Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

68 ST PAUL INDEPERDENT OF ST PETER. apostles," Gal. i..16, 17: so little did he take himself to be account- able to any man. In settling order and correcting irregularities in the church, he professed to act merely by his own authority, conferred on him by our Lord. " Therefore," says he, " being absent, I write these things, that being present I may not use severity, according to the authority which the Lord hath given me for edification, not for de- struction," 2 Cor. xiii. 10, x. 8. Such being the privileges which he asserted to himself with all confidence, he did not receive for it any check from other apostles; but the chief of them, " knowing the grace that was given unto him, gave unto him the right hand of fellowship," in token of their acknowledgment and allowance of his proceedings, Gal. ii. 9. Upon these considerations, plainly signifying his absolute inde- pendence in the reception and execution of his office, he more than once affirms (and in a manner " boasts ") himself " to be inferior in nothing to the very chief apostles," 2 Cor. xi. 5, xii. 11. Innothing, that is, in nothing pertinent to the authorityor substantial dignity of his place: for as to his personal merit, he professes himself " much less than the least of the apostles," 1 Cor. xv. 9, Eph. iii. 8; but as to the authenticness and authority of his office, he deemed himself equal to the greatest, " being by the grace of God what he was, a minister of the gospel, according to the gift of the grace of God, which was given him according to the effectual working of his power," 1 Cor. xv. 10; Eph. iii. 7. When he said he was " behind none," 2 Cor. xi. 5, he could not forget St Peter; when he said, "none of the chief," he could not but especially mean him (he did indeed, as St Chrysostom says, intend "to compare himself with St Peter");1 when he said, "innothing;" he could not but design that which was most considerable, the authority of his place, which in the context he expressly mentioned. For when he objected to himself the semblance of fondness or arrogance in speaking after that manner, xarcì arpoóíopûaóiv, [by way of correct- ing himself], 2 Cor. xii. 11, i. 16, 17, he declared that he did not speak rashly or vainly, but upon serious consideration, and with full assurance, finding it very needful or useful to maintain his authority, or to "magnify his office," as he otherwhere speaks, Roma xi. 13. If things had been as nowwe are taught from the Roman school, it is strange that St Paul should compare himself so generally, not excepting St Peter; that he should not express, nor by the least touch intimate, any special consideration for his (as they tell us) " ordinarypastor" (Bell. de Pont., i. 11) ; that he should not consider i n ót roút orspi H pav xoroú¡<svos Tñv vúyzprorv.