SECOND ARGUMENT FOR THE PRIMACY OF ST PETER. 83 Both he and they also might be so termed, for upon their testi- monies concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, the faith of Christians was grounded ; as also, it stands upon their con- vincing discourses, their holy practice, theirmiraculous performances: in all which St Peter was most eminent, and in the beginning of Christianity displayed them to the edification of the church. This interpretation plainly agrees with matter of fact and his- tory, which are the best interpreters of right or privilege in such cases; for we may reasonably understand our Saviour to have pro- mised that which in effect we see performed: so 0e the event shows the church was built on him, that is, by him,"1 says Tertullian. But this sense does not imply any superiority of power or dignity granted to St Peter above his brethren, however it may signify an advantage belonging to him, and deserving especial respect ; as St Chrysostom notably sets out in these words: "Although John, although James, although Paul, although any other whoever, may appear performing great matters, he yet surpasses them all who pre- ceded them in liberty of speech, opened the entrance, and allowed them, like a river running with a full stream, to enter with great ease." E Doing this, as, I say, it might signifyhis being a rock of the church, so it denotes an excellency of merit, but not a superiority in power. 8. It may also be observed that St Peter, before the speaking of those words by our Lord, may seem to have had a primacy; inti-. mated by the evangelists when they report his call to the apostolical office, Matt. x. 2; and by his behaviour when, in this confession, and before in the like, Johnvi. 68, 69, he undertook to be their mouth and spokesman: when, "not being unmindful of his place," says St Am- brose, "he acted a primacy,aprimacy," adds that father, " of con- fession, not of honour; of faith, not of order."' His primacy, therefore (such as he had), cannot well be founded on thisplace, he being afore possessed ofit, and, as StAmbrose conceived, exercising it at that time. II. They allege the next words of our Lord, spoken in sequel upon the same occasion, " To thee will I give the keys of the king- dom of heaven;" that is, say they, " the supremepower over all the church ;"4 for, say they, he that has the keys is master of thehouse. 1 Sic enim exitus docet, in ipso ecclesia extructa est, id est per ipsum, &c. Tert. de Pudic., cap. xxi. 2 Kiiv'It0&vvn7ç, xäv 'Iriw.v5,2, wäv IIaUxeçp, xäv äxxoç ó07i0ovv ¡ce7á 7aö7a ,aéya 7e 9raemu Qaivvvyrai, &9r&v7,v GÚ7,ç X%.tavex7e(, ó 9rpe0009re(57<neg aú7031, ?ñ grappnoíá, xai S4avo,Zaç ?in, úeaSav, xai Sob; airoiç zahivrep 9ra7atcïi 9roT.4 ¢epopeávap pe151.4a7e 1.6e74 9ro2.T.ñç &Selaç ivue- exAeïv, &c.Chrys., tom. v. Or. 59. s Loci non immemor sui primatum egit ; . . , primatum confessionis, non honoris ; fidei, non ordinis.Ambr. de Indern., cap. iv. e Per claves datas Petro intelligimus summam potestatem in omnem ecclesiam. Bell. de Pont., i. 3.