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will hereafter be our Judge, and having raised ȘERM. our bodies from a state of death and filence, V. Thall receive us to those mansions of endu less bliss which he has obtain'd and purchased for us ; that fo “ thro' the very grave
of death we may pass to our joyful resurrection, for his merits « who died, and was buried, and rose again « for us; our Lord and Saviour. Jesus “ Christ;" who was first delivered for our offences, and then raised again for our justification : To whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and benceforth for ever more. Amen.
The Pope's Supremacy not founded
MATT. xvi. 18.
And I say also unto thee, that thou
art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of bell mall not prevail a
SERM. F all the errors of Popery (which
VI. are both many and grievous) there mois scarce any one of greater importance in
a political view, or more useful to bind and preserve the people of different countries in a common confederacy, than That of THE POPE'S SUPREMACY.
This is the grand cement which unites their numerous parties and divided interests; and tho' some countries may be less tame and obsequious than others, and know how upon occasion to dispute their
points with this supreme Bishop, yet in fome Serm. kind or other, they are all bound to ac- VI. knowledge his universal Primacy and Jurisdiction. They found this doctrine on his boasted succession to the Apostle of this day, in the see of Rome, whom they suppose to have been constituted by our Lord himself a Prince over the other Apostles, and to have transmitted that authority to the Bishops of Rome thro' all after-ages to the end of the world.
Now, altho’there might be many things to offer, in bar to such entail of authority upon his successors, even supposing himself to have been vested with it, yet if it can be proved that St. Peter himself had no such primacy as they pretend, but was coordinate with the rest of the Apostles, there will be little need to enter into that controversy: the rivulets cannot be supposed to rise higher than their fountain, nor they who would derive their power from St. Peter, challenge a greater power than St. Peter himself. For this reason I have chosen to discourse at present from these words of our Saviour to that great Apostle, which the Romis Doctors insist on as containing a promise of that Primacy, with which they pretend him to have been afterwards invested. But how little ground there is for their interpretation, will easily appear,
SERM. when we have confider'd this passage as VI. engaging
1. For the foundation of the church.
I. FIRST, the foundation of the church is fpoken of in these words, I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build church.
The main difficulty here is to account who or what is meant in this paffage by the rock; and as the demonstrative Pronoun this, shews it to have been something present either substantially or in discourse, fó there were three things concurr'd on that occasion, to either of which this metaphor might be pertinently applied, and has been accordingly by very good expositors. The
1. First is the Confession which St. Pen ter had made in the verse next but one before the text, where, upon our Saviour's enquiring of his disciples what was their belief concerning him, whether they had no higher notions of him than the common Jews, St. Peter readily answer'd and said, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God. Upon this immediately ensues our Lord's reply of benediction ; Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood bath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in bea
ven. And then it follows in the Text ; SE RM. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, VI. and
upon this rock (i. e. in the sense which we are now propofing, upon this confeffion thou hast made of my Mefiahship) I will build my church.
This fenfe has been advanced by some celebrated Fathers of the church, as well as modern Divines, and embraced by some even of the Romanists themselves. And in this view, it cannot be difficult to explain how the church should be built upon the rock of this Confeffion. For this is that pillar and ground of truth, by which the church is supported and must always subfift. It is that firm and immoveable foundation, upon which we build our hopes of everlasting happiness. Take away this belief, and the cause of christianity must fink, we are left undistinguished from the rest of mankind; but it is the invincible truth and certainty thereof, which gives ground for the distinction, and will preserve the church thus firmly founded, impregnable against every assault, and triumphant over all opposition.
2. Secondly, the sense of this passage is not greatly varied, if instead of that confeffion of St. Peter we understand thë object of his confeffion, Jesus Christ himself.