FOURTH ARGUMENT FOR THE PRIMACY OF ST PETER. 91 near as absurd to be a shepherd as it is now (in his own account) to be a just man by imputation; that would be a kind of putative pas- torage, as this is aputative righteousness. However, the apostles, I dare say, did not take themselves to be St Peter's surrogates, but challenged to themselves to be accounted " the ministers," " the stewards," " the ambassadors of Christ himself," (1 Cor. iv. 1; 2 Cor. v. 20, x. 8; Gal. i. 1; Tit. i. 3, &c.,) from whom immediately they received their orders, in whose name they acted, to whom they con- stantly refer their authority, without taking the least notice of St Peter, or intimating any dependence on him. It was, therefore, enough for St Peter that he had authority re- strained to no place; but might, as he found occasion, preach the gospel, convert, confirm, guide Christians everywhere to truth and duty: nor can our Saviour's words be forced to signify more. In fine, this, together with the precedent testimonies, must not be interpreted so as to thwart practice and history; according to which it appears that St Peter did not exercise such a power, and therefore our Lord did not intend to confer such an one upon him. IV. Farther, in confirmation of their doctrine, they draw forth a whole shoal of testimonies,' containing divers prerogatives, as they call them, of St Peter, which, as they suppose, imply this pri- macy. So very sharp- sighted, indeed, they are, that in every re- markable accident befalling him, in every action performed by him, or to him, or about him, they can descry some argument or shrewd insinuation of his pre-eminence, especially being aided by the glosses of some fanciful expositor. From the change of his name; from his walking on the sea; from his miraculous draught of fish; from our Lord's praying for him that his faith should not fail, and bidding him to confirm his brethren; from our Lord's ordering him to pay the tribute for them both; from our Lord's first washing his feet, and his first appearing to him after the resurrection; from the pre- diction of his martyrdom; from sick persons being cured by his shadow; from his sentencing Ananias and Sapphira to death; from his preaching to Cornelius; from its being said that he " passed through all," Acts ix. 32; from his being prayed for by the church; from St Paul's going to visit him;from these passages, I say, they deduce or .confirm his authority. Now, in earnest, is not this stout argument? Is it not egregious modesty for such a point toallege such proofs? What cause may not be countenanced by such rare fetches? Who would not suspect theweakness of that opinion which is fain to use such' forces in its maintenance? In fine, is it honest or conscion- able dealing so to wrest or play with the holy Scripture, pretending to derive thence proofs where there is no show of consequence? P. Leo IX., Ep. i. Ad ejusdemprimatus confirmationem, &o.--Bell., i. 17.