Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

128 PREFERABLE MAIMS OF ANTIOCIH. the throne of Satan's empire, the place which then most persecuted the Christian faith, and was " drunk with the blood of the saints?" Rev. xvii. 6.1 7. The ground of this preference was, say they, St Peter's will (Bell. ii. 12); and they have reason to say so, for otherwise, if St Peter had died intestate, the elder son of Antioch would have had the best right to all his goods and dignities.' But how does that will appear? in what tables was it written? in . what registers is it extant? in whose presence did he nuncupate it? It is nowhere to be seen or heard of. Neither do they otherwise know of it than by reasoning it out; and in effect they say only that it was fit he should will it. But they . may be mistaken in their divinations; and, perhaps, notwithstanding them, St Peter might will as well to his former see of Antioch as to his latter of Rome. 8. Indeed, Bellarmine sometimes positively and briskly enough affirms that " God commanded St Peter to fix his see at Rome;"' but his proofs of it are so ridiculously fond and weak, that I grudge the trouble of reciting them; andhe himself sufficiently confutes them, by saying elsewhere, " It is not improbable that our Lord gave an express command that Peter should so fix his see at Rome, that the bishop of Rome should absolutely succeed him."4 He says, " It is not improbable;" if it be no more than so, it is . uncertain; it may be a mere conjecture or a dream. It is much more not improbable, that if God had commanded it, there would have been some assurance ofacommand so veryimportant. 9. Antioch has at least a fair plea for a share in St Peter's prero- gatives; for it ever held the repute of an apostolical church, and upon that score some deference was paid to it: why so, if St Peter carried his see with all its prerogatives to another place? But if he carried with him only part of his prerogatives, leaving some part be- hind at Antioch, how much then, I pray, did he leave there? why did he divide unequally, or leave less than half? If perchance he left half, the bishop of Antioch is equal to him of Rome. 10. Other persons also may be found, who, according to equal . judgment, might have a better title to the succession of Peter in his ' Sic et Babylonapud Joannem nostrum Romanze urbis figura est, proinde et magnet et regno superbze, et sanctorum debellatricis.Tertull. adv. Jud., cap. ix. "So also Babylon in our St John is a type of the city of Rome, and therefore of a great, royal, and proud city, and a subduer of the saints." 2 Potuisset Petrus nullam sedem particularem sibi unquam eligere, sicut fecitprimis quinque annis, &c. Ibid. " Peter might have chosen to himself noparticular city, as he did the first five years." 3 Jubente Domino, ii. 1. Deus ipse jussit Romse figi apostolicam Petri sedem, iv. 4. 4 Non est improbabile Dominum etiam aperte jussisse, ut sedem suam Petrus ita Sgeret Romze, ut Romanus episcopus absolute ei succederet.Bell. ii. 12, §Et quoniam.