Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

ST PETER'S PRIMACY OF ORDER. 45 deferred to age, because Peter was elder; that a youth, and one al- most a boy, might not be preferred before men of good age."1 I know that Epiphanius2 affirms St Andrew to have been the elder brother; but it does not appear whether he says it from conjecture or upon any other ground. And his authority, although we should suppose it bottomed on tradition, is not great, tradition itself in such matters being very slippery, and often one tradition crossing another. 3. The most eminent qualifications of St Peter, such as we before described, might procure to him this advantage. They might breed in him an honest confidence, pushing him for- ward on all occasions to astume the former [first] place, and thence by custom to possess it; for "qui sibi fidit, dux regit examen," (Hon, Ep. i. 19), it being in all action as in walking, where he that na- turally is most vigorous and active goes before the rest. They might induce others to a voluntary concession thereof;' for to those who indisputably excel in good qualities or abilities, honest and meekpersons easilywill yield precedence, especiallyon occasions of public concernment, wherein it is expedient that the best qualified persons should be first seen. They probably might also move our Lord himself to settle, or at least to insinuate, this order, assigning the first place to himwhomhe knew most willing to serve him, and most able to lead on the rest in his service. It is, indeed, observable that upon all occasions our Lord signified a particular respect to him, before the rest of his colleagues; for to him, more frequently than to any of them, he directed his discourse; unto him, by a kind of anticipation, he granted or promised those gifts and privileges which he meant to confer on them all, Matt. xvi. 19; him he assumed as spectator and witness of his glorious transfiguration, Matt. xvii. 1; him he picked out as companion and attendant on him in his grievous agony, chap. xxvi. 37; his feet he first washed, John xiii. 6; to him he first discovered himself after his resurrection, as St Paul implies, 1 Cor. xv. 5; and with him then be entertained most discourse, in especial manner recommend- ing to him the pastoral care ofhis church, John xxi. ; bywhich man- ner of proceeding our Lord may seem to have constituted St Peter the first in order among the apostles, or sufficiently to have hinted his mind for their direction, admonishing them by his example to render unto him a special deference. ' Sed cur non Joannes electus est virgo? ætati delatum est, quia Petrus senior erat; ne adhuc adolescens et pene puer progresenntatis hominibus prnferretur.Hier. in Jovin., i. 14. 2 Mo po.ryou iiroc To; rikpeu Try' xpórw Tilç ,a mtcef.Epiph. Seer., li. 17, p. 440. "Peterbeing theyounger in age." 3 AúTO) aarax;aporgn, aim; &c.Chrys. in Act. ii. 14. " They yield unto him," &c.