Owen - BX9315 O81

XPIïTOAOI'1A: A DECLARATION OF THE GLORIOUS MYSTERY OF THE _PERSON OF CHRIST, &c. th CHAP. I. PETER'S CONFESSION, Matth. xvi. 16. CONCEITS OF THE PAPISTS THEREON. THE SUBSTANCE AND EXCELLENCY OF THAT CONFESSION. OUR blessed Saviour inquiring of his disciples their apprehensions concerning his person, and their faith in him, Simon Peter, as he was usually the forwardest on all such occasions, through his peculiar endowments of faith and zeal, returns an answer in the name of them all, Matth. xvi. 16. And Simon Peter answeredand said, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Baronius, and sundry others of the Roman church, do affirm, that the Lord Christ herein did prescribe the form of a general council. For here, say they, the principal article of our Christian faith was declared and determined by Peter, whereuntoall the rest of the apostles, as in duty they were obliged, did give their consent and suffrage. This was done, as they suppose, that a rile and law might be given unto future ages, how to enact and determine articles of faith. For it is to be done by the successors of Peter presiding in councils, as it was now done by Peter in this assembly of Christ and his apostles. But they seem to forget that Christ,himsself was now present, and therefore could have no vicar, seeing he presided in his own person. All the claim they lay un- to the necessity of such a visible head of the church on the earth, as may determine articles of faith, is from the absence of Christ since his ascension into heaven, But that he should also have a sultstitute whilst he was present, is somewhat uncouth. And whilst they live they shall never make the Popepresident, where Christ is present. The truth is, he doth not propose unto his disciples_ the framing of an article of truth: but inquires after their awn faith, which they expressed in this confession. Such things as these will prejudice carnal interest, and the prepossession of the minds of men with corrupt imaginations, cause them, to advent ture on, to the scandal, yea,. ruin of religion. This short, but illustrious confession of Peter, corn. priseth eminently the whole truth concerning the per- son and office of Christ, Of his person, in that al- though he was the Son of man, under which appel- lation he made his inquiry, ("" Whom do men say that.