Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

108 WHETHER ST PETER WAS EVER AT ROME? not in either of his epistles (one of which, as they would persuade us, was written from Rome) inscribe himself bishop of Rome? Especially considering that, being an apostle, he did not need any particular authority ; that involving all power, and enabling him in any particular place to execute all kinds of ecclesiastical administra- tions, there was no reason that an apostle (or universal bishop) should become a particular bishop. 5. Also, St Peter's general chargeof converting and inspecting the Jews, dispersed over the world (his " apostleship," as St Paul calls it, " of the circumcision, " 'Aaosrohñ crsprrop4, Gal. ii. 8), which re- quired much travel, and his presence in divers places, does not well agree to his assuming the episcopal office at Rome. Especiallyat that time, when they first make him to assume it, which was in the time of Claudius, who, as St Luke and other histories report, banished all the Jews from Rome, as Tiberius also had done before him, he was too skilful a fisherman to cast his net there, where there were no fish. Acts xviii. 2; Sueton. in Claud. 25, in Tib. 36. 6. If we consider St Peter's life, we may well deemhim incapable of this office, which he could not conveniently discharge; for it [his life], as history represents it, and [as] may be collected from divers circumstances of it, was very unsettled. He went much about the world, and, therefore, could seldom reside at Rome. Many hake argued him to have never been at Rome: which opinion I shall not avow, as bearing a more civil respect to ancient testimonies and traditions ;* although many false and fabulous rela- tions of that kind having crept into history and common vogue (Euseb. iii. 3), many doubtful reports havingpassed concerning him, We have every reason to conclude, from the New Testament, that the apostle Peter never was at Rome. According to the papal doctors, he was bishop of Rome twenty-five years; namely, from A.D. 43 to A.D. 68. Now, we have distinct evidence that Peter was not at Rome during this period. Paul says that three years after his conversion, which occurred about the year 37, he went to see Peter at Jerusalem; where he found him. Fourteen years after, or in the year 51, he again went to Jerusalem ; and again found Peter there. During the interval between43 and 68, when Peter is said to have been at Rome, we have eight instances in which Paul communicated with Rome, once by writing to them, six times when writing from Rome, and once, at least, during an abode of two years in that city; and still there is no hint given that Peter was there during any portion of this time; and if he bad been there, can it be imagined that " his beloved brother Paul" would have taken nonotice of him? The unlikelihood of such an omission is converted into absolute incredibility when we consider the cir- cumstances mentioned by our author in the following page. It is only, therefore, on the testimony of tradition that such a thing as Peter's presence in Rome can be asserted; and although Dr Barrow declines avowing the opposite opinion, "as bearing a more civil respect to ancient testimonies and traditions," the reader may judge of the degree of respect which is due in the present instance, when informed that the whole of these traditions, which embody, on the same authority, some of the most ridiculous fables, may be traced up to the assertion of one Papias, quoted by Eusebius, who is obliged to confess that " he was a rude and simple person, andendowedwith verylittle judgment." (Euseb. Reeks. Dist., lib. iii. cap. 36, cum Annot. Yalesii, tom. i. p. 130.) The argu-