths, as a heretic, as a follower of Satan, as a rival of Satan in pride, as the forerunner of Antichrist: Had Gregory been allowed to return from the dead, how great would his surprize have been, how great his indignation, to find the badge of pride thus become, so soon after his death, the peculiar mark of his successors ! I say of his suc:
cessors; for by them that badge of pride, that mark of Antichrist, is born to this day, in spite of all the names of reproach and igno. miny with which it was branded by the most renowned and revered of all their predecessors.
" As for the Edict issued by Phocas on this occasion, it has not indeed reached our times: but that thereby the Decree of the Council of Constantinople in 588, entailing the title of universal Bishop on the Bishop of Constantinople, and his successors, was revoked and annulled ; that the said title was transferred from them to Boniface, and his successors, and the Bishop of Rome declared the Head of the whole Catholic Church ; is what all the historians, whom I have quoted* above, unanimously vouch, In the Bishop of Coristantinople the title of universal Bishop is generally thonght to have been no more than a badge of honor, or an honorary title, without any accession of power. And, indeed, it does not appear, as I observed above, that in virtue of that title he ever exercised or claimed any. But Boniface had scarce obtained it, when he took upou him to exercise an answerable jurisdiction and power to that iime unknown and unheard of in the Catholic Church. For no sooner was the Imperial Edict, vesting him with the title of universal Bishop, and declaring him Head of the Church, brought to Rome, thian, assembling a Council in the Basilic of St. Peter, consisting of 72 Bishops and 34 Presbyters, and all the Deacons and inferior clergy of that city, he acted there as if he had not been vested with the title alone, though Phocas probably meant to grant him no more, but with all the POWER of an universal Bishop, with all the authority of a supreme head, or rather absolute monarch of the Church. For by a Decree, which he issued in that Council, it was pronounced, de, clared, and defined, that no election of a Bishop should thenceforth be deemed lawful and good, unless made by the people and clergy, approved by the prince, or lord of the city, and confirined by the Pope interposing his authority, in the following terms; we will and command, volumus et jubemus. The Imperial Edict, therefore, if we may so call the Edict of an usurper and a tyrant, was not, as the Pope's writers pretend, a barć cóll. firmation of the Primacy of the Sec of Rome; but the grant of 14 new tille ; which the Pope immediately improved into a power answering that tite, and thus was the power of the Pope as iversal Bishop, as Head of the Church, or in other words, the Papal Supremacy,t first introduced. It owed its original to the
* These historians are, Paul, Diac. de Gest. Longobard, 1.4.c. ll.--Anast. et Plat. in Bonif. III.--Sigebert in Chron..hho Frising. Chron. 1. 5. C. 8.--Rhegi. Chron. I. 1. --Albo. Floriac.-Marian. Scotus.-Martin. Polon. Ursperg in Phoc.--Nauclcr. Sabell. nnead. 8. 1. 7. &c.
+ It seems necessary to make a distinction. The species of Papal Supremacy here mentioned, is that by which the Pape exercises authority over other Bislinps, and over
worst of men ; was procured by the basest of means; by flatter. ing a tyrant in his wickedness and tyranny; and was in itself, if we stand to the judgment of Gregory the Great, antichristian, heretical, blasphemous, and diabolical.” — (Bower's Hist. of the Popes, vol. ii., pp. 546, 7, 8.).
The Bishop of St. David's produces two very curious passages from Jerome, in which he bears 6 testimony to the independence of the Brilith Church, and its sufficiency for salvation.”
Et de Hierosolymis et de Britanniâ æqualiter patet aula cælestis. (Epist. 13. ad Paulinum Op. Vol. I. p. 103.) of the independence of the churches of Gaul, Britain, Africa, &c. as parts of one universal.church, he says : “ Nec altera Romanæ Urbis ecclesia, altera totius orbis existimanda est. Et Galliæ, et Britanniæ, et Africa, et Persis, et Driens, et India, et omnes barbaræ nationes unum Christum adorant, unam observant regulam veritatis. Si authoritas quaeritur, Orbis major est Urle. Ubicunque fuerit Episcopus, sive Romæ, sive Eugubii, sive Constantinopoli, sive Rhegii, sive Alexandriæ, sive Tanis; ejusdem meriti est, ejusdem el sacerdotii. (Epist. ad Euagrium Op. Vol. I. p. 334.)
Notwithstanding the local and temporary prevalence of paganism in Britain under the Saxons, previously to the mission of Austin by. Gregory the Great; the Bishop shews that Christianity was not cxtirpated from this Island ; and vindicates the genuineness of the Abbot of Bangor's answer; which has been in vain disputed by Popish writers. His lordship shews that the same spirit which animated Dinothus the Abbot of Bangor,stinulated Daganus an Irish Bishop to censure the superstitions and vain ceremonies of the Roarisla religion ; and then he conclujes. . O! for the warning voice of the Apocalypse to impress the sentiments of the ancient British and Irish churches on the minds of their posterity, who are now members of that church, which their ancestors so strongly condemned ; that they might view all submission to a foreign jurisdictiou in the same light, which their ancestors did ; and, extricating themselves from the magick bonds of Popish supremacy and infallibility, might
all Churches; the supremacy assumed by Pope Hildebrand, (or Gregory VII. Pope, A.D. 1073,) is cha: by which his successors disclaim all necessity for the Emperor's confirmation of their election to the papal chair ; in virtue of which usurped independence, the Popes set themselves up above the temporal control of princes, and exercise authority over free states. From the accession of Hildebrand, the Emperor has been denied a negative voice in the appointment of a Pope ; on the very same principle which, it this day, impels the Romish Hierarchy in this United Kingdom, to withold from the Sovereign, a l'etu in the nomination of Bishops.-Edit.