Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

106 THE THIRD SUPPOSITION. 13. In fine, if any such conveyanceof power, of power so great, so momentous, so mightily concerning the perpetual state of the church and of each person therein, had been made, it had been, for general direction and satisfaction, for avoiding all doubt and debate about it, for stifling these pretended heresies and schisms,very re- quisite that it should have been expressed in some authentic record, that a particular law should have been extant concerning it, that all posterity should be warned to yield the submission grounded thereon. Indeed, a matter of so great consequence to the being and welfare of the church could scarce have escaped frombeing clearly mentioned somewhere or other in Scripture, wherein somuch is spoken touching ecclesiastical discipline; it could scarce have avoided the pen of the first fathers (Clement, Ignatius, the Apostolical Canons and Consti- tutions, Tertulian, &c.), who also so much treat concerning the func- tion and authority of Christian governors. Nothing can be more strange than that in the Statute-book of the New Jerusalem, and in all the original monuments concerning it, there should be such a dead silence concerning the succession of its chief magistrate. Wherefore, no such thing appearing, we may reasonablyconclude no such thing to have been, and that our adversaries' assertion of it is wholly arbitrary, imaginary, and groundless. 14. I might add, as a very convincing argument, that if such a succession had been designed, and known in old times, it is morally impossible that none of the fathers, Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine, Cyril, Jerome, Theodoret, &c., in their exposition of the places al- leged by the Romanists for the primacy of St Peter, should declare [have declared] that primacy to have been derived and settled on St Peter's successor; a point of that moment, [such importance that,] if they had been aware of it, they could not but have touched, as a most useful application and direction for duty. SUPPOSITION III. They affirm, That St Peter was bishop ofRome. Concerning which assertion we say, that it may with great reason be denied, and that it cannot any wise be assured; as will appear by the following considerations: 1. St Peter's being bishop of Rome would confound the offices which God made distinct; for God appointed " first apostles, then