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cation, or on account of the more than ordinary gifts and graces of the divine spirit.
It is very remarkable how St. Paul reproving the dissentions which were amongst the christians at Corinth, represents the several parties, saying, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas, I am of Christ. Now supposing the case had been then clear and certain, (and if it were not so then, how can it be so now?) that St. Peter was sovereign of the apostles, how is it possible that any preacher could stand in competition with him, or christians prefer another apostle or minister before him? Of these contentious people, none, St. Austin remarks, made a true confession of the faith, except he who said, I am of Christ. Aug.cont. Crescon i. 27.
Again, if we consider the nature of the apostolic office, the state of things at that time, and the manner of St. Peter's life, it will appear absolutely impossible, that he could manage such a jurisdiction over the apostles, as the catholics assign to him,
Such was the peculiar and urgent duties of the christian ministry that none of the apostles could be fixed in any one particular place of residence, but they were all continually travelling about the world, ready to move, where divine suggestions called them, or opportunities occurred, for the propagation and furtherance of the gospel. St. Thomas, preaching in Parthia, St. Andrew, in Scythia, St. John, in Asia, Simon Zelotes, in Britain, St. Paul, in many places, other apostles and apostolical men in Arabia, in Ethiopia, in India, in Spain, in Gaul, in Germany, in the whole world, and in all the creation under heaven, (as St. Paul speaks,) could not well keep up a correspondence with St. Peter, without knowing even where to find him, or how to obtain an answer to their communications, in any reasonable time. Under such circumstances, it was therefore most requisite, that every apostle should have a complete, absolute, independent authority, in managing the concerns and duties of his office, that he might not be obstructed in the discharge of them, not clogged with any obligation to consult others, not hampered with orders from those who were at a distance, and could not be proper judges, of what was fit, in every place, to be done. The direction of him who had promised to be perpetually present with them, and by his holy spirit to guide, to instruct, to admonish them upon all occasions, was abundantly sufficient; neither did they want any other adviser or aid, beside that special illumination, and powerful influence of grace, which, in the language of St. Paul, made them able ministers of the new testament.
The next argument on which the pope claims a supremacy over the christian world, rests upon the supposed fact, that St. Peter was the founder of the Roman church.
To illustrate this point, let us search into the history of St. Peter, and examine the records of his ministerial labours.
After our Lord's assension, St. Peter remained for the first year, with the apostles at Jerusalem. In the next year he went with St. John to Samaria, to preach the gospel to that city, and the adjacent country. About three years afterwards, St. Paul met him at Jerusalem. In the two following years he visited the churches recently planted, preached at Lydda and Joppa, removed to Cesarea, and baptized Cornelius and his family. After this, he returned to Jerusalem, was cast into prison by Herod, and delivered by an angel. About four years after, we find him in the council at Jerusalem. After this he had the contest with St. Paul at Antioch, and from that period, sacred history is altogether silent in this affair.
We must endeavour therefore to trace his footsteps, afterwards, from other sources. About the year fifty-three, St. Paul is said to have written his epistle to the church at Rome, wherein he spends the greatest part of one chapter, in saluting particular persons that were there ; amongst whom it might reasonably have been expected, that St. Peter should have had the first place, but there is no mention made of him, or of any church founded by him. Now St. Paul intimates, what an earnest desire he had, to come to Rome, that he might impart unto the inhabitants, some spiritual gifts, to the end that they might be established in the faith ; for which there could be no apparent cause, if Peter had been in the imperial city, so long before him. In the second year of Nero, St. Paul is sent to Rome. When he arrives there, does he sojourn with Peter, with whom it is likely he would have lodged, if St. Peter had been there it is said he dwelt in his own hired house. During his residence at Rome, St. Paul wrote epistles to several churches, to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and one to Philemon. There is no mention of St. Peter, in any of these.
In his letter to the Colossians he says, that of the Jews at Rome he had no other fellowworkers, unto the kingdom of God, who had been a comfort unto him, except Aristarchus, Marcus, and Jesus, who was called Justus, which evidently excludes St. Peter. And in that to Timothy, (which Baronius confesses to have been written, a little before St. Paul's martyrdom,) he tells him, that at his first answer at Rome, no man stood with him, but, that all men forsook him: which we cannot believe St. Peter would have done, had he been in that neighbourhood. He further says, that only Luke was with him, that