« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Learning and Judgment, and who have engaged as zealously as any other against the Papal Interest, who have gone farther, have not only made the Person of St. Peter to be meant by the Rock, but also somewhat peculiar to be granted him, and yet shew that this affords not the least Advantage to the Pope's Pretenfions that he is Universal Pastor. To omit some of our English Divines, they that please may consult Cameron either in his Prælections, in St. Matth. 16. 18. or in the great Criticks.
Episcopius says that this, That the Church should be built on him as on a Rock, was granted to Peter in common with the other Apostles. And to the fame purpose speaks Origen, Tractat. 1. in Matth. If thou thinkest that the whole Church was built upon Peter alone, what wilt tbou say of John the Son of Thunder, and every one of the Apostles ? Shall we dare to say that the Gates of Hell could not prevail against St. Peter only, but could prevail against the rest And a little after, If that saying, To thee I will give the Keys, was common to the other Apostles, why was not the rest which was then said as to Peter common to them too? So that this may be a fourth Exposition, that by the Rock is meant St. Peter, not alone but together with the other Apostles. As he made that Confession, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, not for himself only, but also in the Name of the other Apostles; fo, according to this Sense, he receiv'd this Grant for the rest of the Apoftles as well as for himself.
I have alledged the foresaid Testimonies to fatisfie Mr. Lock, That Persons of approved Piety as well as Learning, have judged our Saviour's Words, On this Rock I will build my Church, capable of other Interpretations than that which is mention d by him, viz. That the Faith which was confessed by St. Peter, or those Articles, That Jesus is the Chrift, and, That he is the Son of the living God, are the Rock
on which the Church is built. This is the only Interpretation that can do Mr. Lock any Service, and therefore he takes no notice of the rest. But he should not be himself guilty of that which he condemns so much in others, i. e. the imposing his Interpretations of Scripture upon us. And therefore he must not be displeas’d, 'if we do not grant that which Mr. Lock here affirms without any Proof, that this Proposition, That Jesus is the Mejhah, the Son of the living God, was that Rock on which our Lord said that he would build his Church.
Mr. Lock says, that the Evidence that we deceive not our felves in ascribing a Revelation to God, can never be so great as the Evidence of our own intuitive Knowledge, where, if his Meaning be, that we can never be so certain that any Revelation (suppose the Scripture) is from God, as we are of the Object of our intuitive Knowledge, I must deny it; for I firmly believe that there have been and may now be those, who are as certain that the Scriptures are the Word of God, as they can be of that which they clearly see, and distinctly perceive by any other of their Senses. And I am confirm'd in this Belief by the Words of Mr. Chillingworth, c. 1, $. 9. To those (says he) that believe and live according to their Faith, God gives by degrees the Spirit of Obsignation and Confirmation, and
to be as fully and refolutely assurd of the Gospel of Christ, as those which beard
it from Christ himself with their Ears, which saw it with their Eyes, which look'd upon it, and whose Hands handled i he Word of Life.
CH A P,
CH A P. XXIX. Of Fundamentals, and the Apostles Creed. Gb
OD alone can appoint what shall be necessarily
believ'd by every one whom he will justifie; and what he has so appointed and declared is alone necessary. No body can add to these Fundamental Articles of Faith, nor make any other necessary, but what God himself hath made and declared to be fo. And what these are which God requires of those who will enter into and receive the Benefits of the New Covenant, has already been shewn. An explicit Belief of these is absolutely requir'd of all those to whom the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached. Mr. Lock, Reasonab. of Christian. p. 301. The Primitive Church admitted converted Heathens to Baptifm upon the Faith contain'd in the Apostles Creed. " A bare Profession of that Faith, and no more, was required of them to be receiv'd into the Church, and made Members of Christ's Body. How little different the Faith of the ancient Church was from the Faith I have mention'd, may be seen in these Words of Tertullian: Regula fidei una omnium eft fola immobilis, irreformabilis, credendi fcilicet in unicum Deum omnipotentem, mundi conditorem, & Filium ejus Jesum Christum natum ex Virgine Maria, crucifixum sub Pontio Pilato, tertia die resuscitatum a mortuis, receptum in coelis, fedentem nunc ad dextram Patris, venturum judicare vivos & mortuos, per carnis etiam resurrectionem. Hac lege Fidei manente cætera jam disciplinæ & conversationis admittunt novitatem correctionis: Tert. de Virg. Velan. in princip. This was the Faith that in Tertullian's time sufficed to make a Christian. And the Church of England only proposes the Articles of the Apostles Creed to the Convert to be baptiz'd; and upon his profesing a Belief of them, asks whether he will be
baptiz'd in this Faith; and upon the Profession of this Faith, and no other, the Church baptizes him into it. The Apostles Creed is the Faith I was baptiz'd into, no one tittle whereof I have renounced, that I know. And, I heretofore thought that gave me title to be a Christian. Second Vindicat. p. 177, 178, 182. Thus Mr. Lock.
OBSERVATIONS. Mr. Lock tells us, in Reasonab. of Christian. p. 301. tliat it had been already shewn what the Fundamental Articles of Faith are. But I ask, How had it been Mewn? He had sometimes affirm di positively, that
Jesus of Nazartis 15 high Article of Faith that was requird, Reasonab. of Christian. p. 195. that Salvation or Perdition depends upon believing or rejecting this one Proposition, that Jesus was the Messiah. Ibid. p. 43. that this was all the Doctrine the Apostles propos'd to be believ’d. Ibid. p. 93. At other times he had said, that it wall also requir’d for the attaining of Life, that they should believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Ibid. p. 194. He had also spoken of concomitant Articles, viz. Christ's Resurre&tion, Rule, and coming again to judge the World, saying, that these, together with Jesus of Nazareth's being the Messiah, are all the Faith requir'd as necessary to Justification. Ibid, p. 293, 294. Otherwhere he mentions his Suffering, and having fulfill'd all things that were written in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah ; adding, that those that believ'd this, and repented, should receive Remission of their Sins through this Faith in him. Ibid. p. 190. Thus Mr. Lock had fhewn what the Fundamental Articles of the Faith are, or rather, had shewd how wavering and uncertain he himself is concerning them, assigning sometimes only one, sometimes two, sometimes more.
He brings the Words of Tertullian. de Virg. Velan. to shew how little different the Faith of the ancient Church was from the Faith he hath mention'd: but, 1. It would have been more for his Reputation, if the Faith which he mentions had not been at all different from that of the ancient Church. 2. Tertullian's Words there do not shew that the Faith of the ancient Church differ'd little from his. For by comparing the Rule of Faith which he lays down here with that which he gives us in Lib. de Præfcript. adv. Heret. and in Lib. adv. Praxeam, it fully appears, that he did not design this for a complete ACcount of the Faith of the ancient Church; for, fome things that are in this are omitted in the other; as, Omnipotentem (a Word certainly very material) is left out in both of them : and more things are added; as, Universa de nihilo produxerit per Verbum fuum. Id Verbum Filium ejus appellatum, &c. Carnem factum, &c. Mifisse vicariam vim Spiritus Sancti, is all added in Lib. de Præfcript. and fo Sermo ejus per quem omnia fa&ta funt, & fine quo factum est nibil. Ex ea (i.e. Virgine ) natum hominem & Deum, mortuum & fepultum; Qui miserit
Spiritum Sanctum, is all superadded in Lib. adv. Praxeam. Tertullian therefore will not be found to be a Friend to Mr. Lock, who might rather have said, that it may be seen in Tertullian, how far different the Faith of the ancient Church was from the Faith he hath mention'd.
He tells us, that the Apostles Creed is the Faith he was baptiz'd into, and that he hath not renounced one tittle thereof that he knows. But hath he not renounced the Article of the Resurrection of the Bo
when he tells us, that in his next Edition of his Elay of Humane Understanding he will have the Word Body blotted out, and change these Words of his Book, The dead Bodies of Men Shall rise, into these, The dead shall rise? See his Third Letter, pag. 210.