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Rome the Mother-Church,
Y Lord, it is certain that Jerufalem was s
the Mother-Church where Chrif firft planted the Gospel, and commanded that it should co be thence propagated to all other Nations, as c himself faid, beginning at Jerusalem, Luke 24. 47. "
And till after the Vision of the Sheer to St Peter, a | A&. 11. 19. They travelled preaching the Word to e
none but unto the fews only. So that the Jewish Chrif- « tian Church was the only Church for some Time, co and she it was who converted the Gentile Nations, « ead therefore was the Mother-Church to them all. 6 And Rame was not the first Gentile Church. For the se Disciples were call's Christians first in Antioch. Act. c 11. 26. And the Greek Church was before the Latin : « the New Testament was writ in Greek for their Use. ce Therefore the Greek Church could not be the a Daughter of the Latin Church, which was born after a her.« If your Lordship alledge that Se Peter was Head of the Church, and Bishop of Rome. I answer, This a will not make her the Mother-Church. You may « call her Supreme , Absolute , Universal, or what please, any Thing but the Mother - Church, to which it is impossible she should have any pag. 2. 3. «
L. So, it is not only possible , but clear Fact. , What you have said proves indeed, that both Jerufalem and Antioch, and perhaps many other Towns received the Christian Faith before the City of Rome. And the only Consequence I can draw from it is, that Rome is not the oldest Christian City, nor the most ancient Episcopal See in the World. But you
afe pleased to inferr likewise from it, that therefo she cannot be callid the Mather. Church, and
you Reason for it, viz, because the Mother cannot be bo after the Daughter , is so very witty and Pretty that I fear I shall be thought impertinent in na yielding to the force of such solid Reasoning.
However be pleased to take Notice, that Mother Church is a Metaphor , and a very proper one.
Bu truly, Sr, we shall be forced to lay alide all Meta phars, tho never so proper and beautiful, if they must all stand the Test of your Logick. That is i there must be a Resemblance in all Respects between what they signify figuratively, and the Thing lignified literally by them.
As for Initance, à crafty Man is by a very proper Metapher calld a Fox. But if some wiseacre should argue thus , let him be as crafiy as he will, he neigher has the Smell, nor Colour, nor Head, nor Tail, nor Shape of a Fox', therefore he is no Fox : I believe he would not get the Reputation of a profound Wit by it. Now, Sr, your Argument Against my Calling the Churh of Rome the Mother-Church is much of the same Force. You say, she is not of Age to be che Mother of all Churches. I answer it is not Age, that gives her that Denomination. But she has the Jurifdiction, the Power and Authoriry of a Mother over other Churches : ând that suffices to give her a just Claim to that Title. As the late Queen Ann was stiled the Mother of her People, tho she was not the oldest Woman in the Nation.
King James the first stuck not to own her Title ini a Speech to the Parliament An. 1603. I own (says he) the Church of Rome to be our Mother-Church. And indeed her Claim to that Title, particularly in Relation to the Church of England, is unquestionable, because the whole Kingdom of England ows it's Con
version from Paganism to Christianity to the Sce of Rome,
G, My Lord, in the Conversion of Gentiles to ci Chrifianity one Man and one Nation must receive as Faith before another. They were not all conver. th ted on a Day. And as when one Man converts et another, so it is of Churches and Nations , it gives ce the one no Superioriiy over the other , except that co of Gratis ade and Efteem, but Nothing of Authority. pag. 3. 4. <
L. 'Tis very true, St, that one Nation converting another gives the former no Aushority over the Late ker. And therefore, thô the Church of Rome deserves even upon that Account the Title of being the Mon ther-Cburch to the Church of England, because she begu ber Fore.fathers in Jesus-Christ through the Gospel. I. Cor. 4.4. is. Yet 'tis not on that Title her Claim to Superiority is grounded. For this was the Case of the Jewish Christian Church, which (as you observed before ) converted the Gentiles į and the. refore was their mother indeed, but not Superiour. Nay Jerusalem, where the Christian Faith was firft planted, is the very last of the Patriarchal Sees in the East: And in St Jerom's Time had not even Jurisdiction over Palestine , but was subject to Cesarea i's Metropolis, as appears from his 61. Epift. to Pama machius. So chać, tho Jerusalem was the first in the Order of Time , it became afterwards inferiour in the Order of Government.
The Title therefore, on which the Church of Rome grounds her Claim to Superioriiy over other Churches, is the Supremacy of her Bishop, who in Quality of Succeffor to St Peter is Head of the Catho. lick, that is, Universal Church. And this gives her a fpiritual Furifdi&tion or Authority over all other partia cular Churches.
St Peter's Supremacy.
» G. VV Hatever the Privilege of the Mother
Church may be, if it can be translated » from the Mother to the Daughter, from one Church » to another, from ferusalem to Antioch , and from w thence to Rome , as you must be oblig'd to say, then » it may be translated from Rome also to some other » Church,unless some positiveCommand of Christ can w be produced, first, to fix it at Rome , and then a Pro» mise, that it shall never be removed from thence.p.4.
L. Sr, I perceive you go upon a Mistake. For you imagine we suppose, that Towns as well as Men were appointed by Christ for the Government of his Flock. But I must disabuse you. For he neither made Jerusalem , nor Antioch, nor Rome the Seat of St Peter, or his Successors ; but left them to choose the Place of their Residence, where they should think fit. When St Peter had his Sear at Antioch, that was the Metropolis or Morher-Church of the Christian World. When therefore he translated his Episcopal See from thence to Rome , did he leave his Commission behind him, or devest himself of the Authority, Christ had given him to govern his Flock: No surely. Rome therefore became at that Time the MotherChurch, as Antioch had been before.
G. It might then have also been removed from thence to any other place.
L. I doubt not but it might. But will that any Ways endanger the Supremacy either of St Peter', or his Succeffors? I hope, not. For , if it be not also removed from their persons , as I presume it never will as long as Christ's Institution stands Good, every.
Thing is very safe , and I am in no Pain about the Place, where St Peter might have fix'd his Scar. For surely his Authority follow'd him, whereever he went: and if he had pleased, he might have fix'd it in any other Town as well as Rome. For Christ neicher made him Bishop of Rome , nor Patriarch of the Welt, but Head of his Church, and by Consequence his Succeffors after him.
Whence it appears beyond all Dispute , that there is no Need of Producing any positive Command or Promise of Christ to fix the Papal Seat immoveably at Rome : But, if you will say any Thing to the Purpose, you must shew
muft shew, where Christ has positively forbid Rome to be the Seat either of St Peter, or his Successors.
G. My Lord, the Church of Rome is not once se named in all the New Testament, unless she is c meant by the Church of Babylon. I. Pet. j. 13. nor a is there any Promise whatsoever made to her, or » any the least Intimation of her being the Head of a the Churches , the Standard and Center of Unity to s them all. Strange! if that be the Summa rei Christiene, as Bellarmin calls it (in the Preface to his « Book de Romano Pontifice) the Sum and Foundation so of the Christian Religion. pag. 4. “
L. So, whatever you may think, it is not at all ftrange in my Opinion , that the seat of St Peter, and his Succeffors should be the Center of Unicy, and yet not named in the New Testament : And the Reason ; why it do's not appear strange to me is, because tho Christ appointed the Person, that was to govern his Flock , he did not appoint the Place of his Episcopal See. However if the Church of Rome be not once named in all the New Testament, we are then at least secure , that Christ has not left any po"lirive Prohibition against it's being made the Seas of