30 WHAT IS MEANTBY " THIS ROCK" ? Peter of supremacy over them ; for would theyhave "contended" for the chief place if they had understood whose it of right was by our Lord's own positive determination? Luke xxii. 24; would they hate " disputed" about a question which to their knowledge, by their Master, was already stated? Mark ix. 33; would they have troubled our Lord to inquire of himwho should be the greatest in his king- dom, when they knew that our, Lord had declared his will to make St Peter viceroy? Matt. xviii. 1; would the sons of Zebedee have been so foolish and presumptuous as to beg the place which they knew, by our Lord's word and promise, fixed on St Peter? would St Peter, among the rest, have fretted at that idle overture, whenas he knew the place, by our Lord's immutable purpose and infallible de- claration, assured to him?' And if none of the apostles did under- stand the words to imply this Roman sense, who can be obliged so to understand them? yea, who can wisely, who can safely so under- stand them? for surely they had common sense, as well as any man living now; they had as much advantage as we can have to know our Lord's meaning. Their ignorance, therefore, of this sense being so apparent, is not only a just excuse for not admitting this interpre- tation, but a strong bar against it. 4. This interpretation, also, does not well consist with our Lord's answers to the contests, inquiries, and petitions of his disciples, con- cerning the point of superiority; for does he not (if the Roman ex- positions be good) seem upon those occasions not only to dissemble his own word and promise, but to disavow them or thwart them? Can we conceive that he would, in such a case of doubt, forbear to resolve them, clearly to instruct them, and admonish them of their duty? 5. Taking the " rock," as they would have it, to be the person of St Peter, and that on him the church should be built, yet does not the word " rock" probably denote government; for what resem- blance is there between being a rock and a governor? at least what assurance can there be that this metaphor precisely imports that sense, seeing in other respects, upon as fair similitudes, he might be called so? St Austin says, " The apostles were foundations, because their authority supports our weakness."' St Jerome says, that they "were foundations, because the faith of the church was first laid in them."a ' Matt. xx. 24,'Awoioaprsç ai liza Ayaváxvraay. "And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation." 2 Quare aunt fundamenta apostoli et prophetse, quia eorum auctoritas portat infir mitatem nostram.Aug. in Ps. lxxxvi. 3 In illis erant fundamenta, ibi primum posita est fides ecelesim.Hier. in Ps. lxxxvi.