Conclusion of the Matters Here Related

We will now take leave of the popes, and let them pass. It is enough for us to know, that their succession, of which the papists boast so much, is confused and vain, or, at least, without tenable grounds. Plow we have proved this, is not for us to say; we let others judge.

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Discordance of Papistic Writers: (1) Whether Peter was at Rome; (2) How Long He was Bishop there; (3) Who Followed Him

The common tenet of the papists is. that Peter sat as the chief bishop upon the Roman throne; yet the authors whom they adduce for this purpose greatly differ. For, as respects his arrival in that city, some fix it in the year 41 after Christ; others in the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Claudius; others in the second year of this same Claudius; others in the fourth year; others in the beginning of the reign of Nero; others in the fourteenth year after Paul’s conversion, etc., as it is noted in Irenaeus, Orosius, Damasus, Hornantius, Th. Aquinus, The Lives of the Saints, etc.

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Various Arguments from the Holy Scriptures, Showing that Peter was at Rome during the Time Paul was there, Except (as has been Explained above) at the Close of His Life

In this demonstration we shall forego the method employed by Sebastian Frank, Gysius, and others, who have written syllogistically upon this subject, and shall confine ourselves solely to the express testimony of (or, at least, plain inferences from) Holy Scripture, upon which we propose to found our arguments.

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The Groundlessness of the Allegations Those Who are Accustomed to Deduce the Roman Succession from Peter the Holy Apostle, and Wherein this Consists of

Besides that the three proposed passages are of no use to the papists in proving the supremacy of Peter over the other apostles and the whole Christian church, there follow various reasons and circumstances which show clearly, that the succession of the popes, which they would deduce from Peter, cannot stand, but is unfounded and untrue.

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Of the Evil Success of the Roman Church, Consisting Only in the Succession of the Persons, and Not of the Doctrine

Here is to be considered the great error of the Romanists, when they without regarding the true succession of the doctrine build on, and parade the succession of the persons, who either from the beginning of the world, or from the time of the apostles have existed throughout, as they pretend up to the present time; surely a very insignificant matter! [“Trust ye not in lying words,” saith the Lord, “saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, arc these” (Jer. 7:4).]

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Of the Ungodly and False Church, which is the Opposite of the Church of God, and the Origin, Progress and Succession of the Same through All Times

Where God builds a temple, says the old proverb, there the devil builds another in opposition. This has been apparent ever since the beginning of the world. For at the same time that Abel became a martyr of God, and, therefore, a good leader of the children of God . . .

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Concerning the Predestination of the Papists.

It is asserted that Augustine and Aquinas were ”two champions for predestination,” and “their names have much weight in the Church of Rome.” I am apt to think that such acquaintance, either with St. Augustine’s writings or with those of Aquinas, is, at best, extremely slender. Whatever may be said for the truly admirable Bishop of Hippo, it is certain that the ingenious native of Aquino was by no means a consistent predestinarian. He had, indeed, his lucid intervals, but if the Arminians should find themselves at a loss for quibbles, I would recommend to them a diligent perusal of that laborious hair-splitter, who will furnish them, in their own way, with many useful and necessary quirks, without the assistance whereof their system had, long ago, lost its hold even on the prejudicial and superficial.

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