Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

86 THIRD ARGUMENT FOR THE PRIMACY OF ST PETER. Matt. xviii. 18; the which import a power or privilege, soon after expressly, and in thevery same words, promised or granted to all the apostles; as also the same power in other words was by our Lord conferred on them all after the resurrection, John xx. 23. If, therefore, the keys of the kingdom of heaven import supreme power, then each apostle had supreme power. 9. If we should grant (which no wise can be proved) that some- thing peculiarly belonging to St Peter is implied in those words, it can only be this, that he should be a prime man in the work of preaching and propagating the gospel, and conveying the heavenly benefits of it to believers ; which is an opening of the kingdom of heaven, according to what Tertullian excellentlysays of him: " So," says he, " the event teaches; the church was built in him, that is, by him; he initiated the key. See how : ' Ye men of Israel, hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you,' &c. He, in fine, in Christian baptism, unlocked the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, "1 &c. 10. It seems absurd that St Peter should exercise the power of the keys in respect to the apostles; for did he open the kingdom of heaven to them who were by our Lord long before admitted into it? 11. In fine, our Lord, as St Luke relates it, said to St Peter, and probably to him first, " Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men," Luke v. 10, Matt. iv. 19; might it hence be inferred that St Peter had a peculiar or sole faculty of catching men? Why might it not, by as good a consequence as this whereby they would appro- priate to him this opening faculty? Many such instances might, in like manner, be used. III. They produce these words of our Saviour to St Peter, " Feed my sheep;" that is, in the Roman interpretation, " Be thou univer- sal governor of my church." To this allegation I answer, - 1. From words which truly andproperly might have been said to any other apostle, yea, to any Christian pastor whatever, nothing can be concluded to their purpose, importing a peculiar duty or singular privilege of St Peter. 2. From indefinite words a definite conclusion, especially in mat- ters of this kind, may not be inferred. It is said, " Do thou feed my sheep ;" it is not said, " Do thou alone feed all my sheep." This is their arbitrary gloss, or presumptuous improvement of the text ; without succour whereof the words signify nothing to their purpose, so far are they from sufficientlyassuring so vast a pretence. For in- ' Sic maim exitus docet, in ipso ecclesia extrude est, id est, per ipsum; ipse clavem imbuit; vide quam, Viri Israelite, auribusmandate qua dico, Jesum Nazarenumvirum a Deo vobis destinatum, &c. Ipse denique primus in Christi baptismo reseravit aditum ccelestis regni, &c. Teri. de Pud., xxi.