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as Peter was a foundation, so were all the other apostles likewise y, and that upon the same reason : for the apostles were not foundations of the church by any dignity of their persons, as Christ the chief corner-stone was, but by the virtue of their apostolical office, which was universal jurisdiction in governing the people of Christ, universal commission in instructing them, and a spirit of infallibility in revealing God's will unto them throughout the whole world; and therefore as Peter had the “keys of the kingdom of Heaven, to remit or retain the sins of men," so likewise had the other apostles? That Christ's charge to Peter, "Feed my sheep, feed my lambs,” is no other in substance, than his commission to them all, “Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;" and that the particular directing of it unto Peter, and praying for him,-was, with respect unto his particular, only by way of comfort and confirmation, as being then a weak member,--not by way of dignity, or deputation of Christ's own regal power to him in the visible church. For all the offices of Christ are intransient and incommunicable to any other; inasmuch as the administration and execution of them dependeth upon the dignity of his person, and upon the fulness of his Spirit, which no mortal man or immortal angel is capable of. But all this is not enough to be granted them for the raising their authority. But then, Thirdly, We must grant them too, that Peter, thus qualified, was bishop of Rome: for proof whereof, they have no testimony of holy scriptures, but only human tradition, “Cui impossibile non est subesse falsum.” So that in this, which is one of the main principles they build upon, their faith cannot be resolved into the word of God, and therefore is no divine faith. Fourthly, That he did appoint that church to be the monarchical and fundamental see to all other churches : for he was bishop as well of Antioch as of Rome, by their own confession. And I wonder why some of his personal virtue should not cleave to his chair at Antioch, but all pass over with him to another place. Fifthly 4, That he did transmit all his prerogatives to his successors in that chair. By which assertion they may as well prove, that they all (though some of them have been sorcerers, others murderers, others blasphemous atheists) were inheritors of St. Peter's love to Christ: for from thence our Saviour infers, "Feed my sheep,” to note, that none feed his sheep, but those that love his person. Lastly, that that long succession from St. Peter until now, hath ever since been legal and uninterrupted :-or else the church must sometimes have been a monster without a head. We grant that some of the ancients b argue from succession in the church : but it was while it was yet pure,-and while they could, by reason of the little space of time between them and the apostles, with evidence resolve their doctrine through every medium into the preaching of the apostles themselves. But, even in their personal succession, who knoweth not what simonies and sorceries have raised divers of them unto that degree? and who is able to resolve, that every episcopal ordination of every bishop there hath been valid, since thereunto is requisite, both the intention and orders of that bishop that ordained him? These, and a world the like uncertainties, must the faith of these men depend upon, who dare arrogate to themselves the prerogatives of Christ, and of his catholic kingdom. But I have been too long upon this argument.
a Bellarm. de Rom. Pontif.
9 Eph. ii. 20. Rev. xxi. 14. 2 John xx. 23. lib. 2. cap. 12.–Baron. An. 39. sect. 16, 26.
Again, This point of the stability of Christ's kingdom is a ground of strong confidence and comfort to the whole church of Christ, against all the violence of any outward enemies, wherewith sometimes they may seem to be swallowed up. Though they associate themselves, and gird to the battle ; though they take counsel, and make de crees against the Lord's anointed and against his spouse ; yet it shall all come to nought, and be broken in pieces : all the smoke of Hell shall not be able to extinguish, nor all the power of Hell to overturn, the church of God; and the reason is, “ Emmanuel, God is with us.” That anointing which the church hath received, shall deliver it at last from the yoke of the enemy." Though it seem, for the time, in as desperate a condition as a dry stick in the fire, or a dead body in the grave, yet this is not indeed a sepulture, but a semination. Though it seem
b Tertul. de Præscript. cap. 19, 22.-Aug. Epist. 165. de Dissidio Donatist. e Isai, viij. 9, 10. d Isai. x. 27.
to be cast away for a season, yet in due time it will come up and flourish again. And this is the assurance that the church may have, that the Lord can save and deliver a second timef; that he is the “same God yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” And therefore such a God as the church hath found him heretofore, such a God it shall find him to-day, and for ever, in the returns and manifestations of his mercy. Which discovers the folly, and foretells the confusion of the enemies of Christ's kingdom; they conceive mischief, but they bring forth nothing but vanity.s They conceive chaff, and bring forth stubble." They imagine nothing but a vain thing;" their malice is but like the fighting of briars and thorns with the fire i; like the dashing of waves against a rock ; like a madman's shooting arrows against the sun, which at last return upon his own head ; like the puffing of the fan against the corn, which driveth away nothing but the chaff; like the beating of the wind against the sail, or the foaming and raging of the water against a mill; which by the wisdom of the artificers are all ordered unto useful and excellent ends. “ And surely when the Lord shall have accomplished his work on Mount Sion, when he shall by the adversary, as by a fan, have purged away the iniquity of Jacob, and taken away his sin, he will then return in peace and beauty unto his people again.” Look on the preparation of some large building; in one place, you shall see heaps of lime and mortar,-in another, piles of timber,-every where, rude and indigested materials, and a tumultuary noise of axes and hammers; but at length the artificer sets every thing in order, and raiseth up a beautiful structure: such is the proceeding of the Lord in the afflictions and vastations of his church; though the enemy intend to ruin it, yet God intends only to repair it. Thus far as · Donec' respects Christ's kingdom in itself.
Now, as it respecteth the enemies of Christ, it notes ; First, The present inconsummateness of the victories, and, by consequence, the intranquillity of Christ's kingdom here upon the earth ; all his enemies are not yet under his feet; Satan is not yet shut up; the rage of Hell, the persecutions
g Job xy. 35.
e Zech. iii. 2. Ezek. xxxvii, 11. f Isai. xi. 11. xxxiii. 11. i Isai. xxvii. 4. Nahum i. 10.
and policies of wicked men, the present immunity of desperate sinners, are evidences, that Christ hath much work to do in his church. But doth not the apostle say, that “ all things are put under his feet k? It is true, 'quoad judiciariam potestatem,' but not quoad exercitium potestatis.' He shall not receive any new power to subdue his enemies, which he hath not already; but yet he can execute that power, when and how he will. And he is pleased to suffer his enemies, in this respite of their reprisal, to rage, and revile, and persecute him in his members. Every wicked man is “condemned already, and hath the wrath of God abiding upon him';" only Christ doth suspend the execution of them for many weighty
As first, To show his patience and long-suffering towards the vessels of wrath; for he ever comes first with an offer of peace, before he draws the sword ". Secondly, To magnify the power of his protection and providence over the church in the midst of their enemies : for if the Lord were not on the church's side, when man riseth up against it,-if he did not rebuke the proud waves, and set them their bounds how far they should go-there could be no more power in the church to withstand them, than in a level of sand, to resist an inundation of the seao. Thirdly, To reserve" wicked men unto the great day of his appearing," and of the declaration of his power and righteousness, wherein all the world shall be the spectators and witnesses of his just and victorious proceedings against them P. Fourthly, To show forth his mighty power in destroying the wicked altogether. They who here carried themselves with that insolence, as if every particular man meant to have plucked Christ out of his throne, shall there altogether be brought forth before him. That as the righteous are reserved to have their full salvation together?; so the wicked may be bound up in bundles, and destroyed together.' Fifthly, To fill up the measure, and to ripen the sins of wicked men : for the Lord puts the wickedness of men into an ephah ; and when they have filled up their measure, he then sealeth them up unto the execution of his righteous judgments. And hence it is that the Scripture calleth wicked men “ Vessels, fitted for destruction;" for they first fill themselves with sin, and then God filleth them up with wrath and shame. Sixthly, To fill up the number of his elect;' for he hath many sheep, which are not within his fold, and they many of them the posterity of wicked men. Seventhly, To fill up the measure of his own sufferings in his members, that they may follow him unto his kingdom, through the same way of afflictions as he went before them. Eighthly, To exercise the faith of his church, to drive the faithful with the prophet Habakkuk into their watch-tower, and with David, into the sanctuary of the Lord,-there to wait upon bim in the way of his judgements, to consider that the end of the righteous man is peace, and that the pride and prosperity of the wicked is but as the fat of lambs, and as the beauty of grass ; that God hath set them in slippery places, and will cast them down at the last. Lastly, To wean the faithful from earthly affections, and to kindle in them the desires of the saints under the altar,—“How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth * ?”
* Eph. i. 22.
I John iii. 18, 36. m Rom. ii. 4, and ix. 22. Deut. xx. 10. 13, Luke x. 5, 11. a Jer. v. 22. Ægyptus maris concavitate depressior ; et tamen præcepto Creatoris, tanquam compedibus, coercetur mare Rubrum, ne in Ægyptum irrumpat. Basil. Mag. Hexamer. Homil. 4. o Psalm cxxiv. 1, 5. P Acts xvii. 31. 91 Thes, iv. 17. r Psalm xxxvii. 38. Isai. i. 28.
Secondly, As · Donec' notes the patience of Christ towards his enemies, so it notes likewise that there are fixed bounds and limits unto that patience, beyond which he will no longer forbear them. There is " an appointed day, wherein he will judge the world with righteousness y.” There is 'a year of vengeance,' and of recompenses for the controversies of Sion. The wild ass that sucketh up the wind at her pleasure, may be found in her month. The Lord seeth, that the day of the wicked is coming : it is an appointed time: though it tarry, yet if we wait for it, it will “surely come, it will not tarry b.” Well then, let men go on with all the fierceness and excess of riot they will, let them walk in the way of their heart, and in the sight of their eyes, yet all this while they are in a chain; they have but a compass to go, and God will bring them to judgement at the last. When the day of a drunkard and riotous person is come,
John X. 16.
u Hab. ii. 1, 3. Psalm xxxvii. 2, 10, 20, and lxxiii. 18. * Rev. vi. 10. y Acts xvii. 31. z Isai. xxxiv. 8. a Jer. ii. 24. b Psalm xxxvii. 13. Hab. ii. 3.