Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

PROOF FROM ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 61 rankly, to the great prejudice of religion, begetting those exorbitant pretences whichwe now disprove. Again; when St Peter, being warned from heaven thereto, Acts x. 28, Kai É,uoì ö eebç £ó£r £, received Cornelius, a Gentile soldier, unto communion, divers good Christians, Acts xi. 2, who were ignorant, of the warrantableness of that proceeding (as others commonly were, and St Peter himself was, before he was informed by that special revelation), did not fear baxpív£60ou .rpóç aúròv, " to contest with him" about it, not having anynotion, as it seems, of his su- preme unaccountable authority, not to say of that infallibility with which the canonists and Jesuits have invested him (Bell. de Pont. Rom., iv. 3, 4); unto whom St Peter renders a fair account, and makes a satisfactory apology for his proceedings,' verses 4-18, not brow beating those audacious contenders with his authority, but gently satisfying them with reason. But if he had known his power to be such as now they pretend it to be, he should have done well to have asserted it, even out ofgood-will and charity to those goodbrethren, correcting their error and checking their misdemeanour, showing them what an enormous presumption it was so to contend with their sovereign pastor and judge.' Farther; so far was St Peter from assuming command over his brethren, that he was upon occasion ready to obey their orders, as we may see by that passage, Acts viii. 14, where, upon the conver- sion of divers persons in Samaria, it is said that "the apostles hear- ing it, sent to them Peter and John, who going down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost " The apostles sent him : that, had he been their sovereign, would have been some- what unseemly and presumptuous, for subjects are not wont to send their prince or soldiers their captain, to be sent being a mark of inferiority, as our Lord himself taught: "A servant," said he, "is not greater than his lord; nor he that is sent greater than he that sent him," John xiii. 16. St Luke, therefore, should at least have so expressed this passage, that the apostles might have seemed to keep their distance and observe good manners. If he had said, " They besought him to go," that had sounded well; but " They sent him" is harsh, if he were dominus noster papa, as the modern apostles of Rome style their Peter. The truth is, then, among Christians, there was little standing upon punctilios; private considerations and pre- tences topower then took small place; each one was ready to comply 'Ore ró ärufov zee) áx¢vááogov,öda a'wç oixoXav rar, xai aim 4,,7 rw 1oû Mormáxou ágrrr¡.cevr xexpñollar.Chrys. "See how free he is frompride and vain-glory; see how he excuses himself, and thinks himself not worthy to have the honour ofa master." Ita ut Petrus quoque timens neculparetur ab ipsis.Iren., iii. 12, 15, p. 200. N.B. In the matter at Antioch, St Peter complied with St James and the Judaizers; which did not beseem such authority.