« EdellinenJatka »
with it: if it were not, then by what argument will it be made evident that St. Peter in the promise represented only his successors, and not the whole college of apostles, and the whole hierarchy ? For if St. Peter was chief of the apostles, and head of the church, he might fair enough be the representative of the whole college, and receive it in their right as well as his own : which also is certain that it was so; for the same promise of binding and loosing (which certainly was all that the keys were given for) was made afterward to all the apostles, and the power of remitting and retaining (which in reason and according to the style of the church are the same thing in other words) was actually given to all the apostles : and unless that was the performing the first and second promise, we find it not recorded in Scripture how or when, or whether yet or no, the promise be performed. That promise, I say, which did not pertain to Peter principally and by origination, and to the rest by communication, society, and adherence, but that promise which was made to Peter first, but not for himself, but for all the college, and for all their successors; and then made a second time to them all, without representation, but in diffusion, and performed to all alike in presence, except St. Thomas. And if he went to St. Peter to derive it from him, I know not; I find no record for that; but that Christ conveyed the promise to him by the same commission, the church yet never doubted, nor had she any reason. But this matter is too notorious : I say no more to it, but repeat the words and arguments of St. Austin ; “ Si hoc Petro tantum dictum est, non facit hoc ecclesiab:" If the keys were only given and so promised to St. Peter, that the church hath not the keys, then the church can neither bind nor loose, remit nor retain ; which God forbid. If any man should endeavour to answer this argument, I leave him and St. Austin to contest it.
5. Thirdly : for pasce oves, there is little in that allegation, besides the boldness of the objectors : for were not all the apostles bound to feed Christ's sheep? Had they not all the commission from Christ and Christ's Spirit immediately ? St. Paul had certainly. Did not St. Peter himself say to all the bishops of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, that they should feed the flock of God, and a Matt. xviii,
Tra. 50. in Joann.
he went to St. Blike in presenction, but in di
the great Bishop and Shepherd should give them an immarcessible crown? plainly implying, that from whence they derived their authority, from him they were sure of a reward : in pursuance of which St. Cyprian laid his argument upon this basis, “ Nam cùm statutum sit omnibus nobis,” &c. " et singulis pastoribus portio gregis , &c. Did not St. Paul call to the bishops of Ephesus to feed the flock of God, of which the Holy Ghost hath made them bishops or overseers ?” And that this very commission was spoken to St. Peter not in a personal, but a public capacity, and in him spoke to all the apostles, we see attested by St. Austin and St. Ambrose , and generally by all antiquity: and it so concerned even every priest, that Damasus was willing enough to have St. Jerome explicate many questions for him. And Liberius writes an epistle to Athanasius, with much modesty requiring his advice in a question of faith, ένα κάγώ πεποιθώς και αδιακρίτως περί ών άξιούς κελεύειν μοι, « That I also may be persuaded without all doubting of those things, which you shall be pleased to command mee.” Now Liberius need not to have troubled himself to have written into the east to Athanasius; for if he had but seated himself in his chair, and made the dictate, the result of his pen and ink would certainly have taught him and all the church: but that the good Pope was ignorant their pasces oves' was his own charter and prerogative, or that any other words of Scripture had made him to be infallible; or if he was not ignorant of it, he did very ill to compliment himself out of it. So did all those bishops of Rome, that in that troublesome and unprofitable question of Easter, being unsatisfied in the supputation of the Egyptians, and the definitions of the mathematical bishops of Alexandria, did yet require and entreat St. Ambrose to tell them his opinion, as he himself witnesses?. If pasce oves' belongs only to the Pope by primary title, in these cases the sheep came to feed the shepherd ; which, though it was well enough in the thing, is very ill for the pretensions of the Roman bishops. And if we consider how little many of the Popes have done towards feeding the sheep of Christ, we shall hardly determine which is the greater prevarication,
c Lib. 1. Epist. 3.
d De Agone Christi, c, 30, e Epist. ad Athanas. apud Athanas. tom. 1. p. 42. Paris.
[ Lib, 10. Epist. 33.
afterward botaff except it who does not do think that sien a pas
sa dvised nork that should not
that the Pope should claim the whole commission to be granted to him, or that the execution of the commission should be wholly passed over to others. And, it may be, there is a mystery in it, that since St. Peter sent a bishop with his staff to raise up a disciple of his from the dead, who was afterward bishop of Triers, the Popes of Rome never wear a pastoral staff except it be in that diocese, says Aquinas; for great reason that he who does not do the office, should not bear the symbol. But a man would think that the Pope's master of the ceremonies was ill advised not to assign a pas: toral staff to him, who pretends the commission of pasee oves' to belong to him by prime right and origination. But this is not a business to be merry in.
6. But the great support is expected from “Tu es Petrus, et super hanc Petram ædificabo ecclesiam,' &c. Now there being so great difference in the exposition of these words, by persons disinterested, who, if any, might be allowed to judge in this question, it is certain that neither one sense nor other can be obtruded for an article of faith, much less as a catholicon instead of all, by constituting an authority which should guide us in all faith, and determine us in all questions. For if the church was not built upon the person of Peter, then his successors can challenge nothing from this instance : now that it was the confession of Peter upon which the church was to rely for ever, we have witnesses very credible, St. Ignatius", St. Basil ', St. Hilaryk, St. Gregory Nyssen', Şt. Gregory the Great", St. Austin", St. Cyril of Alexandria, Isidore Pelusiot', and very many more. And although all these witnesses concurring cannot make a proposition to be true, yet they are sufficient witnesses, that it was not the universal belief of Christendom that the church was built upon St. Peter's person, Cardinal Perron hath a fine fancy to elude this variety of exposition, and the consequents of it: For, saith he, these expositions are not contrary or exclu. sive of each other, but inclusive and consequent to each other : for the church is founded casually upon the cenfession of St. Peter, formally upon the ministry of his person, and this was a reward or a consequent of the former ; 8 M. 4. Sent. dist. 24.
h Ad. Philadelph. i Seleuc. orat. 25. k Lib. 6. de Trinit.
De Trinitate advers. Judæos. m Lib. 3. Ep. S3.
✓ In 1. Ep. Joann. tr. 10. • De Trinit. 1. 4.
P Lib. 1. Ep. 235.
so that these expositions are both true, but they are con joined as mediate and immediate, direçt and collateral, li: teral and moral, original and perpetual, accessary and temporal, the one consigned at the beginning, the other introduced upon occasion. For before the spring of the Arian heresy, the fathers expounded these words of the person of Peter ; but after the Arians troubled them, the fathers find. ing great authority and energy in this confession of Peter for the establishment of the natural filiation of the Son of God, to advance the reputation of these words and the force of the argument, gave themselves license to expound these words to the present advantage, and to make the con. fession of Peter to be the foundation of the church, that if the Arians should encounter this authority, they might with more prejudice to their persons declaim against their cause by saying they overthrew the foundation of the church. Besides that this answer does much dishonour the reputation of the fathers' integrity, and makes their interpretations less credible, as being made, not of knowledge or reason, but of necessity, and to serve á present turn, it is also false : for Ignatius' expounds it in a spiritual sense, which also the liturgy attributed to St. James calls hi tétgav trñs ziotews and Origen' expounds it mystically to a third purpose, but exclusively to this : and all these were before the Arian controversy. But if it be lawful to make such unproved ob servations, it would have been to better purpose and more reason to have observed it thus : the fathers, so long as the bishop of Rome kept himself to the limits prescribed him by Christ, and indulged to him by the constitution or concession of the church, were unwary and apt to expound this place of the person of Peter ; but when the church began to enlarge her phylacteries by the favour of princes and the sunshine of a prosperous fortune, and the Pope by the advantage of the imperial seat and other accidents began to invade upon the other bishops and patriarchs, then, that he might have no colour from Scripture for such new pretensions, they did most generally turn the stream of their expositions from the person to the confession of Peter, and declared that to be the foundation of the church. And thus I have requited fancy with fancy: but for the main point, 1 Epist. ad Philadelph.'
" In c. 16. Matt. tract. 1, .
that these two expositions are inclusive of each other, I find no warrant. For though they may consist together well enough, if Christ had so intended them; yet unless it could be shewn by some circumstance of the text, or some other extrinsical argument, that they must be so, and that both senses were actually intended, it is but gratis dictum,' and a begging of the question, to say that they are so, and the fancy so new, that when St. Austin had expounded this place of the person of Peter, he reviews it again, and in his Retractations leaves every man to his liberty which to take, as having nothing certain in this article: which had been altogether needless if he had believed them to be inclusively in each other; neither of them had need to have been retracted, both were alike true, both of them might have been believed. But I said the fancy was new, and I had reason; for it was so unknown till yesterday, that even the late writers of his own side expound the words of the confession of St. Peter exclusively to his person or any thing else, as is to be seen in Marsitius', Petrus de Aliaco", and the gloss upon Dist. 19. can. ità Dominus,' ut suprá. Which also was the interpretation of Phavorinus Camers their own bishop, from whom they learnt the resemblance of the words IIétpos and TIétpa, of which they have made so many gay discourses. Πέτρα στερεά εστι πίστις αρραγής Κυρίου ημών Ιησού Χριστού εις οικοδομής ψυχής εν τώ ηγεμονική θεμελίω προθεμελιουμένη.
7. Fifthly: but upon condition I may have leave at another time to recede from so great and numerous testimony of fathers, I am willing to believe that it was not the confession of St. Peter, but his person, upon which Christ said he would build his church, or that these expositions are consistent with and consequent to each other ; that this confession was the objective foundation of faith, and Christ and his apostles the subjective; Christ principally, and St. Peter instrumentally: and yet I understand not any advantage will hence accrue to the see of Rome. For upon St. Peter it was built, but not alone; for it was “ upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone;" and when St. Paul reckoned the economy of hierarchy, he reckons not Peter first, and then the apostles; but first apostles, secondarily prophets, &c. And.
• Defens. Pacis, part. 2. c. 28. 'Recommend. Sacr. Scrip.