Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

PROOF FROM ST PETER'S EPISTLES. 57 Did St Peter represent the church, as receiving privileges in its behalf, as the fathersaffirm?" So did they, according to the same fathers. " If, therefore," says St Austin, citing the famous place, Sicut me misit Pater, "they did bear the person of the church, and this was said to them as if it were said to the church itself, then the peace of the church remits sins," &c.3 What singular prerogative, then, can be imagined appertaining to St Peter? what substantial advantage could he pretend to beyond the other apostles? Nothing surely appears. Whatever the patrons of his supremacy claim for him is precariously assumed, without any fair colour of proof; he for it is beholden not to any testimony of holy Scripture, but to the invention of Roman fancy. We may well infer with Cardinal Cusanus, " We know that Peter did not receive more power from Christ than the other apostles, for nothing was said toPeter which was not also said to theothers. Therefore," adds he, " we rightly say that all the apostles were equal to Peter in power."3 8. Whereas St Peter himself wrote two catholic epistles, there does not in them appear any intimation, any air or savour of pre- tence to this arch-apostolical power. It is natural for persons en- dowed with unquestionable authority, howsoever otherwise prudent and modest, to discover a spice thereof in the matter or in the style of their writing; their mind, conscious of such advantage, will sug- gest an authoritativewayof expression, especiallywhen they earnestly exhort or seriously reprove: in which cases their very authority is a considerable motive to assent or compliance, and strongly impresses any other arguments; but no critic perusing those epistles would smell a pope in them. The speech of St Peter, although pressing his doctrine with considerations of this nature, has no tang of such authority. " The elders," says he, " which are among you I exhort, who also am an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed," 1 Pet. v. 1. By such excellent but common advantages of his person and office, hepresses on the clergy his advices. Had he been what they make him, he might have said, " I, the peculiar vicar of Christ, and sovereign of the apostles, not only exhort but require this of you." This language had beenvery proper, and no less forcible; but nothing like this, nothing of the spirit and Cui totius ecclesim figuram gerenti, &c. Aug., Ep. clay. a Ergo si personam gerebant ecclesiss, et sic eis hoc dictum est, tanquam ipsi ecclesite diceretur, pax ecclesios dimittit peccata, &c. --Aug. de Bapt. cont. Don., iii. -23. 3 Scimus quod Petrus nihil plus potestatis a Christo recepit aliis apostolis ; nihil enim dictum est ad Petrum, quod aliis etiam dictum non est. Ideo recte dicimus omnes apostolos esse ssquales cum Petro in petestate.Card. Cue. de Cone. Cath., ii. 13.