Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

56 NO EXTRAORDINARY POWERS ASCRIBED TO ST PETER: of that common grant or promise, "Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted; and whose soever sins ye retain they are re- tained," John xx. 23. Had he power and obligation to feed the sheep of Christ, all or some? So had they indefinitely and immediately; so had others by authorityderived from them, who were nominatedpastors, Eph. iv.11, who had thischarge laid on them, " Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over whichthe HolyGhost hathmade you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hathpurchased with his own blood,"Acts xx. 28; whom he doth himself exhort: " Feed the flock of God which is amongyou, taking the oversight thereof," 1 Pet. v. 2. Let feeding signify what it can, instruction, or guidance, or gover- nance, or all of them together (regio more impera, if you please, as Bellarmine will have it), it appertained to their charge; to teach was a common duty, to lead and to rule were common functions. St Peter could not nor would not appropriate it to himself; it is his own exhortation when he takes most upon him, " Be mindful of the commandment," or precept, " of us the apostles of the Lord and Sa-. viour," 2 Pet. iii. 2. Was his commission universal or unlimited? So was theirs by the same immediate authority; for, " All power," said he to themwhen he gave his last charge, " is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," Matt. xxviii. 18, 19; and, " Go ye into all the world, and preach thegospel to every creature," Mark xvi. 15; Luke xxiv. 47. They, as St Chrysostom speaks, " were all in common intrusted with the whole world, and had the care of all nations."1 Was he furnished with extraordinary gifts, with special graces, with continual directions and assistances for the discharge of the apostolical office? So were they; for the " promise" was common of sending the Holy Spirit " to lead them into all truth," and " clothing them with the power from on high," and of endowing them with power to perform all sorts of miraculous works. Our Lord, before his departure, " breathed into them, and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." " All of them," says St Luke, " were filled with the Holy Ghost;" all of themwith confidence and truth could say, " It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us;" all of them abundantly partook of that character which St Paul respected when he said, " The signs of an apostle were wrought among you, in signs, and wonders, and mightydeeds."Luke xxiv. 49; John xiv. 26, xvi. 13, 14, xx. 22; Acts ii. 4, xv. 28; 2 Cor. xii. 12. i IIávTEç x,,, rev oixov ivnv 'c a'rorstdivvry w f s. Chrys., tom. viii. p. 115, tom. v. Or. 47, in 2 Cor. xi. 28.