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tion of a phrase, by merely supposing that it was illustrated, when spoken, by signs or gestures suppressed in the narration, then, the imagination must be allowed to be as useful as reason in the explanation of Scripture. Not only so, but all who are conversant with the corruptions of modern biblical science
among the Protestants of Germany, are aware that by this expedient of imagining and supplying looks, gestures, and words, which they suppose to have been omitted, the most wanton attempts have been made to undermine the truth of the most important miracles of the New Testament. With just equal reason might the speech of God to Abraham, when he changed his name, be divided; and after he addressed him in the words, “neither shall thy name be called Abram, but thou shalt be called Abraham, because I have made thee a father of many nations;" we might interpret the next words, “and I will make thee encrease exceedingly;" as addressed not to the patriarch but to his son Ismael; only by supposing, with equal right as in our Saviour's words, that the angel pointed towards the latter.
But there is another objection to our reasoning, of more plausibility and weight; because, without pretending to elude the obvious meaning of the words, it seeks to disarm them of all their force; because it admits the facts which are palpable, and only combats our conclusions. It is true, such is the argument to which I allude, that Peter received a power and jurisdiction, and that these were bestowed upon him individually and distinctively, as a reward due to his superior merits; but it is no less true that nothing was here given to Peter, but what was afterwards given to the twelve. In the Apocalypse, the twelve foundations of the heavenly Jerusalem have inscribed upon them “the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”+ St Paul tells the faithful, that the apostles are the foundation whereon they are built.I These then, are no less the foundation of the Church than Peter. Again, in the 18th chapter of St Matthew, precisely the same power is * Gen, xvii. 5, 6,
+ xxi. 14.
$ Ephes, ii, 20.
given to all the twelve to bind and loose on earth, with a corresponding effect in heaven, as is conferred on Peter in the 16th. Thus, the faculties here lavished on him are afterwards extended to all his companions, and whatever was given to him individually, is merged in the common and general commission, in which the rest were placed on a level with himself. I will acknowledge, my brethren,that this argument at first sight has some appearance of strength; and I am not surprised when I see many Protestant commentators ground their rejection of the Supremacy of Peter almost exclusively upon this reasoning.* It would be
indeed to elude its force; but I wish to convert it into an argument in my favour. Listen, therefore, I pray you, with attention.—Peter, it is said, had no pre-eminence of jurisdiction bestowed upon him, because he received no power or commission individually, which was not, on another occasion, collectively bestowed upon the twelve. Now, is this the way in which you reason vpon any other similar case in Scripture, or is it not diametrically opposite? Let us try a few instances. Our B. Saviour constantly inculcated to all his disciples, and indeed to all his hearers, the necessity of following him. Only “he who followeth, walketh not in darkness;"† all must "take up their cross and follow him;"all his sheep must know his voice and follow the shepherd. When, therefore, he addressed individually to Peter and Andrew, to Matthew and the sons of Zebedee, the very same invitation, “ Follow me," did it ever occur to you to reason, that, because the very same invitation was repeated, on other occasions, to all the Jews in common with themselves, therefore, they were not meant to follow Jesus in a distinct and more peculiar manner? Again, our B. Redeemer is repeatedly said to have tenderly loved all his apostles; he called them not servants but friends—yea, no one could have greater love for another than he manifested to them, by laying down his life for them. When, therefore, John is by himself simply called the beloved disciple, as all the other
* The “ Protestant Journal” for this month, June, 1836, repeats it ae quite satisfactory, p. 347.
+ Jo, viii. 12.
disciples are also said to have been beloved, did you ever think of arguing that as no more is predicated of him singly in one instance than is of all the twelve in others, therefore, the love of Jesus for John, was nothing distinctive and pre-eminent? Once more.
To all the apostles was given a commission to teach all nations, to preach the gospel to every creature, begin. ning with Jerusalem and Samaria, unto the uttermost bounds of the earth.* When, therefore, the spirit of God told them to separate Saul and Barnabas for the ministry of the Gentiles;t or when Paul individually calls himself their apostle, did you ever think of concluding that, as this individual commission was included and comprehended in the general one given to all, therefore Paul was never invested with any personal mission, received no more here than the other apostles, and only groundlessly arrogated to himself the apostleship of the Gentiles as his peculiar office? If in all these instances you would not allow such conclusions, how can they be admitted in the case of Peter? Why are his special powers alone to be invalidated, by those which he received in common with the rest?
But I said I should not be content with answering the objection, but wished to gain an argument for my cause, and it is briefly this. From the instances I have given, it is evident that I may draw this canon or rule of interpretation in Scripture; that when a call, a prerogative, a commission, is bestowed upon one person singly, though the very same may have been bestowed upon others collectively, and himself together with them, he must thereby be suprosed to have received a distinct and superior degree of it from the rest. Thus, therefore, it must be with Peter. If the apostles were invested with authority in the commissions given to them, when even nothing but the same had been given to him individually, he must have thereby acquired a higher degree of that authority than they. But you will not be displeased to hear this objection answered by a Father of the third century, and of the Greek Church. Thus writes the acute and learned Origen.
* Mat. xxviii. 19, 20; Acts i. 8.
+ Acts xiii. 2.
"What before was granted to Peter, seems to have been granted to all,—but as something peculiarly excellent was to be granted to Peter, it was given singly to him: 'I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. This was done before the words • whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth,' were uttered (in the 18th chapter.) And truly, if the words of the Gospel be considered, we shall there find that the last words were common to Peter and the others, but that the former, spoken to Peter, imported a great distinction and
superiority."* I might add, that the commission to feed the flock of Christ is nowhere given to the others; and if it were, would ask, was it necessary that our Saviour should thrice require from Peter, an assurance that he loved him more than the rest, in order to be qualified to receive an equal reward?
There is still another passage which I have not included in those before rehearsed; because there is no express
bestowal of authority conveyed in it; although it clearly draws a distinction between the prerogatives of Peter and those of the other apostles, and shows how he was to be the object of a special care and protection. “And the Lord said; Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have
may wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.”+ In this passage, Christ seems to draw a marked distinction between the designs of Satan against all the apostles, and his own interest in regard of Peter. The prayer of our Saviour is offered for him specifically, that his faith may not fail, and that, when he shall have risen from his fault, he
be the strengthener of that virtue among his fellow-apostles. In him, then, there was to be a larger measure of this virtue; and wherefore, if he was not to be in any respect superior to the other members of that body? Or rather, does not the very commission to strengthen their faith, imply his being placed in a more elevated and commanding station?
But I have been sufficiently diffuse upon these proofs, that • Com. in Mat. T. iii. p 612. + Luke xxii. 31, 32.
sift you as
Peter received a supreme jurisdiction and primacy over the whole Church beyond the other apostles; and in conformity with this view, we find him ever named the first among them, * ever taking the lead in all their common actions, alwaysf speaking as the organ of the Church. I
II. But, if Peter really enjoyed this distinction, as we have seen, was it not a personal privilege, which ended with him to whom it was granted? It is time to examine this point, and prove to you that he transmitted it to his successors in his see.
I presume it will not be necessary to enter into any argument, to show that St Peter was the first Bishop of Rome. The monuments which yet exist in every part of it, and the testimony of ecclesiastical writers from the oldest times, put the fact above all doubt; and it is only sufficient to say, that authors of the highest literary eminence, and remarkable for their opposition to the supremacy of the Roman See, such as Cave, Pearson, Usher, Young, and Blondel,g have both acknowledged and supported it. Among the moderns, it may be sufficient to observe, that no ecclesiastical writer of any note pretends to deny this fact. “To Peter," as St Irenæus observes, “ succeeded Linus, to Linus, Anacletus, then in the third place, Clement."|| And from that moment the series of Popes is uninterrupted and certain to the present day. Thus much premised, I will proceed to state cursorily, some of the arguments which prove the perpetuation of St Peter's pri macy
in those who occupy his see. 1. In the first place, it has always been understood from the beginning, that whatever prerogatives, though personal, of jurisdiction, were brought to a see by its first Bishop, were continued to his successors. Thus the chair of Alexandria was first held by St Mark, who, as a disciple of Peter, en
* Mat. iv. 18; X. 2; Luke ix. 28, 32; and &c. Gal. i. 18; ii. 8. + Mat. xiv. 28; xv. 15; xvi. 23; Acts iv. 19; xii. 13.
Mat. xviii. 21; xxx. 27; xxvi. 23; Acts i. 15; ii. 14 seq. iv. 8; v. 8; viii. 19; xv. 7; et. al. passim.
§ See “ Butler's Lives of Saints,” June 29. Or consult Baronius Natalis Alexander, or any Church historian.
| Adv. Hær. l. 3. c. 3.