78 " THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK," ETC. To this I answer, - 1. Those words do not clearly signify any thing to their purpose; for they are metaphorical, and thence ambiguous, or capable of divers interpretations; whence they cannot suffice to ground so main a point of doctrine, or to warrant so huge a pretence. These ought to stand upon downright, evident, and indubitable testimony. It is pretty [curious] to observe how Bellarmine proposes this testimony. " Of which words," says he, " the sense is plain and ob- vious, that it be understood that under two metaphors the principate of thewhole church was promised ;"1 as ifthat sense couldbe so plain and obvious which is couched under two metaphors, and those not very pat or clear in application to their sense. 2. This is manifestlyconfirmed from [considering] that the fathers and divines, both ancient and modern, have much differed in exposi- tion of these words.' For some interpret " This rock" to be Christ himself; of whom St Paul says, " Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. iii. 11. St Austin tellsus in his Retractations, that he often had expounded thewords to this purpose; although he did not absolutely reject that interpretation which made St Peter the rock, leaving it to the reader's choice which is the more probable.' Others, and those most eminent fathers, take the rock to be St Peter's faith or profession. "Upon the rock," says the prince of interpreters [Chrysostom], "that is, upon the faith of his profes- sion;"4 and again, "Christ said that he would build his church on Peter's confession ; "6 and again (he, or another ancient writer under his name), "`Upon this rock,' he said; not upon Peter, for he did not build his church upon the man, but upon his faith."' evangelica voce Domini et Salvatorisnostriprimatum obtinuit; Tu esPetrus (inquiens), &c. P. Gelas. L, Dist. xxi. cap. 3. " The holy church of Rome is not preferred be- fore other churches by any synodical decrees, but bas obtained the primacy by the voice of our Lord and Saviour in the gospel saying, ' Thouart Peter,' " &c. ' Quorum verborum planus et obvius sensus est, ut intelligatur sub duabus meta- phoris promissum Petrototius ecclesise principatum.Bell. de Pont., i. 10. 2 "Some." says Abulensis, " say that this rock is Peter; ... others say, and better, that it is Christ; . . others say, and yet better, that it is the confession which Peter makes. " Tostat. in Matt. xvi. qu. 67. 3 Scio me poster ssepissime exposuisse, ut super hanc petram intelligeretur quern confessus est Petrus; harum autem duarum sententiarum gum sit probabilior eligat lector.Aug. Retr., i. 21. Vide Aug. inToh. tr. 124, de Verb. Dom. in Matt. Serra. 13. Super hanc, inquit, petram quam confessus es, ædificabo ecclesiam meam.Aug. in Toh. tr. 124, et de Verb. Dung in Matt. Serm. 13, tom. x. Super hanc petram, id est, super me ædificabo ecclesiam meam.Ans. in Matt. xvi. 18. 4 Tñ 9rírpá ... vauriew v i 9riesi rñs ó¡aoxoyías.Chrys. in Matt. xvi. 18. 6 r7v ixxxncíav ïgnocv i,m' 7471, ótooxoyíav oixobotc4oEiv 77, á5ú,o,.Chrys. in Toh. i. 50. 6 'Ea-2 raúrq ,- 9rirpg, oú5 EÌ9rï1, É941 r1,, nirpe oúrE yáp é9ri rry áari 77v ,rior,, 1-7, éavroú [xxxnvíav áxoNanoi.Chrys., tom. v. Or. 163. Super haue igitur con - fessionis petram ecclesiæ sedificatio est. I3iL de Trin., vi.