90 HOW COULD ST PETER FEED ALL ? BELLARMINE'S EVASION. Peter feed, were not the apostles, who were his fellow-shepherds, designed to feed others, and needing not to be fed by him, but the common believers, or people of God, which St Peter himself calls " The flock of God." " Feed," says he to his fellow-elders, " the flock of God, which is among you," 1 Pet. v. 2; and St Paul, "Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,"Acts. xx. 28. 9. Take feeding for what you please, for teaching, for guiding, the apostles were not fit objects of it, who were immediately taught and guided by God himself. Hence we may interpret that saying of St Chrysostom, which is the most plausible argument they can allege for them, that our Lord, in saying this, committed to St Peter " a charge," or presidency, "over his brethren,"1 that is, he made him a pastor of Christian people, as he did others: at least, if rpooraíia rwv elaa.00be referred to the apostles, it must not signify authority over them, but at most a primacy of order among them; for that St Peter otherwise should feed them St Chrysostom couldhardly think, who presently after says, that " seeing the apostles were to receive the administration of the whole world, it was no longer becoming that they should keep close together, for that would have been a great loss to the world. "' 10. But they, forsooth, must have St Peter solely obliged to feed all Christ's sheep; so they imposed upon him a vast and crabbed [difficult] province,a task very incommodious, or rather impossible, for him to undergo. How could he in duty be obliged, how could he in effect be able, to feed so many flocks of Christian people scattered about in distant regions, through all nations under heaven? He, poor man, that had so few helps, that had no officers or dependants, nor wealth to maintain them, would have been much put to it to feed the sheep in Britain and in Parthia; unto infinite distraction of thoughts such a charge must needs have engaged him. But for this their great champion [Bellarmine] has a fine expe- dient. " St Peter," says he, " fed Christ's whole flock, partly by himself, partly by others;"a so that, it seems, the other apostles were St Peter's curates, or vicars and deputies. This, indeed, were an easy way of feeding; thus, although he had slept all his time, he might have fed all the sheep under heaven; thus any man as well might have fed them. But this manner of feeding is, I fear, a later invention, not known so soon in the church; and it might then seem ' 'Eyxerger rñv vrpooraolav rwv a as ov.Chrye. in ¡oh. xxi. 15. Tñv vrpooraolav ÉVe9rrO^eVAeery 4ri+Y áSc?9& . In vers. 21. 2 'E,r, 1 y yàp 11.48XXov 94i; Olxovp ivnt r%IV É9rrrpo9rñV a'vaitaoAar, oÚx nu ow zgri rXixAa1 .Lo17lÒV a%A97Xole h yip áv ¡cayáxp rouro rá1 oixvupcí yÉ ' n >1aía. Ibid, vers. 23. 3 Respondeo, S. Petrum partira per se, partim per alios Universum Dominicum grc- gem, ut sibi imperatum erat pavisse, &c. Bell. de Pont. R., i. 13.