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Title: St. Peter, His Name and His Office - As set forth in holy scripture
Author: Allies, Thomas W.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "St. Peter, His Name and His Office - As set forth in holy scripture" ***



















The present work took its rise, and is largely drawn, from the very
learned Father Passaglia's "Commentary on the Prerogatives of St.
Peter, Prince of the Apostles, as proved by the authority of Holy
Writ," which was published in Latin, in 1850. The eighth and ninth
chapters are, indeed, translations, respectively, of the
twenty-seventh of his first book, and the first of his second book.
And as to the rest, my obligations are more than I can specify. I
owe, on the other hand, many excuses to Father Passaglia, for while
I have only partially observed his order in treating the subject, I
have considered his whole work as a treasure-house of learning,
whence I might draw at my pleasure "things old and new," adapting
them, as I thought good, to the needs of the Protestant mind, as
familiar to me in England. Thus I have not scrupled to translate, to
omit, or to insert matter of my own, according to my judgment. It
seemed to me of paramount importance to present to the English
reader the whole chain of scriptural evidence for the Primacy and
prerogatives of St. Peter. This chain of evidence is so strong,
that, when I first saw it completely drawn out, it struck my own
mind, brought up in the prejudices of Protestantism, with the force
of a new revelation. I put to myself the question; is it possible
that they who specially profess to draw their faith from the written
Word of God, would refuse to acknowledge a doctrine set forth in
Holy Scripture with at least as strong evidence as the Godhead of
our Lord itself, if they could see it not broken up into morsels,
like bits of glass reflecting a distorted and imperfect image,
according to the fashion of citing separate texts without regard to
the proportion of the faith, but presented in a complete picture on
the mirror of God's Word? This picture is thus complete and perfect
in Father Passaglia's work. Yet the form of that work, no less than
its bulk, the scrupulous minuteness with which every opposite
interpretation of so many adversaries in modern times is answered,
as well as the fulness with which every part of the subject is
treated, made me feel that a simple translation would not be
tolerated by the impatience of a population, which has little time
and less mind for studies of this character. I have pursued,
therefore, the humble task of _popularising_, so far as I could,
Father Passaglia's work, omitting, as I trust, no essential part of
the argument, and grouping it under different combinations, each of
which might be in turn presented to the eye, and so more readily

The importance of the argument, as it affects the Papal Supremacy,
which is but a summary of the whole cause at issue between
Protestantism in every shape, and the Church of Christ, cannot be
overrated. If St. Peter be already set forth in Scripture as the
Head and Bond of the Apostolic College, if he be delineated as the
supreme Ruler who succeeds our Lord Himself in the visible
government of His Church on earth, there becomes at once the
strongest ground for expecting that such a Ruler will be continued
as long as the Church herself lasts. Thus a guiding clue is given to
us among all the following records of antiquity. Tradition and
history become illuminated with a light which exhibits all objects
in their due proportion and true grouping, when they are shown to be
but the realisation of what the Incarnate Word, His Church's one
only Lawgiver, decreed from the beginning, set forth not only in
prophetic image, but distinct command, and stored up in words of
such exceeding power, that they bear the whole weight of the kingdom
of God, stretching through all ages and nations, without effort or
pressure. And if ancient writers speak in no doubtful tone of St.
Peter's prerogatives, yet clearer, more emphatic, and soul-piercing,
as we should expect, are the words of God Himself, appealing in
man's form to the mind and heart of man, whom He had created, and
was come to redeem, and to knit into one eternal monarchy.

A subsequent part of the argument, namely, that the Bishop of Rome
_is_ successor of St. Peter, has been treated by the author in
another work, "The See of St. Peter the Rock of the Church, the
Source of Jurisdiction, and the Centre of Unity," specially in the
fifth section, which ought, logically, to be preceded by this
treatise. It is there proved that not only the Christian Fathers, as
individual writers and witnesses, but the ancient Church in her
universal Councils, did, with one voice, from age to age, regard the
Pope as sitting in St. Peter's chair, which is proof enough, and all
that can in reason be demanded, that the prerogatives given to St
Peter as Head of the Church were, in the belief of the Church, and
in full accordance with our Lord's own promise,[A] continued on to
his successors, and are as imperishable as the life of the Church

21, North Bank, Regent's Park,
September, 1852.


[A] Matt. xvi. 18.--"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build
my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it," _i.
e._, as founded on that rock. The foundation and the superstructure
coexist for ever.




  The Church the finished work of the Word Incarnate                   1

  Unity and visibility enter into the Church's idea, as set
  forth in its several types                                           2

  Visible headship also part of this idea                              5

  Christ on earth in two capacities, as founder and
  ruler,--Double selection among the disciples, first of
  twelve, then of one                                                  6

  Statement of the question at issue in this treatise                  7

  First mention of Peter, the name promised                            8

  Meaning of the name, stone                                           9

  The name conferred                                                  11

  Name explained, and promises attached                               12

  Classes of names given in Scripture                                 16

  Parallel between Abraham and Peter                                  17

  Source of pre-eminence in both, association with Christ             23

  Instances of such association                                       26

  Interpretation of S. Chrysostome                                    27

  Summary                                                             28



  Education of Peter in the Theology and Economy                      29

  Preference shown to him in witnessing the Transfiguration           30

  Also in the Agony; and the raising the daughter of Jairus           32

  The receivers of the didrachma come to Peter                        34

  The answer of Christ, and what is involved in it                    35

  Interpretation of our Lord's action by Origen and S. Chrysostome    36

  Question of the Apostles to which it leads                          37

  Answer of our Lord, designating a thief                             38

  Our Lord in two capacities;
  1, as Founder, 2, as Ruler of the Church                            43

  The Church unchangeable in her form                                 44

  She had one ruler from the beginning.--Immense and
  continually growing importance of this our ruler                    45

  The Primacy which He designated, one of real power                  47

  Translation of the discourse to Peter                               48

  Confirming used of the three Divine Persons                         51

  Nature of the charge, Confirm thy brethren                          52

  Meaning of the term confirm                                         53

  Scope and harmony of our Lord's discourse in Luke xxii              56

  Corollaries from the charge to confirm the brethren               59-63



  What our Lord had done up to His resurrection                       64

  Further disposition of powers after His resurrection                65

  Special care to prove the resurrection to Peter                     66

  Fulfilment of the Lord's promises to the Twelve, in the
  bestowal of their legislative, judicial, and executive powers       68

  Subsequent exercise of these powers by the Twelve                   69

  Fulfilment of the special promises to Peter in the bestowal of the
  legislative, judicial, and executive powers of the Primacy          70

  Force of the Lord's title, the Shepherd                             72

  Importance and extent of the charge conveyed by this title          74

  Force of the circumstances under which it is conveyed               76

  S. Ambrose, S. Chrysostome, Theophylact, S. Leo, and S. Basil
  on the text                                                         79

  S. Cyprian adds the Primacy to the Apostolic equality               81

  Force of Follow thou Me                                             82



  Difference in the mode of speaking of persons indicates a
  difference of rank--The phrase, a person "and they that were
  with him."                                                          84

  S. Peter first in all the Apostolic catalogues                      86

  Synthetical view of the whole evidence                              89

  Distinct spheres of S. Peter and S. John                            91

  Peter wrought into the whole Gospel history                         92

  The Primacy defined by the three great texts: first,
  Matt. xvi. 18                                                       94

  Paraphrase of Matt. xvi. 18                                         95

  Corollaries from it                                                 96

  Our Lord's answer to the question, who was the greatest?           100

  The text, confirm thy brethren                                     101

  Our Lord's conduct to Peter, after His resurrection, the
  counter part to that before it.--Comparison of what is given to
  the Apostles, and what to Peter                                    102

  The joint force, identity, and reciprocal relations
  of the three texts                                                 104
      1. They are appropriated to Peter only.
      2. Priority of time is assigned to him.
      3. Their equivalence.
      4. They indicate a sovereign and independent authority.
      5. Their definiteness.
      6. The ordinary government of the Church contained in them.
      7. Peter made in them the _continuous_ principle of power.
      8. Peter made the type and efficient cause of visible unity.

  These conclusions borne out by Cassian in Gaul                     111

  By Maximus of Turin, in Italy                                      112

  By S. Isidore in Spain, and summed up by Pope Gregory II.          113



  Division of the Acts into history of the Church universal, and
  of S. Paul in particular                                           114

  Gospels, history of the Head; Acts, of the Body                    115

  Execution of Christ's promises declaratory of their enactment      116

  General proof of this as to the Primacy in the Acts                117
      1. Peter oftener mentioned than all the rest put together.
      2. The leading part assigned to him.
      3. Peter mentioned directly; the rest obliquely                118
      4. Peter answers for all the Apostles                          119
      5. Luke records Peter's actions and speeches in full.
      6. The first part of the Acts may be called the
         history of Peter                                            120

  I. Particular proof--Election of a new Apostle                     122

  S. Chrysostome's comment on this                                   124

  Peter's conduct in defending the rest on the day of Pentecost      125

  Third and fourth speech of Peter.--Summary of the first
  four chapters                                                      128

  II. Proof from junction of authoritative teaching and miracles     129

  Resemblance between Peter's miracles and Christ's                  131

  Peter the chief figure among the Apostles as Christ before         133

  III. Peter presides over the different steps in propagating
  the Church                                                         134

  Peter's part in the conversion of Samaria                          135

  IV. Peter receiving the Gentiles in the person of Cornelius        137

  Things to be noted in this reception concerning Peter.--Peter
  murmured against by some of the circumcision                       142

  S. Chrysostome and S. Gregory upon his conduct                     143

  V. S. Peter exercising supreme judicial power over Ananias         144

  VI. S. Peter exercising supreme visitatorial power                 145

  VII. S. Peter's supreme legislative authority in council           147

  The consent and joint action of others do not impugn the
  supremacy                                                          148

  Tertullian's testimony as to his authority here, and that of
  S. Jerome and Theodoret                                            150

  VIII. Contrast between the mode in which the imprisonment of
  Peter, and that of James and Paul is mentioned                     151

  Summary of the testimony to Peter in the Acts                      153

  His Primacy magisterial, judicial, and legislative.--Its
  institution compared with its exercise                             154

  No opposition offered to it                                        155

  The mystical headship contrasted with the visible                  157



  Detailed mention of the Primacy not to be expected in S. Paul's
  Epistles: but an incidental one occurs often                       159

  Four notices of Peter in 1 Ep. to Cor.                             160

  Paul's visit to Peter Gal. i. 16                                   162

  Theodoret, Chrysostome, Tertullian, Mar. Victorinus,
  Ambrosiaster, S. Jerome, S. Thomas Cant. on this passage           163

  Paul's second visit.--Parallel between Peter with James and John
  on the one hand, and Paul with Barnabas and Titus on the other     165

  The censure of Peter by Paul, Gal. ii.                             169

  S. Chrysostome's and S. Jerome's remarks                           170

  Misuse of this passage by ancient and modern heretics              171

  Contrast of the three ancient interpretations with those of
  modern heretics                                                    172

  Fundamental opposition between the Fathers and the Reformers       176



  The person of the God-man the principle of headship
  in the Church                                                      178

  Testimony of the Fathers to this                                   179

  Fourfold unity resulting from this headship                        181

  First unity of mystical influx                                     182

  The second unity of charity, whose efficient principle is the
  Holy Spirit.--Third unity of faith, whose efficient principle
  is the Holy Spirit acting through the visible hierarchy            183

  Set forth by S. Paul also                                          185

  Headship of mystical influx does not obviate the creation of an
  external hierarchy                                                 188

  Fourth unity of visible headship.--This the root and efficient
  principle of the visible hierarchy                                 190

  The one body is complete                                           192

  The unity of a college not sufficient to express our Lord's
  personal unity                                                     193

  Positive teaching corresponds to the inherent notion of
  the Church                                                         194

  The Father in the holy Trinity what Peter's see is in the
  Church                                                             195

  Summary of this fourfold unity                                     196

  Importance of S. Peter's office hence resulting                    197



  Points in question, _generally_, inequality in the Apostolic
  College: _specially_, the appointment of one over the rest;
  resolution of these tried by four examinations:--1. Into the words
  and acts of Christ; which relate to the Apostles.--2. Into those
  which seem to mark the institution of a singular authority.--3. Into
  the mode of writing used by the evangelists.--4. Into the
  history of the rising Church.--A concurrence of these four
  points would prove the two questions                               200

  The analysis of what has been written shows this concurrence       201

  Twelve arguments from what has been written, proving the
  inequality of the Apostolic college, and Peter's Primacy           203

  What is the force and nature of the Primacy.--Six proofs
  establishing this to consist in superior jurisdiction              209

  Enquiry into the end and purpose of the Primacy: for the
  knowledge of the intention and purpose equivalent at least to
  a _negative_ rule, ascertaining what _must_ be given to it         212

  Three classes of reasons, typical, analogical, and real,
  ascertain for us this purpose.--1. Typical. Parallel of Peter
  with Abraham and its results                                       213

  Parallel of Peter with Judah and its results                       214

  ii. Analogical. Analogy of body, house, kingdom, city, and fold,
  and its results.--And of universal, and each particular Church on
  one hand, and Primate and bishops on the other                     217

  iii. Real, whether educed from texts containing the institution
  of the Primacy, or from the inherent properties of the Church.
      1. Educed from texts                                           219
      2. Educed from properties of the Church; _first_, its
      _identity_; _secondly_, its _unity_; _thirdly_, its
      _catholicity_; scriptural setting forth of unity               220

  Further illustration from Protestant opinions of the Church's

  A. First, that of Anglicans, of unity in particular Churches,
  but not in the universal Church, represented by Dodwell            222

  B. Second opinion, set forth by Vitringa, of distinction between
  the necessity of internal and that of external unity               225

  C. Third opinion, of agreement in fundamentals                     232

  Two causes of this being held, one theoretical, the other
  practical.--The former stated                                      233

  The practical cause                                                234

  Reasons educed, _thirdly_, from the _Catholicity_ of the
  Church, with which the Primacy is bound up.--Catholicity has
  two parts, one _material_ and one _formal_                         236

  The _material_ part, amplitude and extension.--The _formal_
  part, not only negative, but affirmative.--_Negative_, as
  expelling from the one true Church all heretics and schismatics:
  testimonies to it                                                  237

  _Affirmative_, at making a coherent body with members and
  articulations                                                      238

  Testimonies to the _mode_ of this coherence, in Irenæus,
  Cyprian, and Tertullian, and the other Fathers, summed up
  in S. Leo                                                          239

  Hence answers to the question whether the doctrine of
  S. Peter's Primacy is contained in the creed.--It is involved
  in one Catholic Church                                             243



  Different sorts of proof.--1. The principal here used, and the
  subsidiary.--Their joint force                                     246

  Hence, I. The nature of the answer required to it.--2. The
  proof, if unanswered, demonstrates the Primacy to be revealed      247

  3. Enquiry into the _certitude_ of the proof used                  248

  I. Force of the proof _in itself_ and _absolutely_.--Two
  conditions requisite, and here found, authenticity of the
  documents, and clearness of their evidence.--Number
  and harmony of scriptural testimonies to the Primacy               249

  The parallel of Julius Cæsar                                       250

  Collateral proof, supporting that of the holy Scriptures, so
  that the whole consists in the harmony of these four:--1.
  Scriptural documents.--2. Ancient witnesses.--3. Analogy.--4.
  Facts of Christian history, in fourteen distinct classes           251

  Prodigious force of this compound proof                            256

  No counter religious system producible by Greek, Anglican,
  or pure Protestant, but mere negation and objection                257

  II. Force of the proof _comparatively_ with other doctrines:
  comparison with the texts on which Anglicans, Lutherans,
  and Calvinists severally rely                                      259

  Retort that all but Catholics are opposed to our interpretation;
  answer, that from Catholics alone we are to gather the truth       260

  Yet all protestants not agreed in opposing our interpretation
  and reasons why their opposition is of little moment               261

  Compare, likewise, opposition to the Church in the fourth,
  fifth, and sixth centuries                                         264

  And again the conduct of Lutherans and Anglicans in maintaining
  their own distinctive texts.--But what, then, are the true
  criteria of documentary evidence? They are four:--

  Internal    {and immediate     {4. Verbal.
              {                  {2. Real.
              {and remote         3. Analogical.
  External                        4. Agreement of witnesses          265

  1. Comparison carried through _verbal_ criterion, between the
  texts alleged by us, and those of Lutherans, Anglicans,
  and Calvinists                                                     266

  2. And through the _real_ criterion, or that of the subject
  matter, greater in the proofs for Peter's prerogatives than in
  those for the real presence, or the Divinity of Christ, on
  account of the difficulty of grasping the object in the
  latter cases                                                       267

  As to the superiority of bishops over presbyters, the proof
  severed from that of the Primacy sinks into nothing: considered
  with it, it is of the same character, but weaker                   268

  Accordingly, the criterion from the subject matter is
  stronger for Peter's Primacy, than for the superiority of
  bishops over presbyters, for the real presence, and for the
  Divinity of Christ.--Sum of both these criteria, verbal and
  real, in favour of Peter's Primacy, over these three doctrines     270

  Appeal hence arising to Lutherans, Anglicans, and
  Calvinists.--Comparison with the inferior evidence for other
  received doctrines                                                 271

  3. The third _criterion_ of analogy: force of this in favour
  of Peter's Primacy from three heads:--1. The divine institution
  of bishops.--2. The unity of the Church.--3. The Catholicity
  of the Church                                                      272

  4. Fourth criterion of witnesses.--Immense force of this
  criterion, both as stated by the fathers, and shewn by
  Protestants in their own conduct                                   274

  Witnesses unanimous in favour of the Primacy                       277




In Holy Scripture.

       *       *       *       *       *



Our Lord tells us that He came upon earth to "finish a work;" and He
likewise tells us what that work was, the setting up a living
society of men, who should dwell in Him and He in them; on whom His
Spirit should rest, with whom His presence should abide, until the
consummation of all things. For, the evening before His passion,
"lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said: Father, the hour is come. *
* * I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work
which Thou gavest Me to do. * * I have manifested Thy name to the
men whom Thou hast given Me out of the world. Thine they were, and
to Me Thou gavest them; and they have kept Thy word. * Holy Father,
keep them in Thy name, whom Thou has given Me; that they may be one,
as We also are. While I was with them I kept them in Thy name.--And
now I come to Thee.--I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of
the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from evil. * * As Thou
hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
And for them do I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified
in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for those also who
through their word shall believe in Me; that they all may be one, as
Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us;
that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory
which Thou hast given to Me, I have given to them, that they may be
one, as We also are one. I in them, and Thou in Me; that they may be
made perfect in one; and the world may know that Thou hast sent Me,
and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me. * * And I have made known
Thy name to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith
Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."[1]

In these terms the Eternal Word condescends to declare to us that
the fruit of His Incarnation, the "finished work" which His Father
had given Him to do, was the establishment of a society whose unity
in "truth" and "love" should be so perfect, that He exemplifies it
by the indwelling in each other of the Divine Persons; which should
be perpetual and visible for ever, so that the world by it and in it
should recognise His own mission, and believe in the Sender; and
that the dowry of this society, thus perpetually visible, should be
the equally perpetual possession of truth--the revelation of God's
will--and of love, which is conformity to it. And He based these
unexampled promises on no less a guarantee than the Almighty Power
and ineffable Goodness of His Father, witnessed by His own dwelling
amongst us in our flesh.

Elsewhere He termed this society His Church, declared that He
would [2]"build it on a rock, and that the gates of hell should not
prevail against it."

He told those whom He had set over it to go forth in His name, and
to teach all nations whatsoever He had commanded them, adding the
solemn engagement on His own part, [3]"Behold, I am with you all
days, even to the consummation of the world."

His whole teaching is full of reference to it, setting forth its
nature with every variety of illustration, enfolding it, as it were,
with an exuberance of divine charity.

But two conceptions run through every illustration, and are involved
in its primary idea, nay, as this was the finished work of His
Incarnation, so are they found in His adorable Person, from which
His work springs. These conceptions are Unity and Visibility.

As the mystery of the Incarnation consists in the union of the
divine and human natures, in one Person, and in the assumption of a
body, that is, matter, by the one uncreated, incomprehensible, and
invisible Being, whereby He becomes visible, so Unity and Visibility
are the unfailing marks of His Church, and enter into every image of
it, in such a manner that without them the image loses its point and

Accordingly He proclaims the Church which He was founding to be "the
Kingdom of God," and "the Kingdom of Heaven," thus bringing before
us the conceptions of order, government, power, headship on the one
hand, dependence on the other, and a host of mutual relations
between the Sovereign and the people, significantly remarking that
"a kingdom which is divided against itself must fall." Now, a
kingdom without unity is a contradiction in terms, and a kingdom of
God on earth, which cannot be seen, would be for spirits and not for

So He calls it a [4]"city seated on a mountain," which "cannot be
hid," answering to His prophet's words, "the city of the great
King," "His rest, and His habitation for ever." Here again are
embodied the notions of order, government, conspicuous majesty,
impregnable strength.

Thus He inspires His apostle to call it[ 5]"the house of God, the
pillar and ground of the truth." The house must have its head, the
family their father; the knowledge of that father's will is the
truth which rests upon the family as its support and pillar. Outside
of the family that knowledge may be lost, together with the will to
obey the father and to love him; but within it is a living
tradition, "familiar to the ear as household words." As long as the
Master and the Father is there, a perpetual light from His face is
there too upon His children and His servants. Divide the house, or
corrupt its internal life, and the idea of the house is destroyed;
while an invisible house is an absurdity.

Again, the Lord, calling Himself [6]"the Good Shepherd, who giveth
His life for the sheep," terms His Church the sheepfold, and
declares that as there is one shepherd, so there must be one fold.

But, rising yet in nearness to the Divine Person of the Word
Incarnate, from whose side sleeping on the cross she is moulded, the
Church is called His Spouse, as united to Him in eternal wedlock,
[7]"a great Sacrament," or mystery; and even yet more, His Body, as
supported by the continual influx of her Head; and all her members
are called "flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bones."

It is evident, then, that in these promises and illustrations are
set forth, as belonging to their object, a visible unity, a
perpetual possession and maintenance of the truth, and the closest
union with God, founded upon a most supernatural indwelling of the
Godhead in a society of men on earth, the founding of which was the
"finished work" of God the Word Incarnate. _Were these promises to
fail in any respect_, which is utterly impossible, for while heaven
and earth shall pass away, no word of their Maker can pass away--_it
is plain that our ground for trusting in any promises of Holy Writ
whatsoever would be demolished_. The whole Christian revelation
rests on the imperishable life of the Church; because the corruption
or division of the Church would falsify the written records of our
faith, in which, after the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, and the
Godhead of our Lord, no truth is so deeply embedded as the perpetual
existence and office of the Church.

We have seen the idea of King, Lord, Master, Father, Shepherd,
Husband, and Head, running through the delineation of the Church.
And no society is complete without its ruler. Such was our Lord,
while on earth--the _visible_ ruler of a _visible_ Church. "While I
was with them I kept them in Thy name." He went forth from His
baptism to win souls. The water became wine in His presence. He bade
men follow Him, and they followed. Power went forth from Him, and
healed diseases. Grace flowed from His lips and conquered hearts. An
innumerable multitude surrounded Him, of all ages and conditions.
[8]"And going up into a mountain He called unto Him whom He would
Himself; and they came to Him. And He made that twelve should be
with Him, and that He might send them to preach."

Here, then, the true Israel chooses the future princes of His house,
who should sit with Him on thrones, judging the twelve tribes.
Already, while yet with His Church, He is preparing for her future
government, when His visible presence shall be taken from her. In
three years all should be accomplished, but when [9]"the covenant
should have been confirmed with many in one week, and in the half
of the week the victim and the sacrifice should fail;" when His
Apostles should see Him no longer; was any one ordained to take that
all-important place of supreme ruler which He had filled? For upon
earth He had been in two relations to His Church, her Founder, and
her Ruler. The former office belonged to His single Person; in its
nature it could not pass to another; the work was finished once and
for ever. But the latter office was, in its nature likewise,
perpetual. How, then, should the charge of visible ruler, as man
among men, be executed, when His Person was withdrawn, when He
ascended up on high, when all power in heaven and earth was indeed
given into His hands, and so the headship of spiritual influence and
providential care; but when, nevertheless, that sacred Body was
withdrawn into the tabernacle of God, and the Bridegroom was taken
away for a time, and the voice and visible presence [10]"what they
had seen, and heard, and handled, of the word of life," "was with
them and kept them" no longer. Should His Church, which had been
under one visible ruler from the beginning, now have her government
changed? Or had He marked out any one among the Twelve to succeed to
His own office of visible headship, and to be [11]"the greater," and
"the ruler" among His brethren. His own special representative and

To answer this question, we must carefully observe and distinguish
what is said and what is given to the Apostles _in common_, and what
to any one of their number _in particular_; the former will instruct
us as to their equality, the latter as to the pre-eminence which any
one enjoyed over the rest, and in what it consisted.

Just, then, as at a certain period of His ministry, our Lord, out
of the multitude who followed Him, selected twelve, to be His
special attendants upon earth, and, when He should be taken up, to
be the heralds of His Gospel among all nations, so out of the twelve
He from the beginning distinguished one, marked him out for a
peculiar and singular office, connected him with Himself in a
special manner, and after having through the whole of His ministry
given him tokens and intimations of his future destination, at last
expressly nominated him to take His own place, and preside among his
brethren. His dealing with this Apostle forms one connected whole,
in which there is nothing abrupt or inharmonious, out of keeping, or
opposed to what He said to others. What is at first obscurely
intimated is afterwards expressly promised, again in fresh terms
corroborated, and at last, in yet other language, but of the like
force, most significantly [12]conveyed, while it is attested by a
number of incidental notices scattered through the whole Gospel
history. Thus [13]it becomes necessary to consider each particular,
as well as the whole sum of things said, _proper_ and _peculiar_ to
this Apostle; to weigh first their _separate_ and then their _joint_
force, and only at last to form an united judgment upon all.

We are searching into the will of the Divine Founder of our faith,
which He has not only communicated to His Church in a living
tradition, but in this case likewise ordered to be set forth in
authentic written documents. These alone we are here considering,
and the point in question is whether He decreed that all the Twelve
should share equally in that divine mission and authority which He
had received from the Father, or whether while bestowing on them all
very high and distinctive powers, He yet appointed one, namely
Simon, the son of Jonas, to preside over the rest in His own place.
We have, then, to consider all in these documents which is said
peculiar to such apostle, pointing out singular gifts and
prerogatives, and carrying with it special authority of government.
And we must remember that where proofs are numerous and complex,
some which in themselves are only probable and accessory, yet have
their force on the ultimate result. But this result must be drawn
from a general view of the whole, and will collect in one the sum of
proof both probable and certain.

Again, where many various causes concur, some more and some less, to
produce a certain effect, the force of such effect is the force of
all these causes put together, not of each by itself alone. Or where
many witnesses are examined, whose evidence differs in value,
although the testimony of some be in itself decisive, yet the
verdict must be given after a consideration and review of all.

Now the first mention which we have of the Apostle Simon is full of
signification. Our Lord had only just begun His ministry; he had
been lately baptized, and as yet had called no disciples. But two of
John the Baptist's disciples hearing their master name Jesus "the
Lamb of God," follow Him, are kindly received by Him, and one of
them being Andrew, Simon's brother, finds Simon, and says to
him, [14]"we have found the Messias. And he brought him to Jesus.
And Jesus looking on him said, Thou art Simon the son of Jonas; thou
shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter:" as if He would
say, by birth thou art Simon, son of John; but another and a higher
lot is in store for thee. I will give thee another name which thou
shalt bear, a name in itself signifying the place which thou shalt
hold in my Church. Thou shalt be called, and thou shalt be, the

For why, when a vast multitude of our Lord's words and actions have
been omitted, was this recorded for us, save that a deep meaning lay
in it? Or what could that meaning be when our Lord, for the first
time looking on Peter, promised to him and to him alone, a new name,
and that a name given in prophecy to Himself, a name declaring by
its very sound that he should be laid by the builder, as a
foundation of the structure about to be raised? So in the fourth
century S. Chrysostome comments on the text, calling him "the
foundation of the Church, he that was really Peter" (the Rock) "both
in name and in deed:"[15] and a little after S. Cyril, of
Alexandria, "with allusion to the rock He transferred His name to
Peter, for upon him He was about to found His Church." The Creator
of the world does not give a name for nothing. His word is with
power, and does what it expresses. Of old, "He spake and they were
made; He commanded and they were created." Now, too, He speaks, at
the first dawn of His great spiritual restoration. When as yet
nothing has been done, and not a stone of the divine building
reared, He who determines the end from the beginning looks upon what
seemed a simple fisherman, and at first beholding him, He takes
Simon, the son of Jonas, out of the roll of common men; He marks him
for a future design; He wraps him in a prophetic title; He
associates him with His own immovable power. Of Himself it had been
said,[16] "Behold I will lay a stone in the foundation of Sion, a
tried stone, a corner stone, a precious stone, founded on the
foundation. He that believeth, let him not hasten." And again, "the
stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of
the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful in our
eyes." And again, "A stone was cut out of a mountain without hands;
and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and
clay, and broke them in pieces. But the stone that struck the statue
became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." And again,
"Behold the stone that I have laid before Jesus: upon one stone
there are seven eyes; behold I will grave the graving thereof, saith
the Lord of Hosts; and I will take away the iniquity of that land in
one day." In reference to which S. Paul said of Christians, that
they are "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the
building, being framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in
the Lord." It is plain, then, that our Lord "both by the Old and New
Testament,[17] is called a stone."

But this which He had of Himself, and by virtue of His own divine
power, as the Word of God, He would communicate in a degree, and by
dependence on Himself, to another. This is no modern interpretation,
but the very words of St. Ambrose, "Great is the grace of Christ,
who bestowed almost all His own names on His disciples. I, said He,
am the light of the world, and yet He granted to His disciples the
very name in which He exulted, by the words, Ye are the light of the
world. Christ is the Rock, but yet He did not deny the grace of this
name to His disciple, that he should be Peter, because he has from
the Rock firm constancy, immovable faith."[18]

In the third century, Origen, on this very text, observes: "He said
he should be called Peter, by allusion to the Rock, which is Christ,
that as a man from wisdom is termed wise, and from holiness holy, so
too Peter from the Rock." And in the fifth, S. Leo paraphrases the
name thus: "While I am the inviolable Rock, the Corner-stone, who
make both one, the foundation beside which no one can lay another;
yet thou also art the rock, because by My virtue thou art
established, so as to enjoy by participation the properties which
are peculiar to Me."[19]

Here, then, we have three facts: i. That our Lord having twelve
Apostles whom He chose, loved, and honoured, above all His other
disciples, yet promised to one[20] only a new name; and, ii., this a
name in the highest degree significative, and most deeply
prophetical of a particular office; and, iii., a name peculiar to
Himself, as the immovable foundation of the Church. This happened in
the first year of His ministry, before, as it would appear, either
Peter or any other apostle was called.

The promise thus emphatically made to Simon, "Thou shalt be called
the Rock," our Lord fulfilled in the second year of His ministry,
when He distinguished the twelve Apostles from the rest of His
disciples, giving them authority to teach, and power to heal
sicknesses and to cast out devils. Then, says S. Mark "to[21] Simon
He gave the name of Peter;" and S. Matthew, "the names of the Twelve
Apostles are these; the first, Simon, who is called Peter;" and S.
Luke, "Simon whom also He named Peter." And by this name He marked
Him out from amongst all his brethren, and united him to Himself.
"He changes, too," says Tertullian, "Peter's name from Simon,
because also as Creator He altered the names of Abraham, Sara, and
Oshua, calling the last Jesus, and adding syllables to the others,
but why did He call him Peter? If for the strength of his faith,
many solid substances would lend him a name from themselves. Or was
it because Christ is both the Rock and the Stone? Since we read that
He is set for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. I omit the
rest. And so it was His pleasure to communicate to the dearest of
His disciples, in a peculiar manner, a name drawn from the figures
of Himself, I imagine, as being nearer than one drawn from figures
not of Himself."[22]

It is, then, setting a seal on His former acts, drawing out and
corroborating their meaning, that He once more, and in the most
emphatic way of all, recurs to this name, attaching to it the most
signal promises, and establishing its prophetic power. In the third
year of His ministry our Lord "came into the quarters of Cesarea
Philippi: and He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that
the Son of Man is? But they said, Some John the Baptist, and others
Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to
them, But whom say ye that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, Thou
art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to
him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar Jonas, because flesh and blood hath
not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say
to thee that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my
Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I
will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever
thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in

When we reflect that the first act of our Lord to Peter was to look
upon him, and to promise him this name, a token of His omnipotence
to Simon yet knowing him not, as that seeing him under the fig-tree
was to Nathaniel of His omniscience; and that when He chose His
twelve apostles, it is said markedly "to Simon He gave the name of
Peter," the force of His reply cannot well be exceeded. The promise
of our Lord answers part by part to the confession of His apostle.
The one says: "Thou art the Christ," that is, the anointed one; the
other, "Thou art Peter," that is, the Rock, the name which I gave
thee myself: my own title with which I invested thee. The one adds,
"the Son of the living God;" the other, "And upon this rock I will
build my Church," that is, as it is true what thou confessest, that
I am "the Son of the living God," so my power as such shall be shown
in building my Church upon thee whom I have long named the Rock,
"and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Not only this,
but I will unfold to thee the full meaning of thy name, and declare
the gifts which accompany it. "And[23] I will give to thee the keys
of the kingdom of heaven." That is, "The root and the offspring of
David," "the holy one and the true one, He that hath the key of
David; He that openeth and no man shutteth; shutteth and no man
openeth;" as He gave to thee to share His name of the Rock, so He
shall give to thee to bear in His name His own symbol of supreme
dominion, the key which opens or shuts the true city of David; all
ages shall own thee, all nations acknowledge thee, as _The Bearer of
the Keys_; as long as my Church shall last, against which the gates
of hell shall not prevail, thy office shall last too; as long as
there are souls to be saved, they shall pass by thy ministry into
the gate of the Church. And further, as long as there need in my
spiritual kingdom laws to be promulgated, precepts issued, sins
forgiven, "whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound
also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall
be loosed also in heaven."

Who, indeed, can adequately express the gifts which the world's
Creator and Redeemer here promises to His favoured servant? Thus in
the fourth century S. Chrysostome labours to set them forth. "See
how He raises Peter to a higher opinion of Himself; and reveals and
shews Himself to be the Son of God by these two promises. For what
belongs to God alone, to loose sins, and to render the Church
immovable in such an assault of waves, and to make a fisherman more
solid than any rock, when the whole world was at war with him, these
are what He promises to give him; as the Father addressing Jeremias,
said: 'I have made thee an iron pillar and a wall,' but him to one
nation, whereas the other to the whole world. Willingly would I ask
those who wish to diminish the dignity of the Son, which are the
greatest gifts, those which the Father gave to Peter, or those which
the Son. For the Father bestowed on Peter the revelation of the Son;
but the Son disseminated that of the Father and of Himself through
the whole world; and _put into the hands of a mortal man power over
all things in heaven, when He gave the keys to him_ who extended the
Church through the whole world, and showed it to be firmer than the
heaven."[24] And not many years later S. Leo says, "That which the
Truth ordered remains; and blessed Peter persisting in that strength
of the rock which he received, has not deserted the guidance, once
undertaken, of the Church. For thus was he set before the rest, that
while he is called the Rock, while he is declared to be the
foundation, while he is appointed the door-keeper of the kingdom of
heaven, while he is advanced to be the judge of what shall be bound
and what loosed, with the condition that his sentence shall be
ratified even in heaven, _we might learn through the very mysteries
of the names given to him, how he was associated with Christ_."[25]
This association passed, indeed, into the very mind of the Church,
for among all the titles given by fathers and councils and liturgies
to Peter, and expressing his prerogatives, the one contained in this
name is the most frequent. Thus he is termed, [26]"the rock of the
Church," [27]"the rock of the Church that was to be built,"
[28]"underlying the building of the Church," [29]"receiving on
himself the building of the Church," [30]"the immovable rock,"
[31]"the rock which the proud gates of hell prevail not against,"
[32]"the most solid rock," [33]"he to whom the Lord granted the
participation of His own title, the rock," [34]"the foundation
second from Christ," [35]"the great foundation of the Church,"
[36]"the foundation and basis," [37]"founding the Church by his
firmness," [38]"the support of the Church," [39]"the Apostle in whom
is the Church's support," [40]"the support of the faith," [41]"the
pillar of the Church," and by an authority sufficient alone to
terminate all controversy, the great Council of Chalcedon,[42] "the
rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the basis of the
orthodox faith."[43]

Thus, then, we have the name of Peter first promised, next
conferred, then explained. And further light will be shed on this by
the consideration of the purpose for which names in Holy Writ were
bestowed by divine command on individuals, or their former names

Now[44] of names imposed in Scripture there would seem to be three
classes. The first and most common are _commemorative_, and are for
the purpose of recording and handing down to posterity remarkable
facts. Such are Peleg, "because in his days the earth was
_divided_;" Isaac, from the _laughter_ of his father and mother;
Issachar, a _reward_; Manasseh, "God hath made me to _forget_ my
labours;" Ephraim, "God hath made me to _grow_;"[45] and a multitude
of others.

The second class may be termed _significative_, being imposed to
distinguish their bearers from others by some quality. Such are
Jacob, the supplanter; Esau; Edom, the red; Moses, the taken or
saved; Maccabæus; Boanerges.[46]

The third and highest class are _prophetic_, and as such evidently
can be imposed by God alone, who foresees the future. They are
two-fold: i. Those which foresignify events concerning not so much
their bearers as others; such are Shear-jashub, "the remnant shall
return;" Jezrael "I will visit;" Lo-ruhamah, "not pitied;" Lo-ammi,
"not my people." ii. Those which point out the office and destiny
of their bearers; such as Noah, rest; Israel, a prince before God;
Joshua, Saviour; Sarah, princess; John, in whom there is grace; and,
after the divine name of Jesus, "who saves His people from their
sins,"[47] Abraham, and Cephas, or Peter, which two neither
commemorate a past event, nor signify a quality or ornament already
possessed, but are wholly prophetic, inasmuch as they shadow out the
dignity to which the leaders of the two covenants are divinely
marked out by the very imposition of their name.

For it will perhaps bring out the pre-eminence and superior
authority of Peter, if we consider the very close resemblance and
almost identity of the dispensation into which God entered with
Abraham, and that which Christ gave to Peter. But first we must
observe how the more remarkable things occurring in the New
Testament were foretold by types, images, parallelisms, and distinct
prophecies in the Old. How[48] both our Lord, the Evangelists, and
the Apostles, take pains to point out the close agreement between
the two covenants; how the ancient ecclesiastical writers do the
like in their contests with early heretics, or in recommending the
truth of the Christian faith either to Jew or Gentile. They
considered scarcely any proof of the Gospel superior to that which
might be drawn by grave and solid inference from the anticipation of
Christian truths in the old covenant. Now, among such truths, what
concerns Peter is surely of signal importance, as it affects the
whole judgment on the form of government which our Lord instituted
for His Church.

Again, it may be taken as an axiom that, as a similitude of causes
is inferred from a similitude of effects, so a resemblance of the
divine counsels may be inferred from a resemblance of exterior
manifestations. As effects are so many steps by which we rise to the
knowledge and discernment of causes, so divine manifestations are
tokens which unfold God's eternal decrees. Thus if the series of
dealings which constitute God's dispensation to Abraham be very much
like that other series in which the Scriptures of the New Testament
set forth the dispensation given to Peter, we may conclude, first,
that the two dispensations may be compared, and, secondly, that from
their resemblance, a resemblance in the divine purpose may be

First,[49] then, "God at sundry times, and in divers manners,
speaking to the Fathers" of that covenant of grace, into which He
had already entered with our first parents, said to Abram, "Go forth
out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy father's
house, and I will make of thee a great nation." But when in the last
days He began to fulfil that covenant, and to declare His will by
His Son, Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, "Follow me, and I will make
you to become fishers of men," and to Simon specially, "Fear not,
for henceforth thou shalt catch men."[50]

Abram hearkened to God calling him: "So Abram went out as the Lord
had commanded him;" and Simon as readily obeyed Christ's vocation:
"And immediately leaving their nets they followed Him."[51]

God rewarded Abraham's obedience by the promise of a new name:
"Neither shall thy name be called any more Abram, but thou shalt be
called Abraham." So Christ honoured Simon, saying, "Thou art Simon,
the son of Jonas, thou shalt be called Cephas."[52]

No sooner had God unfolded the dignity shadowed forth in the
promised name, and bestowed that dignity on Abraham, than He
required of him a signal instance of faith and love: "God tempted
Abraham, and said to him, Take thy son, thine only begotten, whom
thou lovest, and offer him for a holocaust." So Christ required of
Simon a proof of faith and of superior love before He either
unfolded the excellence of the promised name, or adorned him with
that excellency: "He saith to them, Whom say ye that I am?" "Simon,
son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?"[53]

And both were no less ready to show the fortitude of their faith and
love than they had been ready to follow the divine calling. For,
"Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the sword to sacrifice
his son;" and "Simon Peter answering, said, Thou art the Christ, the
Son of the living God;" and again, "Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I
love Thee."[54]

Then, as the bestowal of the new name was the reward of the
obedience with which each had followed his vocation, so God, moved
by their remarkable ensuing faith and charity, explained the dignity
contained in that name, and bestowed it when so explained. The
following refers to the explanation; "By myself have I sworn,
because thou hast done this thing," and "Because flesh and blood
hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I
say unto thee."

But as to the dignity bestowed, it should be remarked that it is
divine, and communicated to each with this resemblance: _First_,
that Abraham thereby becomes the source and parent of all the
faithful, and Peter their base and foundation; the one, the author
of a seed which should equal in number the stars of the heaven and
the sand of the sea; the other, the Rock of the Church, which should
embrace all nations, tribes, and languages. God says to Abraham,
"And multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven and
as the sand which is on the sea-shore." But Christ to Peter, "and
upon this rock I will build my Church." _Secondly_, the blessing
thus bestowed from above upon each was not one which should rest in
their single persons, but from them and through them should be
extended to the universal posterity and society of the faithful; so
that all who should believe, to the consummation of time, should
gain through them blessing, stability, and victory over the assault
of enemies and the gates of hell. The promise to Abraham is clear:
"thy seed shall possess the gate of their enemies, and in thy seed
shall all the nations of the earth be blessed:" nor less so to
Peter, "And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

But the high excellence of this dignity, embracing, as it does, the
whole company of the faithful, was presignified in the very meaning
of the name imposed. For of Abraham's name we read, "And thy name
shall be Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made thee."
Exactly resembling is what is said of Peter's appellation, "Thou art
Peter, the Rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church."

Nay, we may put in parallel columns the two promises, thus--

    1. Thy name shall be             1. Thou art Peter,

    2. For a father of many          2. And upon this rock I
    nations have I made thee:        will build my Church.

And just as in the former, the second clause contains the reason of
the first, so in the latter likewise the two clauses cohere, as the
name and its explanation. Again, the dignity of the one is expressed
as that of the Father; of the other as that of the Rock. Further,
those alone can share the blessing of Abraham, who are born of his
spirit: and those alone the stability divinely granted to Peter, who
refuse by any violence, or at any cost, to be separated from him.

But Abraham was thus raised to be the friend of God, associated in
the divine Fathership, and made the teacher of posterity; and
therefore, as being such, God would show him His counsels, that
through him they might descend to his children. "And the Lord said,
Can I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? for I know that he
will command his children and his household after him to keep the
way of the Lord." In a precisely similar way, when God would call
the Gentiles to the light of the Gospel, He shewed it by a special
revelation to Peter alone: "There came upon him an ecstasy of mind;
and he saw the heaven opened; and this was done thrice." And the
reason of so preferring Peter was God's decree, that through him all
other Christians, even the Apostles themselves, might be informed,
and convinced. "You know that in former days God made choice among
us that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel
and believe." "And thou, when thou art converted, confirm thy

Finally, as God pronounces Abraham blest, so Christ pronounces
Peter; and as He made Abraham the source and fountain-head of
blessing and strength to all others, so no less did Christ make
Peter. Of the first we read, "I will bless thee, and will make thy
name great, and thou shalt be a blessing;" of the second, "Blessed
art thou, Simon Bar Jonah;--and upon this rock I will build My

In one word, the parallel is as follows between Abraham and Peter.
Both receive a remarkable call, and follow it; both are promised and
receive a new, and that a prophetical name; of both signal instances
of faith and love are required; both furnish these, and therefore do
not lose the increase of their reward; to Abraham his prophetical
name is explained, and to Peter likewise; Abraham understands his
destination to be the Father of all nations, and Peter that he is
made the Rock of the universal Church; Abraham is called blest, and
so Peter; to Abraham it is revealed that no one, save from him, and
through him, shall share the heavenly blessing; to Peter that all,
from him, and through him, shall gain strength and stability; it is
only through Abraham that his posterity can promise itself victory
over the enemy, and only through being built on Peter, the Rock,
that the Church will triumph over the gates of hell; in fine, if
Abraham, as the teacher of the faithful, is instructed in the divine
counsels with singular care, not less is shown to Peter, whom Christ
has made the doctor and teacher of all believers.

The gifts thus bestowed on Abraham and Peter are _peculiar_, for
they are read of no one else in the Holy Scriptures; they are not
only _gifts_, but a _reward_ for singular merit; and in their own
nature they cannot be _general_. As by them Abraham is put into a
relation of _Fathership_, so that all the faithful become his
children, so Peter being called and made the Rock and _Foundation_
of the Church, all its members have a dependence on him.

And if these gifts are _peculiar_, no less do they convey a singular
_dignity_ and _pre-eminence_. For it follows that, as S. Paul
says,[56] that all the faithful are children of Abraham, being heirs
not of his flesh, but of his spirit and faith; so no one is, or can
be, a part of the Church's building, who rests not on Peter as the
foundation. For the same God who said to Abraham, "Thy name shall no
longer be called Abram, but Abraham shall be thy name," said also to
Simon, "Thou shalt not be called Simon, but Cephas;" the same God
who said to the former, "In thee shall all families of the earth be
blessed," said to the latter, "Upon this Rock I will build my

What is the source of this pre-eminence in both? To both the same
objection may be made, and for both the same defence.

How should blessing and adoption be propagated from Abraham, as a
sort of head, into the whole body of the faithful? Because Abraham
is considered as joined with that mighty Seed his offspring, whence
_in chief_ and _primarily_ the salvation of all depends; because
Abraham is made by _participation_ partner of that dignity which
_naturally_ and _substantially_ belongs to the Seed that was to
spring from him. God Himself has told us this, and His Apostle S.
Paul explained it. For as we read that it was said to Abraham, "In
thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed," so God Himself has
told us that _in thee, by thee_, means _in, by thy seed_. Hence S.
Paul:[57] "To Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed. He
saith not, seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which
is Christ." So that the divine words, "In thee shall all nations of
the earth be blessed," give this meaning: "As thou shalt give flesh
to my only begotten Son whom I cherish in my bosom, whence He shall
be called at once 'the Son of God and the Son of Abraham,'[58] so He
makes thee a partner of His dignity and excellence, whence, if not
the source and origin, yet thou shalt be a broad stream of blessing
to be poured out on all nations."

Now just in the same manner is Peter the Rock of the Church, and the
cause next to Christ of that firmness with which the Church shall
remain impregnable to the end. For therefore is he the Rock and
Foundation of the Church, because he has been called into a sort of
unity with Him of whom it is said, "Behold I lay in Sion a chief
corner stone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on it shall not
be ashamed:" and in whom, as Paul explains, "the whole building
fitly framed together increaseth unto a holy temple in the
Lord."[59] Therefore is he the Church's Rock, because as he, by his
own confession, declared the Godhead of the Foundation in chief,
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," so from Him, who
is the chief and substantial Foundation, he received the gift of
being made partner in one and the same property: "And I too say unto
thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my
Church;" one with Me by communication of My office and charge, My
dignity and excellency. Hence the stability of Peter is that of
Christ, as the splendour of the ray is that of the sun; Peter's
dignity that of Christ, as the river's abundance is the abundance of
the fountain. Those who diminish Peter's dignity may well be charged
with violating the majesty of Christ; those who are hostile to
Peter, and divorced from him, stand in the like opposition to

Now this parallel is an answer[60] to those who object to Peter's
supereminence as the Foundation, that this dignity is entirely
divine, surpassing by an almost infinite degree the capacity of man.
For is not that a divine dignity which consists in the paternity of
all the faithful? Is not that prerogative beyond man's capacity by
which one becomes the author of a blessing diffused through all
nations? Yet no one denies that such a dignity and such a
prerogative were granted to Abraham. In divine endowments,
therefore, their _full_ and _natural possession_ must be carefully
distinguished from their _limited_ and _analogous participation_.
The one, as inherent, cannot fall to the creature's lot; the other,
as transferable, may be granted as God pleases. For what further
removed from man than the Godhead? Yet it is written, "I have said,
ye are Gods."[61]

Not weightier is the other objection, that the office of being the
Foundation is too important to be entrusted to human care. Was there
less difficulty in blessing being diffused from one man among all
nations? Rather we must look on man not as he is by, and of,
himself, apart from God, and left to his own weakness, but as
upborne by divine power, according to the promise, "Behold, I am
with you all days, until the consummation of the world." Who can
doubt that man, in union with God, may serve for a foundation, and
discharge those offices in which the unity of a structure consists?
It is confidently and constantly objected, that "other foundation no
man can lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."[62]
As if what has been laid by Christ Himself, and consists in the
virtue of Christ alone, can be thought other than Christ; or as if
it were unusual, or unscriptural, for things proper to Christ to be
participated by men. Therefore the chief difficulties against
Peter's pre-eminence, and character as the Foundation, seem to
spring from the mind failing to realise the supernatural order
instituted by God, and the perpetual presence of Christ watching
over His Church.

Thus it is no derogation to Abraham's being the Father of the
faithful, or to the hierarchy of the Church instituted by Christ
Himself, that our Lord says,[63] "Call none your father upon earth,
for one is your Father who is in heaven;" inasmuch as Scripture
abundantly proves that divine gifts are richly conferred upon men.
What more divine than the Holy Spirit? Yet it is written,[64] "And I
will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that
He may abide with you for ever." What a higher privilege than filial
adoption? Yet it is said, [65]"Ye have received the spirit of filial
adoption, by which we cry, Abba Father." What a greater treasure
than co-inheritance with Christ? Yet we read, [66]"but if children,
also heirs: heirs of God, but joint heirs with Christ." What higher
than the vision of God? Yet S. Paul bears witness, [67]"We see now
through a glass darkly, but then face to face." What more wonderful
than the power of remitting sins? Yet this very power is granted to
the Apostles, [68]"Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven
them." What further from human weakness than the power of working
miracles? Yet Christ establishes this, [69]"Amen, amen, I say unto
you, he that believeth on Me, the works which I do, shall he do
also, and greater works than these shall he do." Indeed, the
participation and communion of heavenly gifts have the closest
coherence with that supernatural order, which God in creating man
chose, and to which He called fallen man back through His only
begotten Son; with that dispensation of Christ by which He loved the
Apostles as He Himself was loved by the Father, by which He called
them, [70]"not servants, but friends," and gave them that glory
which He had Himself received from the Father. And the tone of mind
which denies Peter's prerogative as the Foundation of the Church,
under pretence that it is an usurpation of divine power, tends to
deny some one or all of the privileges just cited, and, as a fact,
does deny some of them. It is [71]wonderful to see how only common
and vulgar things are discerned by modern eyes, where the Fathers
saw celestial and divine gifts. Those without the Church have fallen
away as well from the several parts and privileges, from what may be
called the standing order, of the Incarnation, as from its final
purpose and scope; and it is much if they would not charge with
blasphemy that glorious saying put forth by the greatest of the
Eastern, as by the greatest of the Western Fathers, "that God became
man, in order that man might become God."[72]

Was, then, S. Chrysostome wrong when he said that our Lord, in that
passage of Matthew, showed a power equal to God the Father by the
gifts which He bestowed on a poor fisherman? "He who gave to him the
keys of the heavens, and made him Lord of such power, and needed not
prayer for this, for He did not then say, I prayed, but, with
authority, I will build my Church, and I will give to thee the keys
of heaven."[73] Was he wrong when he called him "the chosen of the
Apostles, the mouth-piece of the disciples, the head of the band,
the ruler over the brethren?"[74] Or where he saw these prerogatives
in the very name of Peter, observing, "When I say Peter, I mean the
impregnable rock, the immovable foundation, the great apostle, the
first of the disciples?"[75]

To sum up, then, what has been hitherto said, we have advanced so
far as this; first the promise, and then the bestowal of a new name,
expressing a singular pre-eminence, and in its _proper_ sense
befitting Christ alone, have distinguished Simon from the rest of
the apostles. But much more the power signified by that name, and
explained by the Lord Himself, carries far higher Peter's privilege,
and indicates him to be the possessor of authority over the
Apostles. For if Simon is the Rock of the Church, and if the
property of Foundation, on which the structure of the Church rests,
belongs to him immediately after Christ, and analogously with
Christ, there arises this relation between Christ and Simon, that as
He is first, and chiefly, and by inherent power, so Simon is
secondarily, by participation and analogy, that which underlies,
holds together, and supports the Apostles and the whole fabric of
the Church.

Now such a relation carries with it not merely precedency of honour,
but superior authority. The strength of the Apostles lay in their
union with Christ, and subordination to Him. The like necessity of
adhering to Peter is expressed in his new name. Take away that
subordination, and you destroy the very image by which the Lord
chose to express Peter's dignity; and you remove, likewise, Peter's
participation in that property which the Lord communicated to him in
the name of the Rock. For if the Apostles needed not to be joined
with him, he had no title to be called the Foundation; and if he had
no coactive power over the Apostles, he did not share the property
by which Christ is the Rock and Foundation. Thus the name, and the
dignity expressed by the name, show Peter to have been singly
invested by the Lord with both honour and power superior to all the


[1] John xvii.

[2] Matt. xvi. 18.

[3] Matt. xxviii. 19, 20.

[4] Matt. v. 14; Psalm xlvii. 2; cxxxi. 13, 14.

[5] 1 Tim. iii. 15.

[6] John x. 11-16.

[7] Eph. v. 32, 30.

[8] Mark iii. 13.

[9] Dan. ix. 26.

[10] 1 John i. 1.

[11] Luke xxii. 26.

[12] Vid. John i. 42; Mark iii. 16; Matt. xvi. 18; Luke xxii. 32;
John xxi. 15.

[13] Passaglia, p. 35-7.

[14] John i. 35-42.

[15] S. Chrysostome on the text. S. Cyril on John i. 42.

[16] Isai. xxviii. 16; Ps. cxvii. 22; Dan. ii. 35; Zach. iii. 9;
Eph. ii. 20.

[17] Theodoret on Dan. ii. 34.

[18] Ambrose on Luke, Lib. 6, n. 97.

[19] Serm. iv. 2.

[20] For the name Boanerges, which in one place is given to the two
sons of Zebedy, is in the first place a joint name; secondly, it is
nowhere else referred to, and does not take the place of their
birth-names; thirdly, it indicates not an official dignity, but an
inward disposition. We cannot doubt that such a name bestowed on the
two brothers was a mark of great distinction, but, for the above
reasons, it cannot come into competition with the name of Peter. See
Passaglia, p. 44, n. 38.

[21] Mark iii. 14; Matt. x. 1; Luke vi. 14.

[22] Cont. Marcion. L. 4, c. 13.

[23] Apoc. xxii. 16; iii. 7.

[24] S. Chris. on Matt. 16, Hom. 54.

[25] S. Leo, Serm. 3 on his anniversary.

[26] Hilary of Poitiers on Matt. xv. n. 6; on Ps. cxxxi. n. 4; on
the Trinity, L. 6, n. 20. Gregory Naz. Orat. 26, p. 453. Ambrose in
his first hymn, referred to also by Augustine, Retract. lib. 1, c.
21, and Epiph. in ancor. n. 9.

[27] Tertullian de monogam. c. 8. Origen on Ps. 1, quoted by
Eusebius, Hist. I. 6, c. 25. Cyprian, Ep. 71, and Firmilian, among
Cyprian's letters, 75.

[28] Basil cont. Eunom. lib. 2, n. 4. Zeno. lib. 2, tract. 13, n. 2.

[29] By the same.

[30] Epiphan. hær. 59, n. 7.

[31] August. in Ps. cont. par. Donati. Leo, serm. 98.

[32] Theodoret, ep. 77.

[33] Maximus of Turin, serm. pro natali Petri et Pauli.

[34] Greg. Nazian. in hom. archieratico inserta.

[35] Origen on Exod. hom. 5, n. 4.

[36] Gallican sacramentary, edited by Mabillon, T. I. Mus. Ital. p.
343. Synod of Ephesus, act. 3.

[37] Peter Chrysologus, serm. 154.

[38] Ambrose on Virginity, c. 16.

[39] Ambrose on Luke, lib. 4, n. 70.

[40] Chrysostome, hom. on debtor of ten thousand talents, Tom. 3, p.

[41] Philip, legate of the Apostolic See, in Act. 3 of Council of

[42] Council of Chalcedon, act. 3. in deposing Dioscorus.

[43] For the above references see Passaglia, p. 400.

[44] Vid. Passaglia, p. 54, note 47.

[45] Gen. x. 25; xvii. 19; xxx. 18; xii. 51, 52.

[46] Gen. xxv. 26; xxvii. 36; xxv. 25; xxv. 30; Exod. ii. 10; 1
Macc. ii. 4; Mark iii. 17.

[47] Isai. vii. 3; Os. i. 4, 6, 9; Gen. v. 29; xxxii. 28; Numb.
xiii. 17; Gen. xvii. 15; Matt. iii. 1.

[48] Passaglia, p. 51.

[49] Passaglia, p. 52.

[50] Gen. xii. 1; Mark 1. 16, 17; Luke v. 10.

[51] Gen. xii. 4; Mark i. 18.

[52] Gen. xvii. 5; John i. 42.

[53] Gen. xxii. 1; Matt. xvi. 15; John xxi. 15.

[54] Gen. xxii. 10; Matt. xvi. 16; John xxi. 15.

[55] Gen. xviii. 17; Acts x. 10; xv. 7; Luke xxii. 32.

[56] Gal. iii. 7.

[57] Gal. iii. 16.

[58] Matt. i. 1.

[59] Is. xxviii. 16; Eph. ii. 21.

[60] Passaglia, p. 58.

[61] Ps. lxxxii. 6, with John x. 34.

[62] 1 Cor. iii. 11.

[63] Matt. xxiii. 9.

[64] John xiv. 16.

[65] Rom. viii. 15.

[66] Rom. viii. 17.

[67] 1 Cor. xiii. 12.

[68] John xx. 23.

[69] John xiv. 12.

[70] John xv. 9, 15.

[71] Passaglia, p. 442. n. 38.

[72] O tou Theou Logos enênthrhôpêsen hina hêmeis
theopoiêthômen. St. Athan. de Incarn. Factus est Deus homo, ut homo
fieret deus. St. Aug. Serm. 13, de Temp.

[73] S. Chrys. Tom. vii. 786. Hom. 82, in Matt.

[74] Tom. viii. 525. Hom. 88, in Joan.

[75] Hom. 3, de Poenitentia. Tom. ii. 300.

[76] Passaglia, p. 48, 9.



Having promised[1] and bestowed on Simon a new name, prophetic of
the peculiar position which he was to occupy in the Church, and
having set forth the meaning contained in that name in terms so
large and magnificent, that, as we have seen, the greatest saints
and fathers have felt it impossible to exhaust their force, our Lord
proceeded to _educate_ Peter, so to say, for his especial charge of
supreme ruler. He bestowed upon him, in the course of His ministry,
tokens of preference which agree with the title thus solemnly
conferred; and He instructed him with all the care which we should
expect to be given to one who was to become the chief doctor of
Christians. Such instruction may be said to consist in two things, a
more complete knowledge of the Christian revelation, and a singular
apprehension of its divine proofs.

Now, innumerable as are the particulars in which the Christian
revelation consists, they may yet be gathered up mainly into two
points, which meet in the Person of our Lord, and are termed by the
ancient fathers who have followed this division, the _Theology_, and
the _Economy_. There is the Divine Nature, that "_form of God_,"
which our Lord had from the beginning in the bosom of the Father;
and there is the human nature, that "_form of a servant_," which "in
the economy or dispensation of the fulness of times" He assumed, in
order that He might purchase the Church with His blood, and[2]
"re-establish all things in heaven and on earth." All, therefore,
in the Christian faith which concerns "the form of God" is termed
the Theology; all which contemplates "_the form of a servant_," the

But the heavenly origin and certain truth of both these parts of
Christian faith are proved partly by the fulfilment of prophecy, and
partly by the working of miracles. To both our Lord perpetually
appealed, and His apostles after Him, and those who have followed
them. One, then, who was to be the chief ruler and doctor of
Christians, needed especial instruction in the Theology, and
Economy, especial assurance of the fulfilment of prophecy, and the
working of miraculous power. Now Peter was specially selected for
this instruction and that assurance.

The whole teaching of our Lord, indeed, and the innumerable acts of
power and words of grace with which it was fraught, were calculated
to convey these to all the Apostles. But while they were witnesses
in common of that teaching in general, some parts of it were
disclosed only to Peter and the two sons of Zebedy. Perhaps there is
no incident in the Gospel history, which set forth in so lively a
manner, and so convincingly proved, the mysteries concerning the
union of "the form of God" and "the form of a servant," as the
Transfiguration. The retreat to the "high mountain apart," and in
the midst of that solitary prayer, "the face shining as the sun,"
and "the robes white as light," the presence of Moses and Elias,
conversing with Him on the great sacrifice for sin, "the bright
cloud which encompassed them," and the voice from out of it,
proclaiming "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear
Him;" so impressed themselves on the great Apostle, that after long
years he appealed to them in proof that he and his brethren had not
taught "cunningly devised fables, when they made known the power
and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, but had been eyewitnesses of
His majesty, when He received from God the Father honour and glory,
this voice coming down to Him from the excellent glory, 'This is my
beloved Son, in whom I have pleased myself: hear ye Him.' And this
voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with Him in the
holy mount." Among all the Apostle's experience of the three years'
ministry, by the shore and on the waves of the lake of Galilee, in
the cornfields, or on the mountain side, in the noon-day heat, or
midnight storm, even in the throng which cried 'Hosannah!' and
'Crucify Him!' this stood out, until "the laying aside of his
fleshly tabernacle," as "the Lord had signified to Him."[3] For[4]
what indeed was not there? the plurality of persons in the Godhead,
the Father and the Son, the true, and not adopted, Sonship of the
latter, His divine mission unto men; the new order of things
resulting from it, and the summing up under one head of all things
in heaven and in earth; the sealing up and accomplishing of the law
and the prophets, by the presence of their representatives, Moses
and Elias, a most wonderful and transporting miracle; and the
command implicitly to obey Him in whom the Father was well pleased.
Thus the Transfiguration may be termed the summing up of the whole
Christian revelation.

But now of this we read that "after six days Jesus taketh unto Him
_Peter_, and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into
a high mountain apart." These three alone of the twelve. Yet does He
not associate the sons of Zebedy with Peter in this privilege?
Needful no doubt it was that so splendid an act should have a
suitable number of witnesses, and that as His future glory should
have[5] three witnesses from heaven, and as many from earth, so
this, its rudimental beginning, should be attested by three as from
heaven, God the Father, Moses, and Elias, and by three from earth,
Peter, James, and John. Dear to Him likewise, next to Peter, and
most privileged after Peter, were the sons of Zebedy; yet a
distinction is seen in the mode in which they are treated even when
joined together in so great a privilege. For in all the three
accounts Peter is named first; "He taketh to Him Peter, and James,
and John." They likewise are called by their birth-name, he by his
prophetic appellation of the Rock; they are silent, but he speaks;
"Peter answering, said;" nor only speaks, but in the name of all;
"It is good _for us_ to be here," as if their leader. And, fifthly,
he is named specially, they as his companions; "but Peter, _and they
that were with him_, were heavy with sleep."[6] Thus even when three
are associated in a special privilege above the Twelve, Peter is
distinguished among the three.

But if there was one other occasion on which above all "the form of
the servant" was to be set forth in the most awful, and the most
endearing light, it was on that evening, "the hour" of evil men and
"the power of darkness," when "the righteous servant who should
justify many" was about to perform the great, central, crowning act
of His mediation. Then we read that "He said to His disciples, Sit
you here, till I go yonder and pray."[7] And then immediately
"taking with Him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedy, He began to grow
sorrowful and to be sad." Yet here again, even in the association
with the sons of Zebedy, Simon is distinguished, for he is named
first; and by the illustrious name of Peter, the Rock; and as the
leader of the others, for, says Matthew, Christ after His first
prayer, "comes to His disciples, and finds them sleeping, and _says
to Peter_, What, could _ye_ not watch with me one hour?" Why the
change of number, Peter in the singular, _ye_ in the plural? Why the
blame of Peter, involving the blame of the rest? Because the members
are censured in the head.

In these two signal instances our Lord, while preferring Peter and
the two sons of Zebedy to the rest of the Twelve, yet marks a
gradation likewise between them and Peter. And these two set forth
the Theology and Economy, in the most emphatic manner.

And as the supreme preceptor must not only be acquainted with the
truth which he has to deliver, but with the evidence on which it
rests, so is Peter specially made a witness of his Lord's "power and
presence" and "the works which no other man did." In that remarkable
miracle of raising to life the ruler of the synagogue's daughter we
read, "He admitted not any man to follow Him, but Peter and James,
and John the brother of James;"[8] where, as before, and always,
Peter is mentioned first, and by the prophetic name of his Primacy.

From[9] all which we gather four points; 1. Several things are
mentioned in the Gospels which Christ gave to Peter, and not to the
rest of the Apostles: 2. But nothing which He gave to them together,
and not to Peter with them. 3. What He seemed to give to them in
common, yet accrue to Peter in a special manner, who appears among
the Apostles not as one out of the number, but their destined head,
by the name, that is, of Peter, so markedly promised, bestowed, and
wonderfully explained by our Lord, of which, as we have seen, S.
Chrysostome, an eastern Patriarch, as well as a great Saint and
Father, observed, "When I say Peter, I mean the impregnable Rock,
the immovable foundation, the great Apostle, the first of the
disciples." 4. Either we are not to take Christ's dealing as the
standard of Peter's dignity, and destination, or we must admit that
he was preferred to the rest, and made the supreme teacher of the

S. Matthew records the incidents of the officers asking for the
payment of the didrachma which all the children of Israel were bound
to contribute to the temple; and his words show us a fresh instance
of honour done to Peter, and a fresh note of his superiority. "When
they were come to Capharnaum, they that received the didrachma came
to Peter and said to him, Doth not your master pay the didrachma?"[10]
But why should they come to _him_, and ask, not if _his_ master, but
"your" master, the master of all the Apostles, paid the census, save
that it was apparent, even to strangers, that Peter was the first and
most prominent of the company? Why use him rather than any of the
others, for the purpose of approaching Christ? "As Peter seemed to be
first of the disciples," says S. Chrysostome, on the text, "they go to
him." The context naturally suggests this reason, and the ancient
commentators remarked it. But what follows is much more striking.
Peter answered, Yes, that is, that his master observed all the laws of
Moses, and this among the number. As he went home he purposed, no
doubt, to ask our Lord about this payment, but "when he was come
into the house Jesus prevented him," having in His omniscience seen
and heard all that had passed, and He proceeded to speak words
involving His own high dignity, followed by a singular trial of Peter's
faith, and as marked a reward of it when tried. "What thinkest thou,
Simon? The kings of the earth, of whom do they receive tribute or
custom? of their own children or of strangers? And he said, Of
strangers. Jesus said to him, Then the children are free." Slight
words in seeming, yet declaring in fact that most wonderful truth
which had formed so shortly before Peter's confession, and drawn
down upon him the yet unexhausted promise; for they expressed, I am
as truly the natural Son of that God, the Sovereign of the temple, for
whom this tribute is paid, as the children of earthly sovereigns, who
take tribute, are their sons by nature. Therefore by right I am free.
"But that we may not scandalize them, go to the sea and cast in a hook;
and that fish which shall first come up, take; and when thou hast opened
its mouth, thou shalt find a stater; take that and give it to them for
Me and thee." Declaring to His favoured disciple afresh that He is
the true, and not the adopted, Son of God, answering his thoughts by
anticipation, and expressing His knowledge of absent things by the
power of the Son of God, He tries his faith by the promise of a
fresh miracle, which involved a like exercise of divine power.
Peter, in proceeding to execute His command, must make that
confession afresh by deed, which he had made before by word, and
which his Lord had just repeated with His own mouth. How else could
he go to the lake expecting to draw at the first cast a fish in
whose mouth he should find a coin containing the exact amount due to
the temple for two persons? But what followed? What but a most
remarkable reward for the faith which he should show? "Take that and
give it to them for Me and thee." There are looks, there are tones
of the voice, which convey to us more than language. So, too, there
are acts so exceedingly suggestive, that without in any _formal_ way
proving, they carry with them the force of the strongest proof. And
so, perhaps, never did our Lord in a more marked manner _associate_
Peter with Himself than here. It was a singular distinction which
could not fail to strike every one who heard it. Thus S. Chrysostome
exclaims,[11] "You see the exceeding greatness of the honour;" and
he adds, "wherefore, too, in reward for his faith He connected him
with Himself in the payment of the tribute;" and he remarks on
Peter's modesty, "for Mark, the disciple of Peter, seems not to have
recorded this incident, because it pointed out the great honour
bestowed on him; but he did record his denial, while he was silent
as to the points which made him conspicuous, his Master perhaps
begging him not to say great things about him." Indeed, _how_ could
one of the disciples be more signally pointed out than by this
incident, as "the faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord would set
over His household, to give them their portion of food in due time?"

Other fathers, as well as S. Chrysostome, did not fail to see such a
meaning in this passage; but let us take the words of Origen as
pointing out the connection of this incident with the important
question following. His words are: "It seems to me that (the
disciples) considering this a very great honour which had been done
to Peter by Jesus, in having put him higher than the rest of His
disciples, they wished to make sure of what they suspected by asking
Jesus and hearing His answer, whether, as they conceived, He judged
Peter to be greater than them; and they also hoped to learn the
cause for which Peter was preferred to the rest of the disciples.
Matthew, then, wishing to signify this by these words, "take that
and give it to them for Me and thee," added, "on that day the
disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who, thinkest thou, is the greater
in the kingdom of heaven?"[12]

For, indeed, why should they immediately ask this question? The
preceding incident furnishes a natural and sufficient cause. The
Apostles, it seems, were urged by the plainness of Christ's words
and acts to inquire who among them should have the chief authority.
Who will not agree with S. Chrysostome: "The Apostles were touched
with a human infirmity, which the Evangelist too signifies in the
words, 'in that hour,' when He had honoured him (Peter) before them
all. For though of James and John one of the two was the
first-born," (alluding to an opinion that the tax was paid by the
first-born,) "He did nothing like it for them. Hence, being ashamed,
they confessed their excitement of mind, and do not say plainly, Why
hast thou preferred Peter to us? Is he greater than we are? For this
they did not dare; but they ask indefinitely, Who is the greater?
For when they saw three preferred to the rest, they felt nothing
like this; but when one received so great an honour, they were
pained. Nor were they kindled by this alone, but by putting together
many other things. For He had said to him, 'I will give to thee the
keys,' and 'Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona,' and here 'Give it to
them for Me and for thee;' and also they were pricked at seeing his
confidence and freedom of speech."[13]

Thus their question, if it did not express, at least suggested this
meaning, "Speak more plainly and distinctly whether Peter is to be
the greater and the chief in the Church, and accordingly among us,"
and so they seem to have drawn from our Lord's act a conclusion
which they did not see in the promising or bestowing the prophetic
name of Peter, nor even in the promises conveyed in explaining that
name, and were vexed at the preference shown to him.

And if [14]any be inclined to conclude from hence that our Lord's
words and acts to Peter had not been of any marked significancy,
they should be reminded that the very clearest and plainest things
were sometimes not understood by the Apostles, before the descent of
the Holy Spirit on them. This was specially the case with the things
which they were disinclined to believe. Thus our Lord again and
again foretold to them His passion in express terms, but we are
told, "they understood none of these things."[15] He foretold, too,
His resurrection, yet they did not the least expect it, and they
became at length fully assured of the fact before they remembered
the prediction. Strange as these things seem, yet probably
everyone's private experience will furnish him with similar
instances of a veil being cast upon his eyes, which prevented his
discerning the most evident things, towards which there was
generally some secret disinclination.

But [16]how did our Lord answer their question? Did He remove at
once the ground of their jealousy by declaring that in the kingdom
of heaven no one should have pre-eminence of dignity, but the
condition of all be equal? On the contrary, He condemns ambition and
enjoins humility, but likewise gives such a turn to His discourse as
to insinuate that there would be one pre-eminent over the
rest.[17] "Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the
midst of them, and said, Amen I say unto you, unless you be
converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into
the kingdom of heaven." Then He adds, "whosoever therefore shall
humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the
kingdom of heaven." Thus He did not exclude the pre-eminence of that
"greater one," about which they asked, but pointed out what his
character ought to be. But this will be much clearer from a like
enquiry, and the answer to it, recorded by S. Luke.

For even at the last supper, our Lord having told them that He
should be betrayed, and was going to leave them in the way
determined for Him, there was not only an enquiry among them which
of them should do that thing, but also, so keenly were their minds
as yet, before the coming down of the Holy Spirit, alive to the
desire of pre-eminence, and so strongly were they persuaded that
such a superior had not been excluded by Christ, but rather marked
out and ordained, "there was a strife among them which of them
should seem to be greater." Now our Lord meets their contention
thus: "The [18]kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and they
that have power over them are called beneficent. But you not so; but
he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger; and
he that is the leader, as he that serveth. For which is greater, he
that sitteth at table, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at
table? But I am in the midst of you as he that serveth. And you are
they who have continued with Me in my temptations; and I dispose to
you, as My Father hath disposed to Me, a kingdom; that you may eat
and drink at My table in My kingdom; and may sit upon thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Now [19]in this speech of our Lord we may remark four points:--

1. What is omitted, though it would seem most apposite to be said;

2. What is affirmed, if not expressly, yet by plain consequence;

3. What comparison is used in illustration;

4. What meets with censure and rejection.

1. First, then, though the Apostles had twice before contended about
pre-eminence, yet our Lord neither there, nor here, said openly that
He would not prefer any one over the rest, nor appoint any one to be
their leader. Yet the importance of the subject, His own wisdom, and
His love towards His disciples, as well as His usual mode of acting,
seemed to demand, that had it been His will for no one of them to be
set over the rest, He should plainly declare it, and thus extinguish
all strife. No less a matter was at issue than the harmony of the
Apostles with each other, the peace of the Church, and the success
of the divine counsel for its government. Moreover, the Gospels
represent Him to us as continually removing doubts, clearing up
perplexities, and correcting wrong judgments among His disciples.
Let us recall to remind a very similar occasion, when the mother of
the sons of Zebedy with her children came before Him asking "that
these my two sons may sit the one on thy right hand and the other on
thy left, in thy kingdom." He rejected their prayer at once, saying,
"To sit on My right or My left hand is not mine to give to you, but
to them for whom it is prepared by My Father."[20] The silence,
therefore, of Christ here, under such circumstances, is a proof that
it was not the divine will that all the Apostles should be in such a
sense equal that no one of them should hold a superior authority
over the rest.

2. But eloquent as this silence is, we are not left to trust to it
alone, for our Lord's words point out, besides, the institution of
one superior. "The kings of the Gentiles," He says, "lord it over
them; and they that have power over them are called benefactors. But
you not so: but he that is the greater among you, let him become as
the younger; and he that is the leader, as he that serveth." _A
greater_ and _a leader_, then, _there was to be_. Our Lord's words
contain two parallel propositions repeated. 1. There is among you
one who is the greater, let him, then, be as the younger. 2. There
is among you one who is the leader, let him be as he that serveth.
Thus our Lord's meaning is most distinct that they should have a

But in the very similar passage about the sons of Zebedy, lest any
should conclude that no one of the Apostles was to be superior to
the rest, He called them to Him and said, "You know that the princes
of the Gentiles lord it over them, and they that are the greater
exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you, but
whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister;
and he that will be the first among you shall be your servant. Even
as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give His life a redemption for many." Where He
tells them His will, not that no one of the Apostles should be
"great" and "first," but what the type and model should be which
that "great" and "first" one should imitate, even the Son of man who
came to minister.

3. For to make this quite certain, there, and here too, He directs
us to a particular comparison, by which He explains and concludes
His discourse, "For who is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he
that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at table? But I am among you as
he that serveth.--And I dispose unto you as My Father disposed unto
Me, a kingdom." Here our Lord sets Himself before His Apostles as
the exemplar both of the rule which the superior was to exercise,
and of the temper and character which he was to shew. As He had been
speaking of the kingdoms of the Gentiles, so He now points out to
them in contrast the true kingdom which He was disposing unto them.
The Church as it had been from the beginning, was to be the model of
what it should be to the end. Now all confess that in that Church
Christ had held the place of "the First," "the Great one," "the
Ruler." And now He explains that one of His Apostles should occupy
that place of His, and occupying it should be of a like temper with
Himself, who had been the minister and servant of all. And it may be
remarked that the same word is here applied to him who should _rule_
among the disciples, which expresses the dignity of Christ Himself
in the prophecy of Micah, quoted in Matt. ii. 6, "Out of thee shall
go forth[21] _the ruler_, who shall be shepherd over my people
Israel." For Christ says, "He that is the greater among you let him
be as the younger; and _he that ruleth_ as he that serveth. _For_,
who is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he who serveth? But I am
among you as he that serveth." "I dispose to you a kingdom: as My
Father disposed to Me:" let him who follows Me in place, follow Me
in character.

But, 4, what does our Lord censure and reject from His Church? It is
plain that He compares kingdom with kingdom, and the kingdom of
heaven, which is the Church, with human kingdoms, and, moreover,
that the negative quality as to which, in the clause, "But you not
so," the two are compared, is, _not_ the fact that there is
pre-eminence and rule in both, but a certain _mode_ of exercising
them. This is, the pomp and ambition expressed in the words,
"lording it," "exercising authority," "are called benificent." As
again is shewn in the repeated declaration that what had been most
alien from the spirit of His own ministry, should not appear in the
ministry that He would establish after Him. Now He had shown no pomp
and pride of dominion, but yet He had shown the dominion itself in
the fullest sense, the power of passing laws, enjoining precepts,
defining rites, threatening punishments, governing, in fine, His
Church, so that He had been pre-eminently "the Lord." Lastly, this
is shown in the words recorded by S. John, as said shortly after on
this same occasion. "You call Me Master and Lord, and you say well,
for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one another's feet: _for I have given you an
example_, that as I have done unto you, so you also may do."[22]

Now nothing can show more strongly than this discourse the
pre-eminence and authority which our Lord was going to establish in
one of His Apostles over the rest. For here we have His intention
disclosed that in His kingdom, which is the Church's, some one there
should be "the Great," "the First," and "the Ruler," who should
discharge, in due proportion and analogy, the office which He
Himself, before He returned to the Father, had held. But before we
consider further who this one was, let us look at the subject from a
somewhat different point of view.

And [23]here we must lay down three points, the _first_ of which is,
that our Lord, during His life on earth, had acted in two
capacities, the one, as the Author and Founder, the other, as the
Head and Supreme Ruler of His Church. His functions in the former
capacity are too plain to need enlarging upon. He disclosed the
objects of our faith: He instituted rites and sacraments: He
provided by the establishment of a ministry for the perpetual growth
and duration of the Church. It was in this sense that He spoke of
Himself to His apostles, as "the Master," who could share His
prerogatives with no one: "But be not you called Rabbi, for one is
your Master, and all you are brethren."[24] Thus is He, "the
Teacher," "the Master," throughout the Gospel.

But He likewise acted as the Head of His Church, with the dignity
and authority of the chief visible Ruler. He was the living bond of
His disciples: the person around whom they grouped: whose presence
wrought harmony: whose voice terminated contention among them: who
was ever at hand to solve emergent difficulties. Thus it is that
prophecy distinguished Him as "the Lord," "the King," "the
Shepherd;" "on whose shoulders is the government," "who should
_rule_ His people, Israel." And His Church answers to Him in this
capacity, as the family, the house, the city, the fold, and the

Thus His relation to the Church was twofold, as Founder, and as
Supreme Pastor.

_Secondly_, the Church shares her Lord's prerogative of
unchangeableness, and as He is "Jesus Christ the same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever," so She, His mystical Body, in her proportion,
remains like herself from the beginning to the end. The Church and
Christianity are bound to each other in a mutual relation; the
Church is Christianity embodied; Christianity is the Church in
conception: the consistency and identity which belong to
Christianity belong likewise to her; neither can change their
nature, nor put on another form.

But, _thirdly_, the Church would be unlike herself, if, having been
from her very cradle visibly administered by the rule of One, she
fell subsequently, either under no rule at all, according to the
doctrine of the Independents, or under the rule of the multitude,
according to the Calvinists, or under the rule of an aristocracy, as
Episcopalians imagine. A change of government superinduces a change
of that substantial form which constitutes a society. But this holds
in her case especially, above all other societies, as she came forth
from the creative hand of her Lord, her whole organization instinct
with inward life, her government _directly_ instituted by God
Himself, in which lies her point of distinction from all temporal

For imagine, that upon our Lord's departure, no one had been deputed
to take the visible headship and rule over the Church. How, without
ever fresh revelations, and an abiding miraculous power, could that
complex unity of faith, of worship, and of polity, have been
maintained, which the[25] Lord has set forth as the very sign and
token of His Church? A multitude scattered throughout the most
distant regions, and naturally differing in race, in habits, in
temperament, how could it possibly be joined in one, and remain one,
without a powerful bond of unity? Hence, in the fourth century, S.
Jerome[26] observed, "The safety of the Church depends on the
dignity of the supreme Priest, in whom, if all do not recognise a
peculiar and supereminent power, there will arise as many schisms in
the Church as there are priests." And the repentant confessors out
of Novatian's schism, in the middle of the third century, "We know
that Cornelius (the Pope) has been elected Bishop of the most holy
Catholic Church, by Almighty God, and Christ our Lord.--We are not
ignorant that there is one God, one Christ the Lord, whom we
confessed, one Holy Spirit, and that there ought to be one bishop
in the Catholic Church."[27] And these words, both of S. Jerome, and
of the confessors, if they primarily apply to the diocesan bishop
among his priests and people, so do they with far greater force
apply to the chief bishop among his brethren in the whole Church.
Now, as our Lord willed that His Church should do without fresh
revelations, and new miracles, such as at first accredited it, and
that it should preserve unity; and as, when it was a little flock,
which could be assembled in a single room, it had yet one visible
Ruler, how can we doubt that He willed this form of government to
remain, and that there should be one perpetually to rule it in His
name, and preserve it in unity, since it was to become co-extensive
with the earth?

Again, we may ask, was the condition of fold, house, family, city,
and kingdom, so repeatedly set forth in Holy Scripture, to belong to
the Church only while Christ was yet on earth, or to be the visible
evidence of its truth for ever? Do these terms exhibit a temporary,
or a perpetual state? Each one of these symbols by itself, and all
together, involve one visible Ruler: therefore, so long as the
Church can be called with truth, the one house, the one family, the
one city, the one fold, the one kingdom, so long must it have one
visible and supreme Ruler.

But once grant that such a one there was after our Lord's departure,
and no one can doubt that one to have been Peter. It is easier to
deny the supreme Ruler altogether, than to make him any one but
Peter. The whole course of the Gospels shows none other marked out
by so many distinctions. Thus, even those who wish to refuse a real
power to his Primacy, are compelled by the force of evidence to
allow him a Primacy of order and honour.

But nothing did our Lord more pointedly reject than the vain pomp of
titles and honours. In nothing is His own example more marked than
in that He exercised real power and supreme authority without pomp
or show. Nothing did He enjoin more emphatically on the disciple who
should be the "Great one," and "the Ruler," among his brethren, than
that he must follow his Master in being the servant of all. A
Primacy, then, consisting in titles and mere precedency, is of all
things most opposed to the spirit and the precepts of our Lord. And
so the Primacy which He designated must be one of real power and
pre-eminent authority.

And this brings us back to the passage of S. Luke which we were
considering, where four things prove that Christ had such a headship
in view. First, the occasion, for the Apostles were contending for a
place of real authority. The sons of Zebedy expressed it by sitting
on His right hand and on His left, that is, holding the second and
the third place of dignity in the kingdom.

Secondly, the double comparison which our Lord used, the one
negative, the other affirmative: in the former, contrasting the
Church's ruler with the kings of the Gentiles, He excluded pomp and
splendour, lordship and ambition; in the latter, referring him to
His own example, who had the most real and true power and
superiority, He taught him to unite these with a meekness and an
attention to the wants of his brethren, of which His own life had
been the model.

Thirdly, the words "the First," "the Greater," and "the Ruler,"
indicate the pre-eminence of the future head, for as they appear in
the context, and according to their Scriptural force, they indicate
not a vain and honorary, but a real authority, one of them being
even the very title given to our Lord.

And, fourthly, this is proved by the object in view, which is,
maintaining the identity of the Church, and the form which it had
from the beginning, and preserving its manifold unity. As to its
identity, and original form, it is needless to observe that Christ
exercised in it not an honorary but a real supremacy, so that under
Him its government was really in the hands of one, the Ruler. As to
the preservation of its unity--and especially a unity so
complex--the very analogy of human society will sufficiently teach
us that it is impossible to be preserved without a strong central
authority. Contentions can neither be checked as they arise, nor
terminated when they come to a head, without the interference of a
power to which all yield obedience. And the living example of those
religious societies which have not this power is an argument whose
force none can resist. Where Peter is not, there is neither unity of
faith, nor of charity, nor of external regimen.

No sooner [28]then had our Lord in this manner pointed out that
there should be one hereafter to take His place on earth and to be
the Ruler of his brethren, expressing at the same time the toilsome
nature of the trust, and the duty of exercising it with the spirit
which He, the great model, had shown, than turning His discourse
from the Apostles, whom hitherto He had addressed in common, to
Peter singly, He proceeded to designate Peter as that one, to assure
him of a singular privilege, and to enforce upon him a proportionate

And first a break in the hitherto continuous discourse is ushered in
by the words, "And the Lord said," and what follows is fixed to
Peter specially, by the reiteration of his name, "Simon, Simon,
behold Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as
wheat:" to have _you_, that is not Peter alone, but all the
Apostles, the same you, whom in the preceding verses He had so often
repeated, "you not so," "but I am in the midst of you," "but you are
they that have continued with Me," "and I dispose to you a kingdom,"
"that you may eat and drink with Me;" and what follows? What was the
resource provided by the Lord against this attack of the great enemy
on all His fold? "But I have prayed for _thee_, that _thy_ faith
fail not: and thou being once converted confirm thy brethren." Not
"I have prayed for _you_," where all were assaulted, "that _your_
faith fail not," but I have prayed for _thee_, Peter, that _thy_
faith fail not! Nothing can be more emphatic than this change of
number, when our Lord throughout all His previous discourse had used
the plural, and now continuing the plural to designate the persons
attacked, uses the singular to specify the person for whom He has
prayed, and to whom He assures a singular privilege, the fruit of
that prayer. Nothing could more strongly prove that this address was
special to Peter.

Nor less evident is the singular dignity of what is here promised to
him. First of all, it is the fruit of the prayer of Christ. Of what
importance must that be which was solicited by our Lord of His
Father, and at a moment when the redemption of the world was being
accomplished, and when His passion may be said to have begun? Of
what importance that which was to be the defence of not Peter only,
but all the disciples, against the most formidable assault of the
great enemy, who had[29] demanded them as it were to deliver them
over to punishment? And this was "that thy faith fail not." How is
it possible to draw any other conclusion here than what S. Leo in
the fifth century expressed so clearly before all the bishops of
Italy? "The danger from the temptation of fear was common to all the
Apostles, and all equally needed the help of the divine protection,
since the devil desired to dismay all, to crush all; and yet a
special care of Peter is undertaken by our Lord, and He prays
peculiarly for the faith of Peter, as if the state of the rest would
be more sure, if the mind of their chief were not conquered. In
Peter, therefore, the fortitude of all is protected, and the help of
divine grace is so ordered, that the firmness which through Christ
is given to Peter, through Peter is conferred on the Apostles."[30]
And if such is the importance of the help secured, no less is the
charge following: "And thou, being once converted, confirm thy
brethren." To confirm others, is to be put in an office of dignity
and authority over them. And his brethren were those whom our Lord
till now had been addressing in common with him; to whom He had just
disclosed "a Greater" and "a Ruler" "among" them; that is, the
Apostles themselves. Among these, then, when our Lord's visible
presence was withdrawn, Peter was to be the principle of stability,
binding and moulding them into one building. For one cannot fail to
see how this great promise and prophecy answer to those in Matthew.
There our Lord, as Architect, promised to lay Peter as the
foundation of the Church, against which the gates of hell should not
prevail: here, being about to leave the world, when His own work was
finished, to ascend unto His Father, and to assume His great power
and reign, He makes Peter as it were the Architect to carry on the
work which was to be completed by _His_ grace and authority, but by
human co-operation. So exact is the resemblance that we may put the
two promises in parallel columns to illustrate each other:

    Thou art Peter, and upon           But I have prayed for
    this Rock I will build My          thee that thy faith fail not;
    Church; and the gates of hell      and thou, being once converted,
    shall not prevail against it.      confirm thy brethren.

But light is thrown on the greatness of this pre-eminence thus
bestowed on Peter of confirming his brethren, if we consider that
the term is applied to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as
bestowing by inherent power what is here granted by participation.
Of the Father it is said, "To Him that is able to _establish_ you
according to my Gospel--the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be
honour and glory." And again, "Now He that _confirmeth us_ with you
in Christ, and that hath anointed us, is God;" and again, "The God
of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ
Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you,
_confirm_, establish you."[31] Of Christ likewise: "As therefore you
have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk ye in Him, rooted and
built up in Him, and _confirmed_ in the faith." And "waiting for the
manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who also will _confirm_ you
unto the end without crime." And again: "Now our Lord Jesus Christ
Himself exhort your hearts, and _confirm_ you in every good word and
work."[32] And the Holy Spirit is continually mentioned as the
author of this gift, when, for instance, to Him is ascribed "the
teaching all truth," "the leading into all truth," "the bringing to
mind" all things which Christ had said. And S. Paul prays "that He
would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be
_strengthened_ by His Spirit with might unto the inward man."[33]

What, therefore, is proper to the most Holy Trinity, and given in
the highest sense by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, it was
the will of Christ should be shared by Peter, according as man is
capable of it. That is, it was His pleasure that the same man, whom
He had intimately associated with Himself by communicating to him
His prerogative to be the Rock, should be closely joined with the
Blessed Trinity by participating in that privilege, whereby,
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, He is the confirmation
and stability of the faithful. But if any rule there can be whereby
to measure pre-eminence and dignity, it is surely that which is
derived from participation of divine properties and offices. And the
closer that by these Peter is shown to have approached to God, the
higher his exaltation above the rest of his brethren, who, as it has
been observed, are the Apostles. To them he is the Rock, and them he
is to confirm. Thus Theophylact, in the eleventh century, commenting
on this text, says: "The plain meaning of this is, that, since I
hold thee as the ruler of My disciples, after thou shalt have wept
over thy denial and repented, confirm the rest. For this belongs to
thee as being after Me the rock and support" (literally,
confirmation) "of the Church. Now one may see that this is said not
only of the apostles, that they are confirmed by Peter, but also
concerning all the faithful until the consummation of the world."

But looking more closely into the nature of this dignity, since
Christ, by the bestowal of heavenly gifts, caused Peter to be
conspicuous through the firmness of his own faith, and through the
charge of confirming the faith of his brethren, we can call it by no
fitter name than a Primacy of faith. For it has these two
qualities: it cannot fail itself; and it confirms others. And for
the authority which it carries, such a Primacy of faith cannot even
be imagined without at the same time imagining the office by which
Peter was bound to watch over the firmness and integrity of the
common faith. In this office two things are involved; first, the
right to, and therefore the possession of, all things necessary for
its fulfilment; and secondly, the duty by which all were bound to
agree in the profession of one faith with Peter. So that Peter's
dignity, rightly termed the Primacy of faith, mainly consists in the
supreme right of demanding from all an agreement in faith with him.

It[34] remains to explain the proper force of the word _confirm_.
Now this is a term of architecture, and as such is joined with other
terms relating to that art, as by S. Peter, "the God of all
grace--Himself fit you together" (as living spiritual stones,)
"confirm, strengthen, ground you."[35] It means, to make anything
fit so firmly that it cannot be shaken. Thus in Holy Writ it
frequently bears metaphorically a moral signification, such as
encouraging, supporting, as we say, confirming the resolution, as in
the passage just quoted; and again, "Be watchful, and _confirm_ the
things that remain, which are ready to die."[36] Now it cannot be
doubted that the phrase "confirm thy brethren," carries a moral
sense very like that in which the word _confirm_, when applied to
the spiritual building of the Church, is used of God and of
Christ,[37] from whom the Church has both its being and its
perseverance to the end, and again of the Apostles, who strengthen
the flock entrusted to them by the imparting spiritual gifts, as S.
Paul says, "I long to see you that I may impart unto you some
spiritual grace to strengthen you;"[38] or, again, of Bishops, who,
as sent by the Apostles, and charged by the Holy Spirit with the
government of the Church, are bid to be watchful, and see that those
who stand do not fall, and those who are in danger do not
perish.[39] Accordingly, when it is said to Peter, "And thou in thy
turn one day confirm thy brethren," _the charge and office are laid
upon him, as an architect divinely chosen, of holding together,
strengthening, and keeping in their place, the several parts of the
ecclesiastical structure_.

But what are these _parts_ to be confirmed, and what is the _nature_
of the confirmation?

As to the first question there can be no controversy, it being
determined by the words, "confirm _thy brethren_:" and it is plain
from what is said above, that, by brethren, are meant the Apostles.
He had, therefore, the Apostles committed to his charge
_immediately_: but likewise, the rest of all the faithful,
_mediately_. When a person has been named by Christ to confirm the
Apostles expressly, the nature of the case does not allow that the
whole congregation of believers be not in their persons committed to
him. The care of the flock is manifestly involved in the care of the
shepherds: and no one in his senses can doubt that the man who is
charged to support the pillars, is charged to keep in their place
the inferior stones.

And as to the _nature_ of the confirmation, it is for protection
against the fraud of the great enemy. And the danger lay in losing
the faith. Peter, then, is charged to confirm, in such sense that
neither the pillars of the Church, nor its inferior parts, may, by
the loss of faith, be moved from their place, and so severed from
the Church's structure. No charge can be higher than such an office
of confirmation; nor for any thing need we to be more thankful to
our Saviour; but, particularly, nothing can more distinctly shew the
divinely-appointed relation between Peter on the one hand, and on
the other, the rest of the Apostles, and the whole company of the
faithful; nothing define more clearly the special authority of
Peter; that is, to protect and strengthen the unity of the faith,
and to possess all powers needed for such protection.

This charge was given after that by the prayer of Christ the
privilege had been gained for Peter's faith, _that it should never
fail_. Hence, that faith is become, in virtue of such prayer, the
infallible standard of evangelical truth: as S. Cyprian expressed it
of old, "that faith of the Romans, which perfidy _cannot_
approach."[40] It follows that all the faithful owe to it obedience.
And Peter's authority rests on a double title, _external_ of
mission, _internal_ of spiritual gift: the former contained in the
words of Christ the legislator, "And thou,[41] in thy turn, one day
confirm thy brethren:" the latter, in the words of Christ, the
bestower of all gifts, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith
fail not."

More than a thousand years ago two Easterns seem to have expressed
all this, one the Bishop Stephen, suppliantly approaching Pope
Martin I., in the Lateran Synod of A.D. 649, and speaking of "the
blessed Peter, in a manner special and peculiar to himself, having
above all a firm and immutable faith in our Lord God, to consider
with compassion, and confirm his spiritual partners and brethren
when tossed by doubt: inasmuch as he has received power and
sacerdotal authority, according to the dispensation, over all, from
the very God for our sakes incarnate."[42] And Theodore, Abbot of
the Studium, at Constantinople, addressing Pope Paschal I., A.D.
817, in the midst of persecution from the state, as if he were Peter
himself: "Hear, O Apostolic Head, O shepherd of the sheep of Christ,
set over them by God, O door-keeper of the kingdom of heaven, O rock
of the faith, upon which the Catholic Church is built. For Peter art
thou, who adornest and governest the See of Peter. To thee, said
Christ our God, 'and thou, in thy turn, one day confirm thy
brethren.' Behold the time, behold the place, help us, thou who art
ordained by God for this. Stretch forth thy hand as far as may be:
power thou hast from God, because thou art the chief of all."[43]

Now let us[44] view in its connexion the whole scope of our Lord's
discourse. We shall see how naturally the contest of the Apostles
arose out of what He had told them, and how well the former and the
latter part of His answer harmonize together, and terminate that
contest. We learn from S. John's record of this divine conversation,
that our Lord besought His Father, saying: "While I was with them in
the world, I kept them in Thy name--but now I come to Thee:" that
is, so long as I was with them visibly in the world, (for invisibly
I will always be with them, and nurture them with the spiritual
influx of the Vine,) I kept them united in Thy name: "but now I come
to Thee," I leave the world, I relinquish the office of visible
head. It remains, that by the appointment of another visible head,
Thou shouldst entrust him with My office, provide for the
conspicuous unity of all, and preserve them joined to each other and
to Us. So S. Luke tells us, that no sooner had our Lord declared to
the Apostles, "the Son of man indeed goeth according to that which
is determined," than they began to have a strife among them, "which
of them should seem to be the greater." For they had heard that
Christ would withdraw His visible presence, and they had heard Him
also earnestly entreating of the Father to provide for their visible
unity. Accordingly, the time seemed at hand when another was to take
this office of visible head; hence their questioning, who should be
the greater among them. Now our Lord does not reprove this inference
of theirs, but He does reprove the temper in which they were
coveting pre-eminence. For, engaged as they were in this strife, He
warned them that the person who should be "the Greater and the
Ruler" among them, must follow in the discharge of his office the
rule and the standard which _He_ had set up in His own conduct, and
not that which the kings of the Gentiles follow. Thus, setting these
in sharp contrast, He proceeds. "The kings, indeed, of the nations,
lord it over their subjects, and love high titles, and to be called
benefactors: but I, though Lord and Master amongst you, have dealt
otherwise, as you know. For I have exercised, not a lordship, but a
servitude: I have not sat at table, but waited: I have not cared for
titles, but called you friends and brethren. Let this example then
be before you all, but specially before him who is to be the greater
and the ruler among you. For I appoint unto you, and dispose of you,
as My Father hath disposed of Me; of Me He hath disposed that
through humiliation, emptying of Myself, ignominy, and manifold
temptations, I should gain the kingdom, reach the joys of heaven,
and obtain all power in heaven and on earth. So likewise dispose I
of you, that, through humility, sufferings, reproaches, hunger,
thirst, and all manner of temptations, you may reach whither I have
come, being worthy, after your hunger and your thirst, to eat and
drink at My table in My kingdom; after being despised and
dishonoured, to sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Now, hitherto you have trodden with Me this royal way full of
sorrows, and have continued with Me in My temptations. But little
will it profit to begin, if you persevere not to the end. None shall
be crowned, save he who has contended lawfully; none be saved, but
he who perseveres to the end. Will you remain with Me still in your
temptations to come, and when I am no longer present with you visibly,
to protect and exhort, will you preserve your steadfastness? Simon,
Simon, behold! I see Satan exerting all his force to overcome your
purpose, and to destroy the fidelity which you have hitherto shewn Me.
I see the danger to your faith and your salvation approaching. But I,
who, when visibly present with you, left nothing undone to guard,
protect, and strengthen you visibly, so, too, when separated from
your bodily sight, will yet not leave you without a visible support.
Wherefore, Peter, I have prayed for thee, that thou fail not, and
thou, in thy turn, one day confirm thy brethren. Remember that thou
hast to discharge that part visibly towards thy brethren, which I,
while yet mortal, and visible, discharged: remember, that I
therefore had special care of thee, because it was My will, that
thou, confirmed by My prayers, shouldst confirm thy brethren, My
disciples, and My friends."[45]

Now from[46] what has been said, it appears that Peter in Holy
Scripture is set forth as the source and principle of ecclesiastical
unity under a double but cognate image, as Foundation, and as
Confirmer. Of the former we will here say nothing further, but a few
consequences of the latter it is desirable here to group together.
I. The unity, then, which consists in the profession of one and the
same faith, is conspicuous among those[47] modes of unity by which
Christ has willed that His Church should be distinguished. Now,
first, S. Paul declares that the whole ministerial hierarchy, from
the Apostolate downwards, was instituted by our Lord, for the sake
of obtaining and preserving this unity. "He gave some Apostles, and
some Prophets, and other some Evangelists, and other some pastors
and doctors, for the perfecting" (literally, the fitting in
together, the same word which S. Peter had used in his prayer, ch.
v. 10,) "of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
edifying of the body of Christ; until we all meet into the unity of
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ."[48] To this
living hierarchy he expressly attributes preservation from doctrinal
error, proceeding thus: "That henceforth we be no more children
tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by
the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness by which they lie in
wait to deceive." And, secondly, this hierarchy itself was knitted
and gathered up into a monarchy, and its whole force and solidity
made to depend on association with Peter, to whom _alone_ was said,
"But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not;" to whom alone
was enjoined, "And thou, in thy turn, one day confirm thy brethren."

II. Accordingly the pre-eminence of Peter is well expressed by the
words,[49] "Primacy of faith," "chiefship of faith," "chiefship in
the episcopate of faith," meaning thereby a peculiar authority to
prescribe the faith, and determine its profession, and so protect
its unity and purity. This is conveyed in the words of Christ,
confirm thy brethren. Thus[50] S. Bernard addressed Innocent II.,
"All emergent dangers and scandals in the kingdom of God, specially
those which concern the faith, are to be referred to your
Apostolate. For I conceive that we should look especially for
reparation of the faith to the spot where faith _cannot_[51] fail.
That indeed is the prerogative of this see. For to whom else was it
once said, 'I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not?'
Therefore what follows is required of Peter's successor: 'And thou
in thy turn one day confirm thy brethren.' And this is now
necessary. It is time for you, most loving father, to recognise your
chiefship, to approve your zeal, and so make your ministry honoured.
In that you clearly fulfil the part of Peter, whose seat you occupy,
if by your admonition you confirm hearts fluctuating in faith, if by
your authority you crush those who corrupt it."

III. All who have received the ministry of the word, and the charge
of defending the faith and preserving unity, and are "ambassadors in
Christ's name," have a claim to be listened to, but he above all who
holds the chiefship of faith, and who received the charge, "Confirm
thy brethren." He therefore must be the supreme standard of faith,
which is just what S. Peter Chrysologus, in the fifth century, wrote
to Eutyches: "We exhort you in all things, honourable brother, to
pay obedience to what is written by the most blessed Pope of the
Roman city; for S. Peter, who both lives and rules in his own see,
grants to those who ask for it the truth of faith."[52]

IV. And in this prerogative of Peter, to be heard above all others,
we find the meaning of certain ancient expressions. Thus
[53]Prudentius calls him, "the first disciple of God;" [54]S.
Augustine, "the figure of the Church;" [55]S. Chrysostome, "the
mouthpiece of the disciples, and teacher of the world;" [56]S.
Ephrem Syrus, "the candle, the tongue of the disciples, and the
voice of preachers;" [57]S. Cyril of Jerusalem, "the prince of the
Apostles, and the highest preacher of the truth." In these and such
like continually recurring expressions we recognise his chiefship in
the episcopate of faith, his being the standard of faith, and his
representing the Catholic faith, as the branches are gathered up in
the root, and the streamlets in the fountain.

V. Our [58]Lord has most solemnly declared, and S. Paul repeated,
that no one shall be saved without maintaining the true and
uncorrupt faith. Of this Peter's faith is the standard and exemplar.
Accordingly by the law of Christ unity with the faith of Peter is
necessary to salvation. This law our Lord set forth in the words,
"Confirm thy brethren." And to this the Fathers in their expressions
above quoted allude.

VI. The true faith and the true Church are so indivisibly united,
that they cannot even be conceived apart from each other, faith
being to the Church as light to the sun. But the true faith neither
is, nor can be, other than that which Peter, "the first disciple of
God," "the teacher of the world," "the mouthpiece of the disciples,"
and "the confirmer of his brethren," holds and proposes to others.
No communion, therefore, called after Christ, which yet differs from
that faith, can claim either the name or dignity of the true Church.

VII. If any knowledge have a special value, it is surely that by
which we have a safe and ready test of the true faith and the true
Church. It is of the utmost necessity to know and embrace both, and
the means of reaching them are proportionably valuable. Now that
test abides in Peter, by keeping which before us we can neither miss
the true faith nor the true Church. For no other true faith can
there be than that which he delivers, who received the charge of
confirming his brethren, nor other true Church than what Christ
built, and is building still. Hence the expression of S.
Ambrose,[59] "where Peter is, there is the Church;" and of
Stephen[60] of Larissa, to Pope Boniface II. (A.D. 530.) "that all
the churches of the world rest in the confession of Peter."

VIII. With all these agrees that famous and most early testimony of
S. Cyprian,[61] that men "fall away from the Church into heresy and
schism so long as there is no regard _to the source of truth, no
looking to the head_, nor keeping to the doctrine of our heavenly
Master. If any one consider and weigh this, he will not need length
of comment or argument. It is easy to offer proofs to a faithful
mind, because in that case the truth may be quickly stated." And
then he quotes our Lord's words to Peter, Matt. xvi. 16, and John
xxi. 17, adding, "upon him being one He builds His Church."
Therefore that Church can neither be torn from the one on whom she
is built, nor profess any other faith, save what that one, who is
Peter, proposes.


[1] Passaglia, p. 68.

[2] Eph. i. 10.

[3] 2 Pet. i. 14.

[4] Passaglia, p. 69.

[5] 1 John v. 6, 7.

[6] Luke ix. 32.

[7] Matt. xxviii. 36.

[8] Mark v. 35.

[9] Passaglia, p. 72.

[10] Matt. xvii. 23.

[11] On Matt. Hom. 58, n. 2.

[12] Origen on the text, in Matt. Tom. xiii. 14.

[13] S. Chrysostome on the text, Hom. 58, Tom. 7, p. 587.

[14] Passaglia, p. 77, note 38.

[15] Luke xviii. 34.

[16] Passaglia, p. 78.

[17] Matt. xviii. 2.

[18] Luke xxii. 25.

[19] Passaglia, p. 77.

[20] Matt, xx. 20.

[21] Hêgoumenos.

[22] John xiii. 13.

[23] Passaglia, p. 82.

[24] Matt. xxiii. 8.

[25] John chps. x., xiii., xvii.

[26] Dialog. cont. Lucif. n. 9.

[27] St. Cyprian, Ep. 46.

[28] Passaglia, p. 89.

[29] Exêtêsato. The word in classic Greek has this force.

[30] Serm. 4, c. 3.

[31] Rom. xvi. 25; 2 Cor. i. 21; 1 Pet v. 10.

[32] Col. ii. 6; 1 Cor. i. 7; 2 Thess. ii. 16.

[33] John xvi. 13; xiv. 16, 26; Eph. iii. 16.

[34] Passaglia, p. 563.

[35] 1 Pet. v. 10.

[36] Apoc. iii. 2.

[37] Rom. xvi. 25; 1 Thess. iii. 13; 2 Thess. ii. 17; 1 Pet. v. 10.

[38] Rom. i. 11.

[39] Apoc. iii. 2.

[40] S. Cyprian, Ep. 55.

[41] As far as the _words_ by themselves go, it is the opinion of
the best commentators that they may be equally well rendered, "And
thou, when thou art converted," or, "And thou, in thy turn, one
day," &c. But as it is impossible to bring a discussion turning on a
Hebrew idiom conveyed in a Greek word before the English reader, we
must here restrict ourselves to the proof arising from the _sense_
and _context_. And here one thing alone, among several which may be
urged, is sufficient to prove that the sense preferred in the text,
"And thou in thy turn one day confirm thy brethren," is the true
one. For the other rendering supposes that the time of Peter's
conversion would also be the time of his confirming his brethren;
whereas this was far otherwise. He was converted by our Lord looking
on him that same night shortly after his denial, and "immediately
went out and wept bitterly." But he did not succeed to the charge of
confirming his brethren till after our Lord's ascension. It must be
added that the collocation of the original words kai su pote
epistrepsas stêrixon is such as absolutely to require that the
joint action indicated by them should belong to the same time, and
that an _indefinite_ time expressed by pote. Now this would
be false according to the rendering, "And thou, when thou art
converted, confirm thy brethren," for the conversion was immediate
and definite, the confirmation distant and indefinite; whereas it
exactly agrees with the rendering, "And thou in thy turn one day
confirm thy brethren."

Those who wish to see the whole controversy admirably drawn out may
find it in Passaglia, b. 2, ch. 13.

[42] Mansi. Concilia, x. 894.

[43] Baronius, Annal. A.D., 817, xxi.

[44] Passaglia, p. 545.

[45] Passaglia, p. 547.

[46] Passaglia, p. 571.

[47] For which see hereafter, ch. 7.

[48] Eph. iv. 11.

[49] Petrus uti audivit, vos autem quid me dicitis? _Statim loci non
immemor sui, primatum egit_; primatum confessionis utique, non
honoris; primatum fidei, non ordinis. Ambros. de Incarn. c. 4, n.
32, Tom. 2, p. 710.

[50] Ep. 190, vol. 1, p. 649.

[51] Observe the exact identity with S. Cyprian's expression nine
hundred years earlier, quoted p. 55.

[52] Twenty-fifth letter among those of St. Leo.

[53] Con. Symmachum, Lib. 2, v. 1.

[54] Sermon 76.

[55] Hom. 88, on John.

[56] Encom. in Petrum et coeteros Apostolos.

[57] Cat. xi. n. 3. ho prôtosthatês tôn Apostholôn kai tês
ekklêshias koryphaios khêryx.

[58] Mark xvi. 16; John iii. 18; Rom. iii. 3, &c.

[59] Ambros. in Ps. 1. n. 30.

[60] Mansi, Tom. viii. 746.

[61] De unitate Ecclesiæ, 3.



Our Lord has hitherto, while on earth,[1] ruled as its visible head
that body of disciples which He had chosen out of the world, and
which His Father had given Him. And this body He for the first time
called the Church in that famous prophecy[2] wherein He named the
person, who, by virtue of an intimate association with Himself, the
Rock, should be its foundation, and the duration of which until the
consummation of the world, He pronounced at the same time, in spite
of all the rage of "spiritual wickedness in high places" against it,
because it should be founded upon the rock which He should lay.

Secondly, He had, at that period of His ministry when He thought it
meet, the second year, selected out of the rest of His disciples,
after ascending into a mountain and continuing the night long in
prayer, twelve whom He named Apostles--as before and above all sent
by Him--for "He called whom He would Himself, and they came to Him,"
to whom "He gave authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out,
and to heal every disease and every weakness," whom He chose also
"to be with Him," His personal attendants, "and to send them to
preach;" to whom, moreover, He subsequently made a promise that
whatever they should bind on earth, should be bound in heaven, and
whatever they should loose on earth should be loosed in heaven.[3]

Thirdly, as at a certain time in His ministry, that is the second
year, He had selected twelve to be nearer His person than the rest
of His disciples, so at a yet later time, the third year of His
ministry, He had set apart one out of the twelve, to whom from the
very first, and before either he, or any one, had been called to be
an Apostle, or even, as it would seem, a disciple, He had given a
prophetic name; whom by word and deed, in correspondence with that
name, He designated to be the future Rock of His Church, to be the
Bearer of the keys, which opened or shut the entrance to His
mystical Holy City, to be endued with power _singly_ to bind and to
loose; and whom at last, on the very eve of His being taken away
from His disciples, He pointed out as the future "First one,"
"Greater one," or "Ruler," among them, having, as such, had given to
him a _special_ and _singular_ charge, after the departure of the
Head, to "confirm his brethren."

It is manifest that this was all which, before His offering Himself
up for the sin of the world, and the withdrawal of His visible
presence thereupon ensuing, He could do for the government of His
Church. For as long as He was there, the Son of Man among men, seen,
felt, touched, and handled, the sacred voice in their ears, and the
divine eyes gazing bodily upon them, He was not only the fountain of
all headship and rule, but He exercised in His own person the
highest functions of that headship and visible rule. He daily
encouraged, warned, corrected, taught, united them; in short, to use
His own words, "while He was with them, He kept them in His Father's

But now another time, and other dangers were approaching. The sword
was drawn which should "strike the shepherd," there was a fear that
"the sheep would be scattered," not only for a moment, but for ever.
To meet this the care of the divine guardian was necessary in a
further disposition of those powers which He received at His
resurrection from the dead. For henceforth His visits, as of a risen
King, were to be few and sudden, when He pleased, and at times they
expected not, "for forty days appearing to them and speaking of the
kingdom of God," and as soon as His final injunctions had been thus
royally given, "the heavens were to receive Him till the time of the
restoration of all things." The Apostles could no longer "be with
Him," as before, nor He "keep them," as in the days of His flesh.

How, then, does He complete the ministerial hierarchy which sprung
from His own divine Person on earth, and which is to rule His Church
and represent that Person from His first to His second coming?

Now, first, we must remark, that while great care is taken to make
known to all the Apostles the resurrection of the Lord, yet a
special solicitude is shown with regard to that one who was to be
"the Ruler." Thus the angels, announcing the fact to the holy women
at the sepulchre, "He is risen, He is not here, behold the place
where they laid Him," add, "but go, tell His disciples _and Peter_,
that He goeth before you into Galilee."[5] The expression indicates
his superior place, as when Peter, himself delivered from prison,
recounted to the disciples at the house of Mark his escape, and
added, "Tell these things to James and to the brethren," where no
one fails to see the pre-eminence given to James, by such a mention
of him, that apostle being the Bishop of Jerusalem, and so put over
the brethren, and, with himself, one of those who "seemed to be
pillars." Again, to Peter our Lord appeared first among the
Apostles. S. Paul exhibiting a sort of sum of Christian doctrine, as
he says "the Gospel which I preached unto you," begins, "I
delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that
He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to
the Scriptures; and that He was seen by Cephas, and after that by
the eleven." By him alone, first, then by them in conjunction with
him. And further, St. Paul's words seem to express a sort of
descending ratio, "Then was He seen by more than five hundred
brethren at once, of whom many remain until this present, and some
are fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the
Apostles. And last of all He was seen also by me, as by one born out
of due time. For I am the least of the Apostles."[6] And while they
were yet in doubt, and for joy could not receive the marvellous
tidings, when brought by the women, as soon as our Lord appeared to
Peter, their hesitation was removed, and the two disciples returning
from Emmaus--themselves full of His wonderful conversation with
them--"found the eleven gathered together and those that were with
them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon,"
as the Church in her exultation repeats, where philologists tell us
that the Greek _and_ bears what is often the Hebrew meaning, and
signifies "for," as if no doubt could remain any longer of their
happiness, when Peter had become a witness of it.

These are indications of superiority, slight perhaps in themselves,
if they stood alone, but not slight as bearing tacit witness to a
fact otherwise resting on its own explicit evidence. If one of the
Apostles was destined to be the head of the rest, this is what we
should have expected to happen to that one, and this did happen to
Peter, who is elsewhere made the head of the Apostles.

But now we come to those most important injunctions which our Lord
gave to His Apostles after His resurrection, concerning the
government of His Church. And here it becomes necessary to mark with
the utmost accuracy what He said and what He gave to all the
Apostles in common, and what to Peter in particular.

First of all, then, we may remark our Lord's care to redeem the
promises which He had made to the Twelve, and to convey to them
their legislative, judicial, and executive powers. These are
mentioned by each of the four Evangelists, in somewhat different
terms, but alike involving the distinctive apostolic powers of
immediate institution by Christ, and universal mission; as Apostles
they are _sent_, and they are sent _by Christ_. The form recorded in
S. Matthew is, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye, therefore, and make disciples all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,
teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you;
and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the

The form of S. Mark is, "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the
gospel to every creature."

S. Luke refers specially in two passages to the descent of the Holy
Ghost, as being Himself as well the Divine "Gift," and the immediate
worker of all graces in man, as the principle of the ecclesiastical
hierarchy. "And I send the promise of My Father upon you, but stay
you in the city till you be endued with power from on high." And
again, "Eating together with them, He commanded them that they
should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of
the Father, which you have heard," saith He, "by My mouth; for John,
indeed, baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy
Ghost not many days hence." "You shall receive the power of the Holy
Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost
part of the earth."

The form recorded by S. John is, "As the Father hath sent Me, I also
send you. When He had said this, He breathed on them; and He said to
them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they
are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are

Now, it may be remarked that these passages of the several
evangelists are _identical_ in their force; that is, they each
convey all those powers which constitute the Apostolate. These are
received by all the Apostles in common, and together; and in the
joint possession of them consists that _equality_ which is often
attributed by the ancient writers to the Apostles, as notably by S.
Cyprian, "He gives to all the Apostles an equal power, and says, 'as
the Father sent Me, I also send you.'" And again, "Certainly the
other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with an equal
fellowship, both of honour and power."[8]

And these Apostolic powers, legislative, judicial, and executive,
are afterwards referred to as exercised; as in Acts ch. xv., where
the first council passes decrees which bind the Church, nay, which
go forth in the joint name of the Holy Ghost, and the rulers of the
Church, "It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us;"--which
are delivered by S. Paul to the cities to be kept: Acts xvi. 4--as
in Acts xx. 28, where bishops are charged to rule the Church, each
over his flock, wherein the Holy Ghost has placed him--as in 1 Cor.
v. 1-5, where S. Paul, "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,"
excommunicates--as in 2 Cor. x. 6, where he sets forth his
apostolic power--as in the Epistles to Titus and Timothy, where he
sets them in authority, enjoins them to ordain priests in every
city, and commands them to "reprove," or "rebuke."

And all these powers S. Peter, of course, as one of the Twelve, had
received in common with the rest. The limit to them would seem to
lie in their being shared in common by twelve; as, for instance,
universal mission dwelling in such a body must practically be
determined and limited somehow to the different members of that
body, or one would interfere with the other. But there is nothing in
these powers which answers to the images of "the rock," on which the
Church is built, the single "bearer of the keys," and "confirmer" of
his brethren, which Christ had appropriated to one Apostle.

In like manner, then, as our Lord fulfilled His promises to the
Twelve, so did He those to S. Peter, and we find written the
committal of an authority to him exactly answering to these images;
an authority, which expresses the full legislative, judicial and
executive power of the head, which can be executed by one alone at a
time, and is of its own nature supreme, and responsible to none save
God. It remained for our Lord to find an image setting forth all
this as decisively as that of the Rock, the Bearer of the keys, and
the Confirmer of his brethren.

Once, as He passed along the shores of the lake of Galilee, He had
seen two fishermen casting their net into the sea, and had "said to
them, Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men, and
immediately leaving their nets, they followed Him." Once again, too,
He had gone into the ship of that same fisherman, and sitting,
taught the multitudes out of it. And then He bade that fisherman,
"who had laboured all the night and taken nothing, to launch out
into the deep," and in faith, "let down his nets for a draught,"
whereupon "he enclosed so great a multitude of fishes that the net
brake."[9] And, again, in after times, when the fisherman had become
an Apostle, that same ship waited on His convenience, and carried
Him across the lake. It was there He was asleep when the storm
raged, and His disciples in little faith awoke Him, saying, "Master,
save us, we perish," not yet knowing that the ship which carried the
Lord might be tost, but could not sink.[10] From it they beheld Him
walking on the sea, in the fourth watch of the night, when Peter, in
his fervour, desired to join Him, and going to meet his Lord on the
waves, his faith failed him, and he began to sink, till the Almighty
hand supported him, and drew him with it to the ship, which
"presently was at the land to which they were going."[11] And now,
Peter, and Thomas, and Nathaniel, and the sons of Zebedy, and two
others, were once more on that same ship and sea, but no longer with
Him who had commanded the winds, and walked on the waves. Once more,
too, they[12] toiled all the night, but "caught nothing:" when, lo,
in the morning light, Jesus stood on the shore, but yet unknown to
them, and bade them cast the net on the right side of the ship, "and
now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes." Thus
He revealed Himself to them, and invited them to eat with Him of the
fishes which they had caught. "Then Simon Peter went up, and drew
the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred fifty-three. And
although there were so many, the net was not broken:" for, indeed,
that draught of great fishes, gathered by Peter at Christ's command,
betokened God's elect, whom the Church is to gather out of the sea
of this world, who cannot break from the net, which net, therefore,
Peter drew to land, even the everlasting shore whereon Christ
welcomes His own. And after that marvellous banquet of the disciples
with their Lord, betokening the never ending marriage feast, wherein
"the roasted fish is Christ in His passion,"[13] our Lord proceeds
to crown all that series of distinctions, wherewith, since imposing
the prophetic name, He had marked out Simon, the son of Jonas, to be
the Leader of His disciples; and thus He fulfils by the side of the
lake of Galilee what He foreshadowed when He first looked upon
Peter, what He promised in the quarters of Cesarea Philippi, and
what He repeated on the eve of His passion.

It was His will to appoint one to take His place on earth. Now He
had assumed to Himself specially a particular title, under which of
old time His prophets had foretold His advent among men, and which
above all others expressed His tender love for fallen man. It had
been said of Him, "I will set up one shepherd over them, and He
shall feed them, even my servant David: He shall feed them, and He
shall be their shepherd." And again: "Say to the cities of Judah,
behold your God.--He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall
gather together the lambs with His arm, and shall take them up in
His bosom, and He Himself shall carry them that are with young."
And, once more, in the very prophecy by which the chief priests and
scribes declared to Herod that He must be born at Bethlehem, "For
from thee shall go forth the ruler, who shall feed (or shepherd) My
people Israel." Appropriating these predictions to Himself, the Lord
had said: "I am the good shepherd.[14] The good shepherd giveth His
life for His sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this
fold; them also I must bring; and there shall be one fold and one
shepherd." And now it was His pleasure to give this particular
title, so specially His own, to Peter, and to Peter alone, and to
Peter in most marked contrast even with the best beloved of His
other disciples, and to Peter, thrice repeating the charge, and
varying the expression of it so as to include the term in its utmost
force. "When, therefore, they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith to Him,
Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith to him, Feed My
lambs. He saith to him again, Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me? He
saith to Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith to
him, Feed My lambs. He saith to him the third time, Simon, son of
John, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He had said to him
the third time, lovest thou Me? And he said to Him, Lord, Thou
knowest all things: Thou knowest that I love Thee. He said to him,
Feed My sheep."

Our Lord had before addressed the seven disciples present in common,
"Children, have you any meat?" "Cast the net, and you shall find."
"Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught." "Come and
dine." But now, turning to one in particular, He singles him out in
the most special manner, by his name, by asking of him a love
greater than that of any others towards Himself, by conferring on
him a charge, which, as we shall see, from its extension excludes
its being held in joint possession by any other, and by a prophecy
concerning the manner of his death, which is wholly particular to
Peter. If it is possible by any words to convey a power and a charge
to a particular person, and to exclude the rest of the company from
that special power and charge, it is done here.

But, secondly, it is a charge of a very high and distinguishing
nature indeed, for our Lord before conferring it demands of Peter,
as a condition, greater love towards His own person than that felt
for Him by any of the Twelve--even by the sons of Zebedy, whom from
their zeal He surnamed Boanerges, sons of thunder--even by the
disciple whom He loved, and who lay on His breast at the last
supper. What must that charge be, the preliminary condition for
which is a greater love for Jesus than that of the beloved disciple?
What shall be a fitting sequel to "Simon, son of John, lovest thou
me _more_ than these?" What, again, the importance of that office,
in bestowing which our Lord thrice repeats the condition, and thrice
inculcates the charge? The words of God are not spoken at random,
nor His repetitions without effect. What, again, are the _subjects_
of the charge? They are "My lambs," and "My sheep," that is, the
fold itself of the Great Shepherd. As He said, "If I wash thee not,
thou shalt have no part with Me," so those who are not either His
lambs or His sheep, form no part of His fold. Others, too, in Holy
Writ, are addressed as shepherds, but with a limitation, as, "Take
heed to the whole flock _wherein_ the Holy Ghost hath placed you
bishops," or "feed the flock of God _which is among you_." And, more
largely far it was said, "Go ye, therefore, and make disciples all
nations;" and "Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to
every creature."[15] But they to whom this was said were yet
themselves sheep of the Great Shepherd, and in committing the world
to them, He did not commit _them_ to each other. Whereas here, they
too, as His sheep, are committed to one, even Peter; and very
expressly, in the persons of James and John, and the rest present,
"lovest thou Me more than these?" A particular flock is never
termed absolutely and simply "the flock," or "the flock of God," but
"the flock _which is among you_," "_in which the Holy Ghost hath
made you bishops_." And, again, the Apostles are sent in common to
the whole world, to preach to all nations, and to form one flock;
but they are twelve, and "power given to several carries its
restriction in its division, whilst power given to one alone and
over all, and without exception, carries with it plenitude, and, not
having to be divided with any other, it has no bounds save those
which its terms convey."[16] What are the terms here? "Feed," and
"be shepherd over" or "rule" "My lambs and My sheep." The terms have
no limit, save that of salvation itself. Such, then, are the
_persons_ indicated as subjects of this charge. But what is the
nature of the charge? Two different words of unequal extent and
force in the original, but both rendered "feed" in the translation,
convey this. One means "to give food" simply, the other, of far
higher and nobler reach, embraces every act of care and providence
in the government of others, under an image the farthest removed
from the spirit of pride and ambition. Such is even its heathen
meaning, and the first of poets termed Agamemnon by this word,
"Shepherd of the people." By this word, S. Paul, and S. Peter[17]
himself, express the power of the bishop over his own flock. And so
our Lord, here instituting the Bishop of Bishops, the one Shepherd
of the one fold, gives to Peter over all his flock, the very word
given to _Him_ in the famous prophecy, "Thou, Bethlehem, the land of
Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee
shall come forth the captain that shall _rule_ My people Israel:"
the very word, which used of Himself in Psalm ii. to express all His
power and dominion, in His revelation to S. John, is spoken of His
own triumphant career, as the Word of God going forth to battle, "He
shall _rule_ them with a rod of iron;" and, again, in the same book
is applied by Himself to set forth the honour which He will give "to
him that shall overcome and keep My works unto the end."[18] Thus,
just as in the _persons_ pointed out, the _subject_ of this charge
is _universal_, so in the _terms_ by which it is expressed, the
_nature_ of the power is _supreme_. What the bishop is to his own
flock, Peter is made to "the flock of God:" and this at once, in the
most simple, as well as in the most absolute and emphatic manner, by
institution from the chief Shepherd Himself, at the close of His
ministry, and by associating Peter singly with Himself in His most
distinctive title. If the fold of Christ is equivalent to "the
Church of Christ," and "the kingdom of heaven," so to feed and to
rule the lambs and the sheep of that fold is equivalent to being
"the Rock" of that Church, and "the Bearer of the keys," as well as
_the First, the Greater one, and the Ruler_ in that kingdom of

Again, looking at the circumstances under which this charge is
received by Peter, it either conveys that special and singular
honour and power which we have here set forth, or _none at all_. For
Peter had _already_ received the full Apostolic authority: he had
heard together with the rest of the Apostles those words of power,
"As My Father sent Me, I also send you," and the charge following,
to bind and to loose. It could not therefore be this power which was
given him, for he had it already. All which James and John, the sons
of thunder, ever had given them, he also had before these words were
uttered. Besides a power which was to be shared by James and John,
and the rest of the Apostles, could not be given in terms which
distinguished him from them, "lovest thou Me _more than these_?" It
could not be the mere forgiveness of his denial, for not only did
the Apostolate, since conferred, carry that, but when our Lord
appeared to him first of all the Apostles after His resurrection, it
was a token of such forgiveness. There remained nothing else to give
him, but presidency over the Apostles themselves, the reward of
superior love, as was prophesied and promised to him in reward for
superior faith. For these two oracles of our Lord exactly correspond
to each other as promise and performance. Their conditions and their
terms shed a reciprocal light on each other. In the one there is the
great confession, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God;"
in the other as singular a declaration, "Lovest thou Me more than
these? Yea, Lord." In the one there follows the reward, "And I say
to thee, that thou art Peter," &c.: and in the other a like reward,
"Feed My lambs, be shepherd over My sheep." The one is future, "I
will build, I will give, thou shalt bind, thou shall loose:" the
other present, "Feed and be shepherd." What concerns "the Church and
the kingdom of heaven" in the one, concerns "the fold" in the other.
And the promise and performance are singularly restricted to
Peter--"I say unto thee, Thou art Peter"--"Simon, son of John,
lovest thou Me more than these?"

As then Peter received the promise of the supreme episcopate _before
all_ and _by himself_, under the terms that he should be the Rock,
by being built on which the Church should never fall, that he should
be the Bearer of the keys in the kingdom of heaven, and that
_singly_ he should bind and loose in heaven and in earth; so _after_
his own Apostolate, and that of the rest had been completed, _by
himself_, and as the crown of the divine work, he received the
fulfilment of that supreme episcopate, under the terms, "Feed My
lambs, be shepherd over My sheep." And as a part out of that
magnificent promise made to him _singly_, was afterwards taken and
made to the Apostles _jointly_ with him, for so "it was the design
of Jesus Christ to put first in one alone what afterwards He meant
to put in several; but the sequel does not reverse the beginning,
nor the first lose his place. That first word, 'Whatsoever thou
shalt bind,' said to one alone, has already ranged under his power
each one of those to whom shall be said, 'Whatsoever ye shall
remit;' for the promises of Jesus Christ, as well as His gifts, are
without repentance; and what is once given indefinitely and
universally is irrevocable:"[19] so when Peter and the rest already
possessed the whole Apostolate, the commission to go and preach to
the whole world, and to make disciples of all nations, a power was
added to Peter to make up what was promised to him originally; the
Apostles themselves, with the whole fold, were put under his charge;
he represented the person of the Great Shepherd: and the divine work
was complete.

Thus the powers of the Apostolate and the Primacy are not
antagonistic, but fit into, and harmonise with each other. In the
college of the Twelve, as before inaugurated, and sent forth into
the whole world, something had been wanting, save that, "by the
appointment of a head, the occasion of schism was taken away:"[20]
and Satan would have shaken the whole fabric, but that there was one
divinely set to "confirm the brethren." He who "kept them" once,
when "with them," by His personal presence, now kept them for
evermore by the word of His power, issued on the shore of the lake
of Galilee, but resounding through every age, clear and decisive,
amid the fall of empires, and the change of races, and heard by all
His flock to the utmost of the isles of the sea, till the day of the
Son of Man comes,--"Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than
these? Feed My lambs: Feed My sheep."

And that the universal and supreme authority over the Church of
Christ, was in these words committed to Peter by the Lord, is the
belief of antiquity. Thus, S. Ambrose, in the west: "It is not
doubtful that Peter believed, and believed because he loved, and
loved because he believed. Whence, too, he is grieved at being asked
a third time, Lovest thou Me? For we ask those of whom we doubt. But
the Lord does not doubt, but asks not to learn, but to teach him
whom, on the point of ascending into heaven, He was leaving, _as it
were, the successor and representative of His love_.[21] It is
because he alone out of all makes a profession, that _he is
preferred to all_. Lastly, for the third time, the Lord asks him, no
longer, _hast_ thou _a regard_ (diligis me) for Me, but _lovest_
(amas) thou Me: and now he is ordered to feed, not the lambs, as at
first, who need a milk diet, nor the little sheep, as secondly, but
the more perfect sheep, _in order that he who was the more perfect
might have the government_."[22] In the East, S. Chrysostome, "Why,
then, passing by the rest, does He converse with him on these
things? _He was the chosen of the Apostles, and the mouthpiece of
the disciples, and the head of the band._ Therefore, also Paul once
went up to see him rather than the rest. It was, besides, to shew
him, that for the future he must be bold, as his denial was done
away with, that _He puts into his hands the presidency over the
brethren._ And He does not mention the denial, nor reproach him with
what had past; but He says, if thou lovest Me, _rule the brethren_,
and show now that warm affection which on all occasions thou didst
exhibit, and in which thou didst exult, and the life which thou
didst offer to lay down for Me, now spend for My sheep." Again,
"thrice He asks the question, and thrice lays on him the same
command, showing at how high a price He sets _the charge of His own
sheep_." Again, "he was put in charge with the direction of his
brethren." "He made him great promises _and put the world into his
hands_." Thus John and James, and the rest of the Apostles were
committed to Peter, but never Peter to them: and he adds, "But if
any one asks, How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem? I
would reply that He elected Peter _not to be the teacher of this
throne, but of the whole world_." And in another place, "Why did He
shed His blood to purchase those sheep _which He committed to Peter
and his successors_? With reason then said Christ, 'who is the
faithful and prudent servant whom his Lord hath set over His own[23]
house?'" Theophylact repeated, seven hundred years later, the
perpetual tradition of the East. "He puts into Peter's hands the
headship over the sheep of the whole world, and to no other but to
him gives He this; first, because he was distinguished above all,
and the mouth-piece of the whole band; and secondly, showing to him
that he must be confident, as his denial was put out of account."
And if S. Leo, a Pope, declares that "though there be among the
people of God many priests and many shepherds, yet Peter rules all
by immediate commission, whom Christ also rules by Sovereign
power,"[24] the great Eastern, Saint Basil, assigned an adequate
reason for this near a century before, when he viewed all pastoral
authority in the Church as included in this grant to Peter,
declaring that the spiritual "ruler is none else but one who
represents the person of the Saviour, and offers up to God the
salvation of those who obey him, and this we learn from Christ
Himself _in that He appointed Peter to be the shepherd of His Church
after_[25] _Himself_."

But especially must we quote S. Cyprian, because to that equality of
the Apostles as such, before referred to by us, by considering which
without regard to the proportion of faith some have been led astray,
he adds the full recognition of the Primacy, and urges its extreme
importance. Thus quoting the promise and the fulfilment, "Thou art
Peter, &c." and "Feed My sheep," he goes on, "Upon him being one He
builds His Church; and _though_ He gives to all the Apostles an
equal power, and says, "As the Father sent Me, I also send you,
&c.," yet in order to manifest unity He has, by His own authority,
so placed the source of the same unity as to begin from one.
Certainly the other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with
an equal fellowship both of honour and power, but a commencement is
made from unity, that the Church may be set before us as one."[26]
That is, the Apostles were equal as to the powers bestowed in John
xx. 23-5, but as to those given in Matt. xvi. 18-19, Luke xxii.
31-3, and John xxi. 15-18, "the Church was built upon Peter alone,"
and he was made the source and ever-living spring of ecclesiastical

Yet clearly as our Lord in this charge associates Peter with
Himself, puts him over his brethren, the other Apostles, and fulfils
to him all that He ever promised, as to making him "the first," "the
greater one" and "the ruler or leader," by that one title of "the
Shepherd," in which is summed up all authority over His Church, and
the very purpose of His own divine mission, "to seek and to save
that which was lost," still a touch of tenderness is added by the
Master's hand, which brings out all this more forcibly, and must
have told personally on Peter's feelings and those of his
fellow-disciples, as the highest and most solemn consecration to his
singular office. For when the Lord spoke that parable, "I am the
good shepherd," He added, as the token of the character, "the good
shepherd giveth His life for His sheep." And so now, appointing
Peter to take His place over the flock, He adds to him this token
also: "Amen, amen, I say to thee, when thou wast younger, thou didst
gird thyself, and didst walk where thou wouldst, but when thou shalt
be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird
thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not." "When thou wast
younger, thou didst gird thyself," alluding, perhaps, to that
impulse of affection with which, just before, as soon as Peter heard
from John that it was the Lord standing on the shore, "he girt his
coat about him and cast himself into the sea," for his love waited
not for the slowness of the boat. Thus He taught Peter that the
chiefship to which He was appointing him, that "care of all the
Churches," as it required a different spirit to fulfil it from that
which prevailed among "the kings of the nations," so it led to a
different end, the last crowning act of a lifelong self-sacrifice,
which began by being the servant of all, ran through a thousand acts
of humiliation and anxiety, and was to be completed in the martyrdom
of crucifixion. And so in his death, as well as in his charge of
visible head of the Church, he was to be made like his Lord, and
after the manner of the Good Shepherd, whom he succeeded, should lay
down his life for his sheep. For "this He said signifying by what
death he should glorify God. And when He had said this, He saith to
him, Follow Me." With far deeper meaning now than when those words
of power were first uttered to him beside that lake. Then it was,
"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Now it is, "Follow
Me, and I will associate thee with My life and with My death, with
My charge and with its reward. This shall be the proof of thy
greater love, to be obedient even to death, and that the death of
the cross." Such was the anointing which the first Primate of the
Church received to the triple crown. "Follow thou Me." Like his
divine Master, he was during the whole of his ministry to have the
cross set before his eyes, and laid upon his heart, as the certain
end of his course. And thus Peter "received power and sacerdotal
authority over all, from the very God for our sakes incarnate:"[27]
thus he followed in the steps of the Good Shepherd, as he succeeded
to His office. And, therefore, having accomplished his mission and
triumphed on the Roman hill, from Rome he speaks through the undying
line of his spiritual heirs, and feeds the flock of Christ.


[1] Passaglia, p. 93.

[2] Matt. xvi. 16.

[3] Matt. x. 1; Mark iii. 13-15; Luke vi. 12-13; Matt. xviii, 18.

[4] John xvii. 12.

[5] Mark xvi. 6.

[6] 1 Cor. xv. 1-9.

[7] Matt. xxviii. 18; Mark xvi. 15; Luke xxiv. 49; Acts i. 4-8;
John. xx. 21.

[8] De unitate ecclesiæ, 3.

[9] Mark i. 16; Luke v. 3.

[10] Mark iv. 38; Luke viii. 24.

[11] John vi. 21.

[12] John xxi. 1-14.

[13] St. Augustine's 122nd discourse on St. John, who has thus set
forth this chapter: "Piscis assus Christus est passus."

[14] Ezech. xxiv. 33; Isai. xl. 9-11; Mich. v. 2; Matt. ii. 6; John
x. 11, 14, 16.

[15] Acts xx. 28; 1 Pet. v. 10; Matt. xxviii. 19; Mark xvi. 15.

[16] Bossuet, sermon on unity.

[17] Acts xx. 28; 1 Pet. v. 10; Ps. ii. 9; Apoc. xix. 15; ii. 27.

[18] Poimahinein used in the text of John, and in all

[19] Bossuet, sermon on unity.

[20] St. Jerome.

[21] Amoris sui veluti vicarium.

[22] In Lucam, Lib. 10, n. 175.

[23] St. Chrys. in Joan. Hom. 88, p. 525-7; and De Sacerdot. Lib. 2,
Tom. 1. p. 372.

[24] St. Leo. Serm. 4.

[25] St. Basil, Constit. Monas. xxii. Tom. 2, p. 573.

[26] St. Cyprian, de unit. 3.

[27] Stephen of Dora, in the Lateran Synod, A.D., 649. Mansi, x.



Before we compare together more exactly what was said to the
Apostles in common, and what to Peter in particular, it is desirable
to consider briefly two other points, which will complete the
evidence furnished by the Gospels.

1. If, then, the[1] question to be decided by documents is, whether
several persons are to be accounted equal in rank, honour, and
authority, or whether one of them is superior to the rest, it will
be an unexceptionable rule to observe whether they are spoken of in
the same manner. For words are signs of ideas, and set forth as in a
mirror the mind's conceptions. A similarity of language, therefore,
will indicate a similarity of rank; a distinction of language,
especially if it be repeated and constant, will show a like
distinction of rank. Let us apply this rule to the mode in which the
Evangelists speak of Peter and of the other Apostles.

Now to express one of rank and his attendants, the Evangelists often
use the phrase, a person _and those with him_. Thus, Luke vi. 4,
"David and _those that were with him_;" and Matt. xii. 3 with Mark
ii. 25, "Have ye not read what David did, when himself was a
hungered and _those that were with him_?" Of our Lord and the
Apostles it is said, Mark iii. 11, "And He made twelve, _that they
should be with Him_:" and xvi. 10, "She went and told _them that
had been with Him_." And Acts iv. 13, the chief priests "knew them,"
Peter and John, "that _they had been with Jesus_." And Matthew xxvi.
69, Peter is reproached, "Thou also _wast with Jesus_." Now just so
the Evangelists speak of Peter. Our Lord having on one occasion left
the Apostles for solitary prayer, S. Mark writes, i. 36, "And Simon
_and they that were with him_ followed after Him." Again, the woman
with the issue of blood having touched the Lord, when He asked, 'Who
is it that touched Me?' S. Luke says, viii. 45, "all denying, Peter
_and they that were with him_ said," &c. And on the occasion of the
Transfiguration, "Peter and _they that were with him_," being James
and John. Just as after the resurrection Luke writes, Acts ii. 14,
"Peter standing up with the eleven;" verse 37, "They said to Peter
and to the rest of the Apostles;" v. 29, "Peter and the Apostles
answering said." And the angels to the holy women, Mark xvi. 7, "Go
tell His disciples and Peter."

It is then to be remarked that Peter is the _only_ Apostle who is
put in this relation to the rest. _Never_ is it said "James," or
"John and the rest of the Apostles," or, "and those with him." Peter
is named, and the rest are added in a mass, and this happens in his
case continually, never in the case of any other Apostle.

No adequate cause can be alleged for this but the Primacy and
superior rank of Peter, which was ever in the mind of the
Evangelists, and is sometimes indicated by the prophetic name; for
as often as Simon is called Peter, he is marked as the foundation of
the Church, according to the Lord's prophecy. And long before
contentions about the prerogatives of Peter arose, the ancient
Fathers attributed it to his Primacy, that he was thus named
expressly and first, the others in a mass, or in the second place.

According, then, to the rule above-mentioned, Peter, by the mode in
which the Evangelists speak of him, is distinguished from the other
Apostles, and his position with regard to the rest is described in
the very same phrase which is used to express the superiority of
David over his men, and even of our Lord over the Twelve. And for
this there seems no adequate cause, but that special association of
Peter with Himself indicated in the name, and the promises
accompanying it in Matt. xvi.

2. Again, four[2] catalogues of the Apostles exist,[3] and in each
of these Peter is placed first. And in the three which occur in the
Gospels, (that of Luke in the Acts being a more brief repetition of
his former one,) the prophetic name Peter is indicated as the reason
for his being thus placed first. So Mark. "And to Simon He gave the
name Peter. And James the son of Zebedy, and John the brother of
James; and He named them Boanerges, which is, the sons of thunder:"
for which reason, that the Lord had given them a name, though it was
held in common, and not, like that of Peter, expressive of official
rank, but personal qualities, Mark seems to set these two before
Andrew, whom both in Matthew and in Luke they follow. Again, Luke
says, "He chose twelve of them, whom also He named Apostles, Simon
whom He surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother," &c. "_The first_ of
all, and the chief of them, he that was illiterate and uneducated,"
says S. Chrysostome;[4] and Origen long before him, observing that
Peter was always named first in the number of the twelve, asks, What
should be thought the cause of this order? He replies, it was
constantly observed because Peter was "more honoured than the
rest," thus intimating that he no less excelled the rest on account
of the gifts which he had received from heaven, than "Judas through
his wretched disposition was truly the last of all, and worthy to be
put at the end."[5] But much more marked is Matthew in signifying
the superior dignity of Peter, not only naming him at the head in
his catalogue, but calling him simply and absolutely "the first."
"And the names of the twelve Apostles are these, The first, Simon,
who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James," &c. Now that
_second_ and _third_ do not follow, shows that "first" is not a
numeral here, but designates rank and pre-eminence. Thus in heathen
authors this word "first" by itself indicates the most excellent in
its kind: thus in the Septuagint occur, "first friend of the king,"
"first of the singers," "the first priest,"[6] i.e. the chief
priest. So our Lord, "whichever among you will be first;" "Bring
forth the first robe;" and S. Paul, "sinners, of whom I am
first,"[7] i.e. chief. Thus "the first of the island," Acts, xxviii.
7, means the chief magistrate; and "first" generally in Latin
phraseology, the superior, or prince.

Such, then, is the rank which Matthew gives to Peter, when he
writes, "the first, Simon, who is called Peter."

It should also be remarked that, whenever the Evangelists have
occasion to mention _some_ of the Apostles, Peter being one, he is
ever put first. Thus Matt., "He taketh unto Him Peter, and James,
and John his brother;" and Mark, "He admitted not any man to follow
Him, but Peter, and James, and John, the brother of James:" and
"Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew asked Him apart:" and "He
taketh Peter, and James, and John with Him:" and Luke, "He suffered
not any man to go in with him, but Peter, and James, and John, and
the father and mother of the maiden:" and "He sent Peter and John:"
and John, "There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, who is
called Didymus, and Nathaniel, who was of Cana in Galilee, and the
two sons of Zebedy, and two others of His disciples."[8] This rule
would seem to be invariable, though James and John are not always
mentioned next after him.

An attempt has been made to evade the force of these testimonies, by
giving as a reason for Peter being always thus named first, that he
was the most aged of all the Apostles, and the first called. Even
were it so, such reasons would seem most inadequate, but
unfortunately they are neither of them facts. For as to age,
antiquity bears witness that Andrew was Peter's elder brother. And
as to their calling, S. Augustine has observed, "In what order all
the twelve Apostles were called, does not appear in the narrations
of the Evangelists, since not only not the order of the calling, but
not even the calling itself of all is mentioned, but only of Philip,
and Peter, and Andrew, and of the sons of Zebedy, and of Matthew,
the publican, termed also Levi. But Peter was both the first and the
only one who separately received a name from Him."[9] As it may be
conjectured from the Gospels that Christ said to Philip first of
all, "Follow Me," Joh. i. 44, he has the best right to be considered
the first called.

Now the two classes of facts just mentioned, as to the mode in which
the Evangelists speak of Peter in combination with the other
Apostles, prove directly and plainly his _Primacy_, while they do
not _directly_ prove, save Matthew's title of _First_, nor are they
here quoted to prove, the _nature_ of that Primacy, which rests, as
we have seen, on other and more decisive texts.

At length, then, we have before us the whole evidence of the
Gospels, and having considered it piece by piece, may now take a
general view. It is time to gather up the several parts of this
evidence, and, claiming for each its due force, to present the sum
of all before the mind. For distinct and decisive as certain texts
appear, and are, even by themselves, yet when they are seen to fit
into a whole system, and perfectly to harmonise together, they have
much greater power to convince the mind, which really seeks for
truth. But moral evidences generally, and especially that which
results from a study of the Holy Scripture, is not intended to move
a mind in a lower condition than this; a mind, that is, which loves
something else better than the truth.

Thus, out of the body of His disciples, we see our Lord choosing
Twelve, and again, out of those Twelve, distinguishing One by the
most singular favours. This distinction even begins _before_ the
selection of the Twelve, and has its root in the very commencement
of our Lord's ministry: for, as we have seen, it was when Andrew
first led his brother Simon before Christ, that He "looked upon
him," and promised him the prophetic name which revealed his
Primacy, and his perpetual relation to the Church of God. The name
thus promised is in due time bestowed, and solemnly recorded by the
three Evangelists, at the appointment of the Apostles, as the reason
why he is invariably set at their head; Matthew, still more
distinctly expressing in it his primacy, "_the first_, Simon, who is
called Peter." And their whole mode of mentioning him, and
exhibiting his relation to the other apostles, shews that this
Primacy was, when they wrote, ever in their minds. It comes out in
the most incidental way, as when Mark writes, "Simon, and they that
were with him, followed after" Christ; or Luke, "Peter, and they
that were with him, said;" as naturally as they write, "David, and
those that were with him:" or of our Lord Himself, and the Apostles,
"those that had been with Him."[10] Again this preference of Peter
is shewn by our Lord, both at the Transfiguration and the Agony:
where, even when the two next favoured of the Apostles are
associated with Him as witnesses, yet there is evidence of Peter's
superiority in the mode with which the Evangelists mention him.
Great as the dignity was of the two sons of thunder, they are yet
ranged under Peter by Luke, with that same phrase which we have just
been considering. "Peter, and they that were with him were heavy
with sleep." And our Lord, at the agony, says to Peter, "could not
_you_," that is, all the three, "watch with Me one hour?"[11] Again,
how incidentally, yet markedly, does Matthew shew that this
superiority of Peter over others was apparent even to strangers,
when he writes, that the officers who collected the tribute for the
temple, came to _him_, and said, "does not _your_ master" (the
master of all the Apostles,) "pay the didrachma?"[12] Much more
significant is the incident immediately following, when our Lord
orders him to go to the sea, to cast a hook, and to bring up a fish,
which shall have a stater in his mouth, adding, "take that, and give
it to them for Me, and for thee:" a token of preference so strong,
and of association so singular, that it set the Apostles on the
immediate enquiry, who should be the greater among them: the answer
to which we will revert to presently.

And this designation of Peter to his high and singular office
becomes even more striking, if we contrast what our Lord did and
said to him with what He did and said to another Apostle, who _in
another way_ is even in some respects preferred to Peter himself.
For "the disciple whom Jesus loved," who lay on His breast at
supper, to whom was committed at the most sorrowful of all moments
the domestic care of the Virgin Mother, has in the affection of our
Lord his own unapproachable sphere. But as Peter does not come into
competition with him here, so neither in another view he with Peter.
His distinction is private, and in the nature of personal affection:
Peter's is public, and in the nature of Church government. To one is
committed the Mother of the Lord, the living symbol of the Church,
the most blessed of all creatures, and that, when her full dignity
and blessedness stood at length revealed in the full Godhead of her
Son, yet whose throne was intercessory, apart from rule on earth: to
the other is committed the Church herself, her championship in the
time of conflict, the rudder of the vessel on the lake, till with
Christ it should reach the shore. Each of these, so eminent and
unapproachable in his way, has that way apart; and when Peter, on
receiving his final commission, turned about and saw his best-loved
friend following, and ventured to ask, "Lord, and what shall this
man do?" our Lord replied with something like a reproof, "what is
that to thee? Follow thou Me." These distinct preferences of the two
Apostles were indicated by Tertullian, when he wrote, "Was anything
concealed from Peter, who was named the rock on which the Church
should be built, who received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and
the power to bind and loose in heaven and on earth? Was anything,
too, concealed from John, the most beloved of the Lord, who lay
upon His breast, to whom alone the Lord foresignified the traitor
Judas, whom He committed in His own place as Son to Mary?"[13]

But to return. Our Lord, after encompassing Peter during His whole
ministry with such tokens of preference, and a preference specially
belonging to his office, and designating it, appears to him first of
all the Apostles after His resurrection. And yet all the proofs
which we have been here summing up of Peter's pre-eminence, are but
collateral and subordinate: though by themselves ten-fold more than
any other can claim, yet Peter's authority does not rest _mainly_ on
them. And this likewise is true of another class of facts concerning
Peter, which yet carries with it much force, and when once remarked,
never leaves the thoughtful mind. It is his great predominance in
the sacred history over the rest of the Twelve. A single incident or
expression distinguishing him, is perhaps all that falls to the lot
of another Apostle, as when "Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us
the Father and it sufficeth us;" and the Lord replies, "Have I been
so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?" Or
as Thomas, at a moment of danger, "said to his fellow disciples, Let
us also go that we may die with Him."[14] But Peter's name is
wrought into the whole tissue of the Gospel history; he is
perpetually approaching the Lord with questions: "Lord, how oft
shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven
times?" The rest suffer the Lord in silence to wash their feet, but
Peter is overcome at the sight. "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet? Thou
shalt never wash my feet;" "Lord, not my feet only, but also my
hands and my head."[15] Thus in the whole New Testament, John, who
is yet mentioned oftener than the rest, occurs only thirty-eight
times; but in the Gospels alone, omitting the Acts and the Epistles,
Peter is mentioned twenty-three times by Matthew, eighteen by Mark,
twenty by Luke, and thirty by John.[16] More especially it is the
custom of the Evangelists, when they record anything which touches
all the Apostles, almost invariably to exhibit Peter as singly
speaking for all, and representing all. Thus when Christ asked them
all equally, "But whom say ye that I am? Simon Peter answered and
said." He told them all equally "That a rich man shall hardly enter
into the kingdom of heaven,"[17] whereupon "Peter answering said to
Him, Behold, we have left all things, and followed Thee: what
therefore shall we have?" And when "Jesus said to the twelve, Will
you also go away?"[18] at once we hear, "Simon Peter answered and
said, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal
life." And a very remarkable occasion occurs where our Lord had been
telling to His disciples the parable of the watchful servant, upon
which Peter said to Him, "Lord, dost Thou speak this parable to us,
or likewise to all?"[19] And the reply seems by anticipation to
express the very office which Peter was to hold. "Who, then, is the
faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family, to
give them their measure of wheat in due season?" Now it looks not
like an equal, but a superior, to anticipate the rest, to represent
them, to speak and act for them. S. Chrysostome drew the conclusion
long ago. "What then says Peter, the mouth-piece of the Apostles?
Everywhere impetuous as he is, the leader of the band of the
Apostles, when a question is asked of all, he replies."[20] No
other cause can be assigned for the care of the Evangelists in
setting before us so continually his words and acts, in bringing him
out, as the second object, after Christ. But though his future place
in the Church is a reason for this, and this again, a token of that
singular pre-eminence, its decisive proof rests on declarations from
our Lord's own mouth, expressly circumscribed to him, of singular
lucidity, and of force which nothing can evade; declarations which
set forth, under different but coincident images, a power supreme
and without equal, and of its own nature belonging to but one at a
time. The proofs which we have hitherto mentioned take away all
abruptness from these declarations, and show that they embody a
great design which runs all through the Gospel; but the office
itself rests upon these, and by these is most clearly and absolutely

Thus, when our Lord, in answer to a great confession of His Apostle,
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," replies, "and I
too, say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build
My Church:" every one must feel how it adds to the cogency of the
reply, that the name, which He is explaining, was not the person's
natural name, but first promised, and then given, by that same Lord,
who now attaches other promises and prophecies to it. This fact
serves, among others, to fix the whole which follows to Peter
individually, and to introduce what follows, as part of a design,
which before had been intimated: for what follows no more belongs to
the other Apostles, than the name, Peter, belongs to them: and a
name, on the other hand, so promised, and so given, naturally looks,
as it were, to such a result. To say solemnly of a man, when first
seen, "Thou art called Simon, but thou shall be called The Rock,"
and to make nothing of him when so called, would be, if ascribed to
any one, a dull and pointless thing; but what shall we say, when the
speaker is God? It is a new thing for God the Word to speak with
little meaning, or to speak, and not to do: and so now He does what
He had long designed. And what is it that He does? He sets up a
governor who is never to be put down. He inaugurates a Church
against which Hell shall rage, but in vain: He establishes a
government at which the nations shall rage, the kings of the earth
set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, for ever, but
to their own confusion. He does what He alone could do, and so the
answer is worthy of the confession, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of
the living God."

"Blessed [21]art thou, Simon Bar-Jonas, for flesh and blood hath not
revealed it unto thee, but My Father who is in heaven. _And I, too,
say unto thee_, in return for what thou hast said to Me, and to
shew, like My Father, My good will towards thee, and what I say, as
the Almighty Word of the Father, by My power I fulfil, _that thou
art Peter_, the Rock, and so partaker with Me of that honour whereby
I am the chief Rock and Foundation; _and upon this Rock_, which I
have called thee, _I will build My Church_, which, therefore, with
Me for its architect, shall rest on thee, to thee adhere, and from
thee derive its conspicuous unity: _and the gates of hell_, even all
the powers of the enemy, _shall not prevail against it_, nor take
that, which, by My Godhead, is established upon thee, but rather
yield to it the victory. _And to thee_, whom, as Supreme Architect,
I have marked out for the Rock and Foundation of My Church, as King
and Lord _I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven_, and the
supreme authority over My Church, and will make thee sharer with Me
in that dignity, by which I hold the keys of heaven and of earth,
_and whatsoever_, in virtue of that authority and as associated in
My dignity, _thou shalt bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven_,
and there shall be no matter relating to My Church, and the kingdom
of heaven, but shall be subject to thy legislative and judicial
power, which shall reach the heaven itself: for it is a power at
once human, and divine; human, as entrusted to a man, and
administered by a man; divine, as a participation of that right by
which I am, in heaven and on earth, Supreme Lawgiver and Judge; _and
whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, shall be loosed in heaven_."

Thus it is that the most famous Fathers and Bishops, the most
distinguished Councils, the most various nations, have understood
our Lord's words, and this is their meaning, according to the fixed
laws of grammar, of rhetoric, of philosophy, and of logic, as well
as by the testimony of history, and in accordance with the
principles of theology. Let us mention certain consequences which
follow from them.

These words[22] of Christ are, in the most marked manner, addressed
to Peter _only_ among the Apostles, and are, therefore, with their
meaning, _peculiar_ to him. And they designate pre-eminence in the
government of the Church. They have, therefore, the two qualities
which render them a suitable testimony to establish his Primacy
among the Apostles.

Now, if persons differ in rank and pre-eminence, they must be
considered not equals, but absolutely unequal. And such pre-eminence
Peter had, deriving from Christ, the Founder, a superior rank in the
Church's ministry. Therefore, the college of the Apostles must be
termed absolutely unequal, and all the Apostles, compared with
Peter, absolutely unequal.

But as inequality may be manifold, as of age, calling, honour,
order, jurisdiction and power, its nature and its degree must be
sought in that property which belongs to one over the rest. So that
we must determine, by the authority of the Scriptures, from those
gifts which were promised to Peter alone, the nature and the degree
of that inequality which subsisted between him and the other

The gifts promised to Peter alone, are contained in these words of
Christ, recorded by Matthew: and therefore, from their nature and
inherent qualities, we must judge of the sort, and the extent of
inequality, put by Christ between Peter and the rest.

These are summed up in the four following: I. That Peter is the
rock, on which the Church was to be built by Christ, the Chief
Architect. II. That the impregnable strength which the Church was to
have against the gates of hell, depended on its union with Peter, as
the divinely laid foundation. III. That by Christ, the King of
kings, and Lord of lords, Peter is marked out as next to Him, and
after Him, the Bearer of the keys in the Church's heavenly kingdom:
IV. And that, accordingly, universal power of binding and loosing is
promised to him, leaving him responsible to Christ alone, the
supreme Lawgiver and Judge. Therefore the nature of the prerogatives
expressed in these four terms must be our standard both of the
character and degree of inequality between the Apostles and Peter,
and of the power of the Primacy promised to Peter.

But these terms mark authority, and plainly express jurisdiction
and power; the inequality, therefore, is one relating to
jurisdiction and power; and Peter's pre-eminence likewise such.

That these terms, which contain Peter's prerogatives really do
express jurisdiction and authority, may be thus very briefly shown.
The first, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My
Church," is drawn from architecture, exhibiting between Peter and
the Church, which includes also the Apostles, the relation which
exists between the foundation and the superstructure. This is one of
dependence, by which accordingly the Apostles must maintain an
indivisible union with Peter. Which relation of dependence, again,
cannot be understood without the notion of superior jurisdiction in
Peter, for these are correlative. The second term corroborates this;
for it is a plain duty, and undoubted moral obligation, to be united
to him, if severed from whom, the words of Christ do not entitle you
to expect stability or victory over the gates of hell. Now, "the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it," most plainly express
that perseverance and victory are promised to no one by Christ, who
does not remain joined with Peter. So much for the _duty_ which
binds all Christians, and the Apostles among them, to avoid
separation from Peter as their destruction. But such duty involves
the faculty and authority on Peter's part of enjoining on all
without exception the maintenance of unity, and of keeping from the
whole body the sin of schism, which, again, expresses his superior
jurisdiction. Yet plainer and more striking is the _third_; for in
the words, "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of
heaven," it is foretold that Peter, in regard to the kingdom of
heaven, and therefore to all Christians, whether teachers or taught,
subjects or prelates, shall discharge the office of the bearer of
the keys; with which jurisdiction and authority are indivisibly
united. But in the _fourth_, there is no matter relating to the
heavenly kingdom, which is not subjected by this promise to Peter's
authority. "Whatsoever thou shalt bind," "whatsoever thou shalt
loose;" but this is in its own kind without limit, a full
legislative and judicial power. Thus these four terms exactly agree
with each other, and express, severally and collectively,
prerogatives by which Peter is admitted to a singular and close
association with Christ; and therefore is pre-eminent among the
Apostles by his Primacy, and his superior authority over the whole

They also show, with no less clearness, that Christ in bestowing
these prerogatives and primacy on Peter, designed to produce the
visible unity of His kingdom and Church; and this in two ways, the
first _typically prefiguring_ the Church's own unity in Peter, the
single Foundation, Bearer of the keys, and supreme Legislator and
Judge; the second _efficiently_, as by a principle and cause,
_forming_, _holding together_, and _protecting_, visible unity in
that same Peter, as he discharged these functions. For just as the
building is based on the foundation, and by virtue of it all the
parts are held together, so a kingdom's unity and harmonious
administration are first _moulded out_, and then _preserved_, in the
unity of its supreme authority.

And this Primacy may be regarded from three different points of
view; as it _is in itself_, and as it regards its _efficient_ and
its _final_ cause. As to the first, it consists in superior
jurisdiction and authority; as to the second, it springs from Christ
Himself, who said to Peter alone, "And I too say unto thee," &c.; as
to the third, it _prefigures_, _forms_, and _protects_ the Church's
visible unity.

But to prefigure, to form, and to protect the Church's unity being
distinct functions, care must be taken not to confuse them, the
former concerning the Primacy as a type, the two latter as the
origin and efficient cause; and also not to concede the former while
the latter are denied, which latter make up the Primacy as
jurisdictional, and the instrument effecting unity. Now Peter is
both the type of unity, its origin, and its efficient cause.

A long line[23] of fathers, from the most ancient downwards, regards
Peter as at once the type, and the origin, and efficient cause of
unity; setting it forth as a prerogative of his headship that no
one, whether Apostle, or Prophet, or Evangelist, or Doctor, or
Teacher, might separate from him without the crime of schism. In
this consists his Primacy, and in this the famous phrase of S.
Cyprian finds its solution, that "the Episcopate is one, of which a
part is held by each without division of the whole."

And, what is like to the preceding, they hold that Peter is the
_continuous_ source of all power in the Church, and that while its
plenitude dwells in his person, a portion of it is derived to the
various prelates under him. No one has set this forth more fully
than S. Leo, in the middle of the fifth century, as where he says,
that "if Christ willed that other rulers should enjoy aught together
with him, (that is, Peter,) yet never did He give, _save through
him_, what He denied not to others."[24]

There is no one of these consequences but seems to result from the
words of our Lord here solemnly addressed to Peter.

But, recurring to our general view, we find our Lord three
several[25] times appealed to by the Apostles to declare who should
be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven; and while on neither of
these occasions does He declare to them that there should be no
"greater one" among them, though such a declaration would have
terminated their rivalry, on the last and most urgent, at the very
eve of His departure from them, He sets forth in vivid words what
ought to be the character and deportment of the one so to be placed
over them; and then turning His conversation from them in a body to
Peter in particular, He charges him, at a future time, when He shall
obtain for him the gift of a faith that could not fail, to "confirm
his brethren." Having before dwelt on the full meaning of these
words, we need only remark how marvellously they coincide in force
with the prophecy which we have just been considering, while they
differ from it in expression. They convey as absolutely a supreme
authority as the former; and an authority independent of others, and
exclusive of participation; and one which is given for the
maintenance of the faith, and of visible unity in that faith. Nor
can we imagine a more fitting termination to the whole of our Lord's
dealing with His disciples before His passion, than that, when about
to be taken from them, He should designate, in words so full of
affection and provident care, one who was presently to take His own
place among them. "Simon, Simon, I have prayed for thee, that thy
faith fail not, and thou in thy turn one day confirm thy brethren."

But if our Lord's preference of Peter, as to rank and dignity in the
Church, was during his lifetime consistent and uniform; if,
moreover, He made to him, twice, promises so large as to include and
go far beyond all that He said to the Apostles in common; and if He
took out, as it were, of what He had first promised to Peter a
portion which He afterwards promised as their common inheritance to
the rest; His dealing with Peter and the Apostles after His
resurrection is the exact counterpart to this. The fulfilment is
equivalent to the promise. In the fourfold prophecy to Peter, in
Matt. xvi. the last member is, "And whatsoever thou shalt bind on
earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt
loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." That this is a
grant of full legislative and judicial power, given to one, we have
seen. Now on a later occasion it is repeated to the twelve together,
Matt. xviii. 18. _But the other three members of the prophecy made
to Peter are never repeated to the twelve_. In the fulfilment the
same distinction takes place. To the twelve in common our Lord
communicates the power contained in the fourth member of His
original promise, saying, John xx. 21, "As the Father hath sent Me,
I also send you. Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins ye shall
forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins ye shall retain,
they are retained:" to which the other forms contained in Matt.
xxviii. 18, Mark xvi. 15, Luke xxiv. 49, Acts i. 4, 8, of preaching
the Gospel to every creature, of waiting for the power of the Holy
Ghost wherewith they should be endued, of teaching men to observe
all things which He had commanded, are equivalent, though less
definite. _But nowhere are the powers contained in the first three
members of the prophecy to Peter communicated to the twelve_. As the
promises were made to Peter alone originally, so to Peter alone are
they, as we shall see, fulfilled. Indeed, it could not be otherwise,
for the promises to be the rock of the Church, by coherence with
which the Church should be impregnable, and the bearer of the keys,
are in their own nature confined to one, and exclusive of
participants, and once made by the very Truth Himself to one man,
they ranged under his power all his brethren: "For the promises of
Jesus Christ, as well as His gifts, are without repentance; and what
is once given indefinitely and universally is irrevocable."[26]
Besides that, another indisputable principle must be taken into
account, viz., "that power given to several carries its restriction
in its division:" just as if a king before his death bequeaths the
whole administration of his sovereignty to a board of twelve
councillors, though the sum of authority so conveyed be sovereign,
yet the share of each individual in the college will be restricted
by the equal right of his colleagues. Whereas "power given to one
alone, and over all, and without exception, carries with it
plenitude, and, not having to be divided with any other, it has no
bounds save those which its terms convey." Such was the power
originally promised to Peter; and such, no less, that which was
ultimately conveyed. He stands apart and alone no less in the
fulfilment than in the promise. And under another image, but one
equally expressive with the first, the Lord conveys an authority as
absolute and as exclusive. The "bounds which its terms convey" are
the whole fold of Christ: "the sheep" no less than "the lambs:" "to
govern" no less than "to feed."[27] As the great Architect of the
heavenly city said to Peter, "Thou art the Rock;" as "the King of
kings," who "hath the key of David," and "on whose shoulder is the
government," said to Peter, "To thee will I give the keys of the
kingdom of heaven;" as He "who upholdeth all things by the word of
His power," and "in whom all things consist," said to Peter,
"Confirm thy brethren:" so to the same Peter, the same "Great
Shepherd of the sheep," said, "Feed My lambs, be shepherd over My
sheep," thus committing to him the chief Apostles themselves who
heard this charge, and causing there to be for ever "one fold and
one shepherd," on earth as in heaven.

It remains briefly to consider these three palmary texts in their
reciprocal relations to each other, by which the fullest light is
thrown upon the scriptural prerogatives of S. Peter.

1. First, then, all these texts are in the most marked manner
circumscribed to Peter _alone_. In all he is addressed by name; in
all he is distinguished by other circumstances from his brethren at
the time present with him; in all a special condition is attached
belonging to him; in the first, superior faith--in the second,
faith, which, by a particular gift, the fruit of Christ's own
prayer, should never fail--in the third, superior love. So that,
without an utter disregard of the meaning of words, and the force of
the context, and every law of grammar and philology, no one of these
texts can be extended from its application to Peter alone, and made
common to the other Apostles.

2. Secondly, the note of _priority in time_ is secured to Peter by
the first text, to which the other two correspond. Even if the
promise in Matt. xviii. 18, made to all the Apostles, were of equal
latitude with that previously made to Peter, which it is so very far
from being that it contains one point only out of four, yet, the
fact that they had been already ranged by the former under him, and
that he had been promised _singly_ what they afterwards were
promised _in common_, would make a vast difference between them;
indeed, the difference of the Primacy. But, as it is, the very
first mention of the Church is connected with a promise made to
Peter of the highest authority in that Church, and a perpetual
relationship, entering into its inmost constitution, between it and
his person. Before the Church is formed, it is foretold that Peter
shall rule her: before she is set up against the gates of hell,
that, by virtue of her coherence with Him, she should prevail over
them. And the germ of her Episcopate, on which she is to grow, is
sown in His person; just as, in the last act of our Lord, that
Episcopate is delivered over to Him, universal and complete.

3. Thirdly, those three texts are exactly _equivalent_ to each
other: they each involve and express the other. They could not have
been said of different persons without contradiction and confusion.
He who has one of them must have the rest. There is variation of
image, but identity of meaning. Thus, the relation between Peter and
the Church is in the first, that of Foundation and Superstructure;
of the heaven-built city, and of him who holds its keys: in the
second, it is that of the Architect, who, by skill and authority,
won for him, and given to him, by the Supreme Builder, the Word and
Wisdom of God, maintains every living stone of the structure in its
due place: in the third it is that of the supreme and universal
Pastor and his whole flock. In all of these there is the habit of
dependence between the superior and that over which he is set: in
all the need of close coherence with him. Observe in particular the
identity of the second and third. The special office of the Shepherd
of[28] souls is to lead his flock into suitable pastures, that is,
duly to instruct them in the Divine Word and Will: the pastoral
office is identical with that of teaching: "He gave some Apostles,
some Prophets, some Evangelists, some pastors and teachers," the
former are distinguished, the last united together: where the
Apostle observes, that the whole ministry, from the highest to the
lowest, is organised "to edify the body of Christ into the unity of
faith," and to preserve men from being "carried about by every wind
of doctrine." But if this was the design of Christ as to the whole
ministry, and as to each individual teacher, most of all was it in
instituting one supreme and universal Pastor: in him most of all
would be seen the perfect _fitting in together_[29] of each
individual member: he was set up especially for the compacting of
each spiritual joint, the harmony and cohesion of the whole. Here,
then, the office of the universal Pastor or Teacher is precisely
equivalent to him, who, by another image confirms, strengthens,
consolidates his brethren. Thus, in the second text Christ foretold
the third. But the more we contemplate all the three in their mutual
relations, the more a certain thought suggests itself to the mind.
There is a special doctrine concerning the most Holy Trinity, the
most distinctive of that great mystery, which expresses the
reciprocal indwelling of the Three Persons. Now something analogous
may be said of the way in which these three texts impermeate and
include each other, of their exact equivalence, and distinct, but
inseparable force: of whom one is said, of the same must all.

4. Fourthly, they all indicate a _sovereign_ authority,
_independent_ itself, but on which all others depend; symbolising
power from above, but claiming obedience from below; immutable in
itself, but by which all the rest are made proof against change; for
it is not to the sheep that the shepherd is responsible, but to
their owner. It has been said throughout that the one special mark
of Peter's distinction was a peculiar association with Christ. It is
not therefore by any infringement of equal rights that this
authority is set up, but as the representative, the vicegerent, of
Him in whom all power dwells: who bore this authority in His own
body, and who committed to another what was first His own, both by
creation and by purchase--"Feed _My_ sheep." In all these texts the
immediate transference of authority from the Person of the God-man
is most striking; in Peter He inaugurates His great theandric
dispensation, and forms the Body which He was to leave on earth.
Thus these texts most clearly express that important doctrine of
antiquity, the keystone of the Church's liberty from the world,
which is the reason why the world so hates it, "The first See is
judged by no man." So entirely have political ideas and jealousies
infected our mode of judging of spiritual things--to such a degree
is our peculiar civil liberty made the standard of Church
government--that it is necessary to insist again and again on what
to Christians ought to be a first principle, viz., that "all power
and jurisdiction in the Church, like the Church herself, ought to
rest not upon natural and human authority, but on the divine
authority of Christ. This is the reason why we may pronounce no
otherwise concerning such jurisdiction, than we know has been handed
down from Christ, its proper author and founder. Now it is certain
that at the same moment at which Christ instituted the community
called the Church, such a power was introduced, and entrusted as
well to Peter singly as the head, as to the Apostles under him. Nay,
that power was fixed and constituted, and its ministers and bishops
marked out, _before_ the Church, that is, the whole body and
commonwealth, had grown into coherence. And so ecclesiastical
jurisdiction did not first dwell in the community itself, and was
then translated by a sort of popular suffrage and consent to its
magistrates; but from the very first origin Peter was destined to be
single chief of the future body, and next to him the other

5. Fifthly, it must be observed that there is a _definiteness_ about
these texts which belongs in a far less degree to those forms in
which the co-ordinate and co-equal authority of the Apostles, as
such, is expressed. This last is left to be harmonised and brought
into operation by the superior power of the chief. They are indeed
sent into all the world, they are immediately instituted by our
Lord, they have the promise that His power shall be with them, and
that their sentence shall stand good in heaven and on earth; but
this promise, which is the most distinct made to them, has been
already gathered up into the hands of one, and in its practical
issue is limited by the necessity of cooperating with that one; that
is, the authority of Peter includes and embraces theirs, but theirs
is ranged under his. Theirs is modified not only by being shared,
but by having his set over them. Now observe how distinct and clear,
how definite in their meaning, while universal in their range, are
the things said of him alone; 1. That he should be the rock on which
Christ would build His Church; 2. That permanence and victory should
belong to that Church for ever through Him: 3. That he should bear
the keys in the kingdom of heaven: 4. That whatever _singly_ he
should bind and loose, should be bound and loosed in heaven as well
as on earth: 5. That he should confirm his brethren, the Apostles
themselves being the very first so called: 6. That he should be the
Shepherd of the fold. What can constitute inequality between two
parties, if such a series of promises given to one, and not to the
other, does not?

6. Sixthly, these promises cannot be contemplated without seeing
that the ordinary and regular government of the Church springs from
the person whom they designate, and in whom they are concentrated.
To take the last, all spiritual care is summed up in the word
Pastorship, the office of priest, bishop, metropolitan, patriarch,
and pope, rising in degree, and extending in range, but in its
nature the same. On the contrary Apostles, (with this one exception,
in virtue of the Primacy,) Prophets, and Evangelists, are
extraordinary officers, attending the opening of the dispensation,
but afterwards dropping off. But the Church, as it was to endure for
ever, and the orderly arrangement of the divine ministry, were
summed up in the Primacy, and flowed forth from it as the full
receptacle of the virtue of God the Word Incarnate. And so it is the
head of the ministerial body. All which is set forth as in a picture
to the mind, in that scene upon the shore of the lake of Galilee,
when the Lord said to Peter, "Feed My sheep."

7. And, again, Peter was thus made the beginning and principle of
spiritual power, as it left the Person of God the Word, not for
once, but for ever. Long as the structure should endure, its
principle of cohesion must bind it. As the law of gravitation binds
all worlds together in the natural kingdom, and is a _continuous_
source of strength and harmony, so should be in the spiritual
kingdom that force which the same Wisdom of God established; it goes
on with power undiminished; it is the full fountain-head from which
all streams emanate; it is the highest image of God's power as the
centre and source of all things. This idea is dwelt upon by S.
Cyprian and S. Augustine, as well as by Pope S. Innocent,[31] the
contemporary of the latter, and was afresh expressed in a synodical
letter of the three provinces of Africa to Pope Theodore, in A.D.
646, "No one can doubt that there is in the Apostolic See a great
unfailing fountain, pouring forth waters for all Christians, whence
rich streams proceed, bountifully irrigating the whole Christian

8. And, lastly, in these great promises Peter is specially set forth
as the type and the efficient cause of visible unity in the Church.
Such was the very purpose of Christ, that His disciples might be
one, as He and the Father are one. For this end, in the words of S.
Augustine, "He entrusted His sheep to Peter, as to another self, He
willed to make him one with Himself;" and in the words of S. Leo,
"He assumed him into the participation of His indivisible
unity."[33] But this is seen no less plainly in the words of Christ,
than in the Fathers; for He made _one_ Rock, _one_ Bearer of the
keys, _one_ Confirmer of the brethren, and _one_ Shepherd. The union
of millions of naturally conflicting wills in the profession and
belief of one doctrine is almost the very highest work of divine
power; and as grace, that is, the Holy Spirit diffused in the heart,
is the inward efficient of this, so the outward, both symbol and
instrument, is the Primacy, that "other self" which the Lord left in
the world. And as the Church of God through every succeeding age
grows and expands, the need of this power becomes greater and not
less, and reverence to that "single chair in which unity was to be
observed by all,"[34] a more imperative virtue, or rather an
ever-deepening instinct, of the Christian mind.

But antiquity itself drew no other conclusions from the
concentration of these great privileges in the person of Peter. We
have but to go back to a time before the present nationalities of
Europe, those jealous foes of Peter's authority, had come into
existence, and we find the chief men of France, and Spain, and
Italy, interpreting the above texts as we have done. Take one whose
testimony from the circumstances of his life ought to be above
suspicion. John Cassian was by birth a Scythian, was educated in a
monastery at Bethlehem, travelled through Egypt, and made himself
acquainted with its most distinguished religious men, went to
Constantinople, and was ordained deacon by S. Chrysostome, and
afterwards at Rome priest by Pope Innocent I. On the capture of Rome
by Alaric, he settled at Marseilles, about the year 410, and there
founded two monasteries. In his work on the Incarnation he says,[35]
"Let us ask him, who is supreme, both as disciple among disciples,
and as teacher among teachers, who, steering the course of the Roman
Church, held the supremacy as well of the faith as of the
priesthood. Tell us, therefore, tell us, we pray, O Peter, Prince of
the Apostles, tell us how the Churches ought to believe. For just it
is that thou, who wast taught of the Lord, shouldst teach us, and
open to us the door whose key thou hast received. Shut out all who
undermine the heavenly house, and turn away those who attempt to
make an entry through treacherous caverns and illicit approaches;
because it is certain that no one shall be able to enter the door of
the kingdom, save he to whom the key placed by thee in the Church
shall open it. Tell us, therefore, how we ought to believe that
Jesus is the Christ, and to confess our common Lord." Again,
fourteen hundred years ago, Maximus, Bishop of Turin in that day,
confessed by his words, what his successor of the present day bears
witness to by his sufferings: for he writes of Peter, "As[36] the
Good Shepherd he received the defence of the flock, so that he, who
before had been weak in his own case, might become the confirmation
to all: and he who had been shaken by the temptation of the question
asked him, might be a foundation to the rest by the stability of his
faith. In fine, for the firmness of his devotion he is called the
Rock of the Churches, as the Lord says, 'Thou art Peter, and upon
this Rock I will build My Church.' For he is called the Rock,
because he was the first to lay the foundations of the faith among
the nations, _and, because, as an immoveable stone, he holds
together the framework and the mass of the whole Christian
structure_. Peter, therefore, for his devotion is called the Rock,
and the Lord is named the Rock by His inherent power, as the Apostle
says, 'and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and
the rock was Christ.' _Rightly does he merit to share the name, who,
likewise, merits to share the work._" Again, far and wide has the
lying story been spread by false-hearted men, who above all things,
hate the spiritual kingdom which God has set up in the world, that
Peter's power has been the growth of gradual encroachment on the
secular authority. Now, long before Pelayo renewed the Spanish
monarchy in the mountains of the Asturias, and while Augustine, sent
by Pope Gregory, was laying the foundation of the English Church, S.
Isidore, Bishop of Seville, from 598 to 636, the very highest of the
ancient Spanish doctors, wrote thus explicitly to his colleague at
Toledo:[37] "But as to the question of the equality of the Apostles,
Peter is pre-eminent over the rest, who merited to hear from the
Lord, 'Thou shalt be called Cephas--Thou art Peter, and upon this
rock I will build My Church.' And not from any one else, but from
the very Son of God and the Virgin, he was the first to receive the
honour of the pontificate in the Church of Christ, to whom also,
after the resurrection of the Son of God, was said by the same,
'Feed My lambs,' noting by the name of lambs the prelates of the
churches. And although the dignity of this power is derived to all
Catholic bishops, yet in a more special manner it remains for ever
in the Roman bishop, who is by a certain singular privilege set as
the head over the other limbs. Whoso, therefore, renders not
reverently to him due obedience, involves himself, as being severed
from the head, in the schism of the Acephali."

It would be easy to multiply such authorities of a period prior to
the formation of all the existing European states. It was the will
of God, providing for His Church, that before the old Roman society
was utterly upheaved from its foundations by the deluge of the
Northern tribes, reverence for S. Peter's throne should be fixed as
an immovable rock, on which a new Christian civilization might be
founded. Thus Pope Gregory II., writing to the Emperor Leo the
Isaurian, about the year 717, only sums up the force and effect of
all preceding tradition, when he says: "The whole West turns its
eyes upon us, and, unworthy though we be, puts complete trust in us,
and in that blessed Peter, whose image you threaten to overturn, but
whom all the kingdoms of the West count for a God upon earth."[38]


[1] Passaglia, p. 106.

[2] Passaglia, p. 109.

[3] Matt. x. 2-5; Mark iii. 16-19; Luke vi. 14-17; Acts i. 13.

[4] St. Chrysostome on Matt. Hom. 32.

[5] Origen on John, Tom. 32, n. 5, T. 4, p. 413.

[6] 1 Paral. xxvii. 33; Neh. xii. 45; 2 Paral. xxvi. 20.

[7] Matt. xx. 27; Luke xv. 22; 1 Tim. i. 15.

[8] Matt. xvii. 1; Mark v. 37; xiii. 3; xiv. 33; Luke viii. 51;
xxii. 8; John xxi. 2.

[9] De Consensu. Evang. Lib. 2, c. xvii. n. 39.

[10] Mark i. 36; Luke viii. 45; Matt. xii. 3; Mark ii. 25; xvi. 10.

[11] Luke ix. 32; Matt. xxvi. 40.

[12] Matt. xvii. 24.

[13] De Præsc. c. 22.

[14] John xiv. 8; xi. 16.

[15] Matt. xviii. 21; John xiii. 6.

[16] Passaglia, p. 134.

[17] Matt. xix. 23.

[18] John vi. 67.

[19] Luke xii. 41.

[20] In Matt. Hom. 54.

[21] Passaglia, p. 510.

[22] Passaglia, p. 518.

[23] These testimonies have been set forth at length in another
work, "The See of St. Peter, the Rock of the Church," &c. Pp.

[24] Serm. 4.

[25] Matt. xviii. 1; xx. 20; Luke xxii. 24.

[26] Bossuet, Sermon on unity.

[27] Poimahinein, gubernare, to govern, the particular word
which our Lord employs to convey His powers to Peter, is also the
particular word which gives such offence to temporal governments,
when acted on by Peter: bhoskein, pascere, to feed, they
find more endurable, and probably they would all be content, from
the heathen Roman emperors to the present day, to allow _the Church_
to _feed_, so long as _they_ are allowed to _govern_ the faithful.
The objection on the part of the Church is, that our Lord gave
_both_ to Peter.

[28] Passaglia, p. 591.

[29] Ho katartismos tôn hagiôn. Eph. iv. 12.

[30] Petavius, de Ecc. Hier. Lib. 3, c. 14.

[31] St. Cyprian de unitate, c. 3. St. Aug. to Pope Innocent, Ep.
177, n. 19. Pope Innocent to the Councils of Carthage and Numidia.

[32] Mansi x. 919.

[33] St. Aug. Serm. 46. St. Leo, Epistle 10.

[34] St. Optatus, cont. Parm. Lib. 2, c. 6.

[35] Lib. 3, c. 12.

[36] De Petro Apostolo, Hom. 4.

[37] Ad Eugenium Toletanum.

[38] Mausi, Concil. T. xii. 972.



The [1]purpose of S. Luke in writing the Acts seems to have been to
set before us the labours and sufferings of the Apostles in planting
and propagating the Church. But he has divided the book very
distinctly into two portions; the latter, from the thirteenth
chapter to the end, with one short exception, is wholly occupied
with the labours of S. Paul, "the vessel of election," in spreading
the faith among the Gentiles, and so contains the particular history
of that Apostle, and the churches founded by him. The former, from
the beginning to the end of the twelfth chapter, embraces the
history of the Apostles in common, and of the whole Church, as it
rose at Jerusalem, and was spread first in Judea, then in Samaria,
and finally extended to the Gentiles. The former history, then, is
universal; the latter, particular.

Moreover, to use the words of [2]S. Chrysostome, "we may here see
the promises which Christ made in the Gospels carried into
execution, and the bright light of truth shining in the very
actions, and a great change in the disciples, arising from the
Spirit that had entered into them.--You will see here Apostles
speeding on the wing over land and sea, and men once timid and
unskilled suddenly changed into despisers of wealth, and conquerors
of glory and all other passions; you will see them united in the
utmost harmony, without jealousy, which once they had, without
contention for the higher place."

We may say, then, in a word, that the Gospels are a history of the
Head, and the Acts of the mystical Body. Hence both issue forth from
one and the same fountain and source. The history of the Head begins
with the descent of the Holy Ghost, whereby Christ was conceived,
and [3]"the race of God and of man became one. For just as the union
of man with woman joins two families, so upon Christ assuming flesh,
by that flesh the whole Church became of kin with Christ, Paul
became Christ's kinsman, and Peter, each one of the faithful, all
we, every holy person. Therefore, says Paul, [4]'being the offspring
of God,' and again, 'we are the body of Christ and members in
particular,' that is, through the flesh, which He has assumed, we
are His kinsmen." Now the history of the Body, proceeding from the
same fountain-head, sets before us the Holy Spirit, who, by
descending first on the teachers, and afterwards on the disciples,
exalts and advances all, and by imparting Himself, imparts "the
proportional deification of man," that is, "the utmost possible
assimilation and union with God."[5] For "the Spirit works in us by
His proper power, truly sanctifying, and uniting us to Himself into
one frame, and making us partakers of the divine nature:"[6]
"becoming as it were a quality of the Godhead in us, and dwelling in
the saints, and abiding for ever."

Now it is [7]manifest that if the first twelve chapters of the Acts
contain the history of the Church from its beginning, and what the
Apostles did for its first formation, its growth, and its form of
government, all this has the closest connection with the question as
to Peter's prerogatives. For the historical accounts in the Acts,
which exhibit the _execution_ of Christ's promises and intentions,
naturally tend to set in the fullest light, and to reveal
distinctly, whatever as to the administration of the Church may be
less clearly _foretold_ in the Gospels. For in itself the
_execution_ is declaratory of the _enactment_, and supplies a safe
rule for understanding and determining the words of institution.
Now, if we apply this rule to the present question, it will be
apparent that those expressions of the Gospel, which we assigned to
the divine institution of the Primacy, cannot be otherwise received
without making the _execution_ in the Acts at variance with what the
Gospels record.

For, take it as a still doubtful hypothesis whether there exist
evangelical testimonies of Peter's _institution_ to be head and
chief of the Apostles. What needs it to turn this hypothesis into
certainty? What should we expect of Peter, if he really had received
from Christ the charge of leading the other Apostles? What but that
he should never follow, but always be at the head; should close
dissensions, weigh and terminate controversies, punish emergent
offences, maintain the general discipline, give the support of his
counsel and authority in need, and leave undone none of those
functions which accompany the office of head and supreme ruler?
Hence it is plain that there are two ways, the one absolute, the
other hypothetical, by which a decisive judgment may be drawn from
the history of the Acts, as to whether Peter's Primacy was
instituted in the Gospels. Critics and philosophers are perpetually
using both these tests. Thus, the former, "if a certain work--say
the epistles of the martyr Ignatius--be genuine, it ought to contain
certain characteristics. But it does contain these, and so is
genuine." Or absolutely, "a certain work, the Epistles of Ignatius,
contains all which we should expect in a genuine work, therefore it
is genuine." The latter infer, "If bodies be moved by the law of
gravitation, they would pass through a certain space under such and
such a condition. But this they do, and accordingly are moved by
gravitation." Or absolutely, "Bodies left to themselves pass through
space under such conditions as they would follow, if impelled by
gravitation. Accordingly they are so impelled." Now in the parallel
case, "If Christ in the Gospels pre-ordained a form of Church
government, which gathered up the supreme power and visible headship
into Peter's hands, the _exercise_ of such _institution_ ought to be
found in the Acts. But it is so found. Therefore," &c.--or again,
"No one would expect certain acts from Peter, unless he were the
head of all the Apostles; and all would fairly expect those acts of
Peter, if they recognised him as so set over all by Christ. Now in
the general history of the Apostles we find such acts recorded of
Peter, and that not partially, here and there, but in a complete
series. Accordingly the history of the rising Church, exhibited in
the first part of the Acts, demands Peter's Primacy for its
explanation; and if we deny that Primacy, and take in another sense
the words recording its institution in the Gospel, the history
becomes unintelligible."

Now this reasoning is conclusive in either way, provided only that
what we have asserted be really found in the Acts. The proof of this
may be either general, or piecemeal and particular. We will take
both in order, beginning with the former.

1. First, [8]then, we must repeat, as concerns that whole portion of
the Acts containing the history of the universal Church, and all
the Apostles, viz. the first twelve chapters, a remark before made
as to the Gospels, which is, that Peter simply is more often
mentioned than all the rest put together. For Peter's name occurs
more than fifty times, the others very seldom, and those who are
found the oftenest, John and James, are recorded, the former seven
or eight, the latter three or four times. Yet this is a history of
them all: Luke is recording the common exertions of all the Apostles
in building up the Church. This is the very distinction between the
former and the latter portion of his book, which is confined to the
labours of S. Paul, leaving aside the rest of the Church. What then
is the reason that Peter, in a general history, is so often brought
forward, and the rest, either singly or in conjunction, so seldom?
Because after our Lord's glorious ascension Peter stood to the
eleven in an analogous position to that held by our Lord, so long as
He was visible, towards the whole college: because Peter was become
the head, and the rest, as members, were ranged under him.

2. Such subordination on their part, such pre-eminence on his,[9]
Luke shows yet more clearly, whenever he groups Peter with the rest,
by assigning to him the leading place. It frequently happens to him
to speak of Peter and the rest together, but on no one occasion does
he give Peter any but the first place, and the leading part. Just as
the evangelists do with regard to Christ, and the Apostles and
disciples, so Luke prefers Peter to the rest, to mark a difference
between the rank and office of Peter, and that of the others.

3. Luke seems to confirm his readers in such a conclusion by the
form which he follows of mentioning Peter _directly_, and the rest
_obliquely_ or _in a mass_. These are instances: "In those days
Peter, _rising up in the midst of the brethren_, said"--"Peter,
_standing up with the eleven_, lifted up his voice"--"They said _to
Peter and to the rest of the Apostles_"--"Peter _with John_
fastening his eyes upon him said, Look upon us."--"Peter _and the
Apostles_ answering, said."[10] Now what form of writing could Luke
choose to refute an opinion about the _universal_ equality of the
Apostles? Or to show Peter as set over the rest, and to satisfy in
this even the most unreasonable? Either the form which he did choose
is calculated to do this, or none such can be found.

4. Add to this that Peter is represented as speaking and answering,
when the occasion would suggest that all the Apostles, equally,
should disclose their mind. The reproaches of the unbelieving Jews
affected not Peter singly, but all alike; but he alone stands forth,
he alone lifts up his voice, and in a long speech brings them to
sound reflection. The multitude, struck with compunction, asked not
Peter only, but the rest likewise, "What shall we do, men and
brethren?" Yet it is forthwith added, "But _Peter_ said to them."
Upon the miracle by which one who had been lame from his mother's
womb was healed, "all the people ran together to them," both Peter
and John, but Peter alone speaks, and takes on himself the defence
of the common cause: "Peter seeing, made answer to the people."[11]
Fresh instances may be found in chs. iv. 6-7, and v. 2-3. The result
of the whole is that Peter is continually "the mouth-piece of the
Apostles,"[12] always takes the lead, and gives his own mind, as
conveying that of the rest.

On what ground does he do this? Was it from natural fervour of
disposition? But it was the same after he was filled with the Holy
Spirit as before. Was it the result of superior age, or first
calling? but the facts refute this. What other cause can be
suggested save that Primacy which the Gospels record, and the Acts

5. To this we must likewise refer it that Luke, while he amply
describes actions which belong to Peter, rather hints at than
narrates what concerns the other Apostles. Thus he leaves it to be
understood that the others spoke, while he gives Peter's discourses
entire, and seems to have chosen them as the principal material of
his history. He simply suggests that miracles were wrought by the
rest, but records particularly what Peter did for the establishment
of the faith. He relates but very little of those who became
Christians by the exertion of others, but notes at large the
abundant fruit of Peter's teaching. Take an ancient author's summary
of the Acts, "this whole volume is about the ascension of Christ
after the resurrection, and about the descent of the Holy Spirit on
the holy Apostles, and how and where the disciples announced
Christ's religion, and all the wondrous deeds which they did by
prayer and faith in Him, and about Paul's divine calling from
heaven, his apostleship, and fruitful preaching, and in a word about
those many great dangers which the Apostles underwent for
Christ:"[13] follow, out of this, all which concerns the universal
Church in the first twelve chapters, and Peter will be found not
only the principal, but well nigh the only, figure in the

6. Hence as the Gospels may be called the history of Christ, so this
first part of the Acts may be called the history of Peter; for as
Christ occupies each page of the Gospels, so Peter here. Nothing can
be more emphatic or more just than S. Chrysostome's words: "Behold
him making his rounds on every side, and the first to be found; when
an Apostle was to be chosen, he was the first; when the Jews were to
be told that they were not drunken; when the lame man was to be
healed; when the multitude was to be addressed, he is before the
rest; when they had to do with the rulers, it is he; when with
Ananias, when healings took place from the shadow, still it is he.
Where there was danger, it is he, and where there was dispensation;
but when all is tranquil, they act in common. He sought not the
greater honour. But again, when miracles are to be worked, he comes
forth before the rest."[14] What can prove Peter's pre-eminence if
this does not? But his words on another occasion deserve mention.
Alluding to the title "Acts of the Apostles," which seems to promise
their common history, he observes, "Yet if you search accurately,
the first part of the book exhibits Peter's miracles and teaching,
but little on the part of the other Apostles; and after this the
whole account is spent on Paul." But he adds, "How are they the acts
of all the Apostles? Because, according to Paul, when one member is
glorified, all the members are glorified with it, the historian did
not entitle them, the Acts of Peter and of Paul, but the Acts of the
Apostles; the promise of the writer includes them all."[15] Now
every one must feel the very high distinction given to Paul in the
latter part of the book, when the historian turns away from the
general history of the Church to record his particular labours, in
which, no doubt, the object was to show the progress of the Church
among the Gentiles; but with regard to the part which is common to
the whole Church, another thought is suggested. The history of what
Peter taught and did, to build up and extend the Church, is
considered the common history of the Apostles, and so inscribed as
their Acts. But can this be called an _accurate_ expression, unless
Peter had been the head of the Apostles? It is very plain that the
acts of a head are imputed to the whole body; to a college of
brethren, what its chief executes; to a city or kingdom, the deeds
of its prince. But it is not plain how this can be, if the actor be
one of a number, and do not exceed his brethren in honour or
dignity. Therefore the Acts of Peter could be called, generally, the
Acts of the Apostles, only because they were considered the Acts of
their head.

Now let us pass from the general view to that in detail.

I. After [16]the Lord's ascension a most important point immediately
arose, whether, that is, the number of the Twelve was to be filled
up by the election of a new Apostle to take the place of Judas. The
will of Christ on this matter was to be learnt; a witness was to be
chosen who should participate in the mission of Christ Himself,
according to the words, "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send
you," and carry the light of the Gospel to the ends of the world;
and one was to be elected to the dignity of the Apostolate, the
highest rank in the Church. It was, therefore, so important a
matter, that no one could undertake it save he who had received the
vicarious headship of our Lord Himself. Now the history in the Acts
tells us that Peter alone spoke on the subject of substituting a
fresh Apostle for Judas; Peter alone proved from Scripture the
necessity of the election, defined the conditions of eligibility,
and appointed the mode of election, and presided over and directed
the whole transaction.

For Luke begins thus: "In those days," the interval between the
Ascension and Pentecost, "Peter rising up in the midst of the
brethren, said." Here the important prerogative _of initiation_ is
shown to belong to Peter, and by the phrase, "in the midst of the
brethren," or "disciples,"--which is often used of Christ in respect
of the Apostles--his pre-eminence over the disciples is shown.
"Brethren, it behoved that the Scripture should be fulfilled which
the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus, who was numbered
with us, and had obtained part of this ministry," that is, of the
Apostolate. Then having mentioned the miserable end of the traitor,
he applies to him the prophecy: "For it is written in the Book of
Psalms, 'Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be none
to dwell therein:' and, adding another prophecy from another Psalm,
'his bishopric let another take.'"[17] Whence he concludes,
"Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that
the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the
baptism of John, until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one
of these _must_ be made a witness with us of His resurrection." In
these words Peter plainly points out the _necessity_ of the matter
in question, confirms it by the Holy Scriptures, speaking in the
character of their highest interpreter, and as the appointed teacher
of all; and, while proposing it to their deliberation, yet requires
their consent; for the phrase, "wherefore, one _must_," means, "I am
not proposing what may be done or left undone, but declaring and
prescribing what is to be done." So he determines the conditions of
eligibility, and the form of election. Whereupon his hearers--"the
number of persons together about an hundred and twenty"--instantly
agree unanimously to Peter's proposition, follow its conditions, and
complete the election.

No one can reflect on the above without concluding, that if Peter
presided over the rest by the authority of a divinely chosen
headship, no course could be more becoming, both for Peter and for
the disciples, than this; and if, on the contrary, Peter was only
one out of many, not having yet even received the Pentecostal gifts
of the Holy Spirit, and had been entrusted by Christ with no
pre-eminent office in the ministry, nothing could be more unfitting
for both. We have therefore to infer that Peter "stood in the midst
of the disciples," as a superior among inferiors, not as an equal
among equals, and conceived that the charge of supplying an Apostle,
and filling up the Apostolic college, belonged in chief to himself,
because he and they alike were conscious, that he was the steward
set in chief over the Lord's family.

But, clear as this is on the face of the narration itself, fresh
light is shed on it by the fact that S. Chrysostome observed and
recorded this very conclusion. For why did Peter alone arise? Why
was he the first and the only one to speak? "Both[18] as fervent,
and _as one entrusted by Christ with the flock_, and _as the first
of the choir_, he ever first begins to speak." Why does he allege
prophecy? First, that he might not seem with human counsel "to
attempt a great matter, and one fitted for Christ:" next to imitate
his Master, "he always reasons from the Scriptures." "Why did he not
singly ask of Christ to give him some one in the place of Judas?"
Because "Peter had now improved," and overcome his natural
disposition. But "_might not Peter by himself have elected?_
Certainly: but he does not so, that he may not seem partial." "Why
does he communicate this to them," the whole number of the
names? "That the matter may not be contested, nor they fall into
strife: for" (he alludes to the contention of the Apostles for the
primacy,) "if this had happened to themselves, much more would it to
the others," that is, the candidates to succeed Judas. Then he
points out to our admiration "Peter doing this with common consent,
nothing[19] with authority, nothing with lordship," where we must
note that the _abuse_ of a power is only to be feared from one who
really has that power. For again he says, "he first acts with[20]
authority in the matter, _as having himself all put into his hands_,
for to him Christ said, 'And thou in thy turn one day confirm thy

The college of the Apostles completed, it followed that the head, if
such there were, would on every occasion of danger, be the first to
protect it, and to defend its reputation. Now there ensues the
miracle of the Holy Spirit's descent, and the gift of tongues,
whereupon Luke describes the various opinions of the astonished
multitude, some of whom "mocking,[21] said, These men are full of
new wine." That is, they blasphemed the working of the Spirit, and
by the most monstrous calumny were destroying the good name of the
Apostles. Whereupon, "Peter, standing up with the Eleven, lifted up
his voice and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell
in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my
words. For these are not drunk as you suppose, seeing it is but the
third hour of the day: but this is that which was spoken of by the
prophet Joel." Now here, both the _form of the words_, and the
_matter_, establish Peter's primacy. For the phrase, "Peter standing
up with the Eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke to them,"
portrays Peter as the leader of the band, the master of the family.
So S. Chrysostome,[22] "What means _with the Eleven_? They uttered a
common voice, and he was the mouthpiece of all. And the Eleven stand
beside him, bearing witness to his words." And as to the _matter_,
Peter alone fulfils the part of teacher, by interpreting scripture,
and declaring the agreement of both covenants: Peter alone maintains
the common cause: Peter alone, representing all, addresses the
multitude in the name of all. "Observe, too, the harmony of the
Apostles: they give up to him the office of speaking:"[23] that is,
they yielded to him who was the Head, and who, as he says, showed
here "the courage," as before "the providential care" of the Head.

After refuting the calumny, Peter goes on in a noble discourse to
explain prophecies, and then coming to the dispensation of Jesus,
gives the strongest proofs of His resurrection and exaltation to the
right hand of the Father, and finally sums up with great force and
authority. "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know most
certainly, that God hath made both Lord and Christ this same Jesus
whom you have crucified."

Now, what[24] is here to our purpose? It is this, that Luke seems
only to dwell on what concerns Peter: that Peter, first of all, and
in the name of all, performs the office of a witness, laid both on
himself and the rest, ("ye shall be witnesses to Me;" "and you shall
give witness,")[25] saying, "this Jesus hath God raised up, of which
we all are witnesses:" that first of all, he publicly and solemnly
discharges the duty of instruction with authority: that, first of
all, he fulfils the charge set by Christ on all the Apostles, "make
disciples--teach:" that, first of all, he promulgates the necessity
of believing in Jesus as the divinely appointed Lord and Christ. Now
these are things which, so far from allowing an equality between
Peter and the rest of the Apostles, point out in him a headship over

Thereupon, the hearers, struck with compunction for having
crucified, not merely a just man, but the Anointed of the Lord,
"said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles"--here again he alone is
singly named--but of all alike they asked, "Men and brethren, what
shall we do?" Whereupon, S. Chrysostome[26] notes, "here again,
where all are asked, he alone replies." For, as Luke goes on, "Peter
said to them:" As the leader, he performs what belongs to all: he
alone sets forth the law of Christ. "Do penance, and be baptized
every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of
sins:" he alone encourages them with the promised gifts of the Holy
Spirit, "and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost:" he alone
continues at length the instruction of the hearers, "and with very
many other words did he testify and exhort them:" he alone declares
the fruit of Christian profession, "save yourselves from this
perverse generation," and he alone it is, of whose ministry Luke
adds, "They, therefore, that gladly received his word were baptized,
and there were added, in that day, about three thousand souls."

And here we see how fitting it was that Peter, whom Christ had set
as the foundation and rock of the Church, should labour with all his
might, as the chief architect after Him, to build up the structure.
But what, in the meantime, of the other Apostles? Were not they also
architects? Yes, but _with_ Peter, and _under_ Peter, whom
accordingly, they attend and support. The subsequent additions to
the Church's structure, and the course consistently pursued by
Peter, will bring this out yet more clearly. For, of fresh
accretions, Luke writes, "Many of them who had heard the word,
believed, and the number of the men was made five thousand."[27]
Now, whose word was this? Still the word of Peter, who speaks for
the third[28] and fourth time, as he had for the first and second.

For, as to the third[29] occasion, Luke, after mentioning Peter and
John together, introduces Peter alone as urging the children of
Abraham to embrace the faith of Christ, and persuading them that
Jesus is the Prophet, promised by God through Moses in Deuteronomy.
And as to the fourth,[30] he writes, "Then Peter, filled with the
Holy Ghost, said to them--" But was he alone present? not so, for
the council "setting them," not him, but John as well as Peter, "in
the midst, they asked," on which Chrysostome[31] observes, "See how
John is on every occasion silent, while Peter defends him likewise."
That is, John was silent, as knowing that the lead belonged to
Peter, and Peter spoke, because the Head defends not himself only,
but the members committed to him.

Now, reviewing these first four chapters of the Acts, let us ask
these questions. Had Peter held the authority of head among the
Apostles, what would he have done? He would have filled up the
Apostolic college, carefully watched over it, protected its several
members. But this is just what he did. Again, had Christ made him
the supreme teacher and doctor, what would he have done? He would
have disclosed, first to the Apostles themselves, and to the
disciples, and then to the multitude, who were to be converted, the
secrets of the divine will laid up in the Scriptures; he would have
shown the agreement between the dispensation of Christ, and the
oracles of the Old Testament, and so have proved that Jesus was the
Messiah. But this he repeatedly did. Once more, had Christ made him
the chief among the builders of the Church, what would have been his
office? He would have been the very first to set his hand to the
work, and to construct the building with living stones; he would
have held the other workmen under his control, so that the edifice
might rise worthy of Christ, and exactly answering to His promises.
But does not the history give precisely this picture of him, and
does not the Church which Peter raised answer exactly to the
archetype prescribed by the Lord? "All they that believed were
together, and had all things common:" "the multitude of believers
had but one heart and one soul:" what is this but the counterpart of
that divine prayer, "that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art
in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, that the
world may believe that Thou hast sent[32] Me."

II. To take another point. The office of[33] authoritative teaching
is in the New Testament closely connected with the power of working
miracles, so that Christ not only said of Himself, "If I had not
come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have
no excuse for their sin:" but likewise added, "If I had not done
among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not
have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My
Father:"[34] to shew that, while faith depended on preaching, and
authoritative instruction, these also needed the power of _works_ to
conciliate conviction. In accordance with which, when He first sent
out His Twelve to preach, He not only charged them what to say, "the
kingdom of heaven is at hand,"[35] but added the fullest miraculous
power, "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out
devils." And when more solemnly sending them, not to one people, but
to all nations, "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the Gospel
to every creature," He adds their warrant, "these signs shall follow
them that believe. In My name they shall cast out devils, they shall
speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents:" and the
Evangelist subjoins, "They going forth preached everywhere, the Lord
working withal, and confirming the word with signs that

Remembering, then, this very close connexion between the authority
of Apostolic teaching and the power of working miracles, we may fix
a criterion for recognising the exercise of the supreme office in
teaching. Suppose any one of the Apostles to have been invested at
the commencement of the Church with this office, how may he be
ascertained? If any one is found invariably the first to announce
the word of truth, and likewise to confirm it with miracles, you may
suppose him to be that one. Suppose, again, that Luke intended to
represent one of the Apostles as the supreme teacher. How may it be
safely inferred? If, in the course of his narration, he continually
exhibits one as eminent above all the rest in preaching the Gospel
and guaranteeing it by signs. These are not tests arbitrarily
chosen, but naturally suggested. And both exactly fit to Peter, and
to Peter alone. For he, in this history of the universal Church, is
the first, nay, well nigh the only one, both to preach and to
support his preaching by miracles. And Luke takes pains to relate no
less his miracles than his discourses, and scarcely describes with
any detail either the one or the other, of any but Peter.

Nay, his mode of writing suggests a parallel between himself and S.
John in his Gospel, as if it were no less Luke's intention to show
Peter invested with the supreme office, than John's to set forth
Christ as the head and teacher of the Apostolic college; and no less
Luke's purpose to accredit the Church by Peter's miracles, than[37]
John's by the miracles of Christ to establish faith in Him as the
true Son of God. For the circumstances of each narration point to
this similarity of design. As S. John subordinates the group of
Apostles entirely to the figure of Christ, so Luke, very slightly
sketching the rest, is profuse in detail of what concerns Peter, and
marks him as set over all. As John in recording the miracles of
Christ dwells on the points which prove His divine mission and
origin from the Father, so Luke directs his narration to exhibit the
beginning, the growth, and the authority of the Church, as due to
Peter's miracles. We will mark two further resemblances. _First_,
the miracles which Luke records of Peter seem cast in the same type
as those of Christ. Compare the first one with that told by John,
ch. v.

     John v. 5-9. "There was a certain man there that had been eight
     and thirty years under his infirmity. Him when Jesus had seen
     lying, and knew that he had been now a long time, He saith to
     him, Wilt thou be made whole? The infirm man answered Him, Sir,
     I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the
     pond. For whilst I am coming another goeth down before me.
     Jesus said to him, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. And
     immediately the man was made whole, and he took up his bed and

     Acts iii. 2-8. "And a certain man, who was lame from his
     mother's womb, was carried, whom they laid every day at the
     gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful. He, when he had
     seen Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to
     receive an alms. But Peter, with John, fastening his eyes upon
     him, said, Look upon us. But he looked earnestly upon them,
     hoping that he should receive something of them. But Peter
     said, Silver and gold I have none, but what I have, I give
     thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk.
     And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and
     forthwith his feet and soles received strength, and he, leaping
     up, stood, and walked."

How often had the hand of the Lord--as here that of Peter--healed
the sick, given the blind sight, cured the leper, and raised the
dead! But if Peter's miracle in healing Oeneas of the palsy
carries[38] one back immediately to the poor man let down through
the roof before our Lord, there is a yet more exact identity between
the great miracle of Christ raising Jairus' daughter, and Peter
raising Dorcas. In the one case, the Lord "having put them all out,
taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were
with Him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying, and taking the
damsel by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi, which is, Damsel,
arise, and immediately the damsel rose up and walked." In the other
case, Peter came into the upper chamber, "and all the widows stood
about him weeping--and they being all put forth, Peter, kneeling
down, prayed, and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And
she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up,[39] and giving
her his hand he lifted her up." But how perfect the resemblance of
the following.

     Luke iv. 40. "And when the sun was down, all they that had any
     sick with divers diseases brought them to Him. But He, laying
     His hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went
     out from many."

     Acts v. 15. "Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the
     streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that, when Peter
     came, his shadow, at the least, might overshadow any of them,
     and they might be delivered from their infirmities. And there
     came also together to Jerusalem a multitude out of the
     neighbouring cities, bringing sick persons, and such as were
     troubled with unclean spirits, who were all healed."

The _second_ point of resemblance is, that the multitude regarded
Peter among the Apostles as before they had regarded Christ: for,
putting the rest of the Apostles in the second place, they flocked
to him, and besought his aid. So that Luke, briefly saying of them,
that "by the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders
wrought among the people,"[40] goes on to Peter, and of him relates
the unheard-of wonders just described, assigning to the miracles
wrought by him, "that the multitude of men and women who believed in
the Lord was more increased." It is just as when "there came to
Jesus great multitudes, having with them the dumb, the blind, the
lame, the maimed, and many others; and they cast them down at His
feet, and He healed them."[41] And the fuller the resemblance these
incidents shew between Peter and Christ, the more evident their
proof that Peter's ministry must be considered a continuation of
that which Christ begun.

III. We proceed[42] to the order predetermined by our Lord in the
propagation of His Church.

Of Himself He had said, though the Redeemer of all, that He was not
sent, that is, as an Apostle, actually to preach, "save to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel:" and on first sending His Apostles, He
gave them this commission, "Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles,
and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go ye rather
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But when about to ascend
to the Father, He tells them, "You shall receive the power of the
Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost
part of the earth:"[43] that is, that they should set up His kingdom
through all the world, proceeding by gradual steps, from Jerusalem
to Judea, thence to Samaria, and at length "to every creature" in
the whole world.

Now the history of the Acts shows the exact accomplishment of this
order, and it likewise shows that Simon Peter was the one elected
chief instrument for carrying out these successive propagations of
the Church. What we have said already shows this as to the mother
Church of Jerusalem, and, before proceeding to the Gentile Churches,
we will trace the same instrumentality as used to bring the
Samaritans into the universal kingdom.

The persecution ensuing on the proto-martyr Stephen's death caused,
by our Lord's providence, the dissemination of many believers
through Judea and Samaria, while the Apostles alone remained at
Jerusalem. Amongst those who thus "went about preaching the word of
God," Philip the deacon came to Samaria, and many of the people,
hearing his words and seeing his miracles, were converted and
baptized. But the Church thus commenced by the preaching of the
deacon would have dried up without hope of progress, had it not
received the assistance of those whom Christ had set in the place of
fathers, and who could bestow the gifts of the Holy Ghost. For[44]
"the Church is in the bishop," and, as S. Jerome said of a faction
which had a deacon for its author, "With the man the sect also
perished, because a deacon could ordain no clerk after him. But it
is not a Church which has no priest." Accordingly when[45] "the
Apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received
the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John," who "laid
their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost." The
providence of Christ, then, so ordered the propagation of His
kingdom as to choose Peter and John to complete and perfect the
Samaritan Church. But was this on equal terms, or is no superior
dignity and authority apparent in Peter over John? A regard to the
words of Luke, and the series of acts recorded, will prevent such a
misconception. For he mentions Peter and John, but he sets Peter
first, and in his record of what happened to Simon John acts the
second part, and it is Peter alone who teaches, commands, judges,
and condemns, with authority, as the head and supreme ruler. Simon
Magus, tempted by beholding the gifts of the Holy Spirit visibly
bestowed on imposition of the Apostles' hands, "offered them money,"
to both Peter and John. But Peter alone replies, and not only so,
but condemns his profaneness, enlarges on his guilt, and solemnly
declares that the gifts of God are not purchaseable with money.
"Keep thy money to thyself to perish with thee, because thou hast
thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money;" he
discloses Simon's secret thoughts, "for thy heart is not right in
the sight of God;" he inflicts on him excommunication, "thou hast no
part nor lot in this matter;" he exhorts him to repent, "do penance
therefore from this thy wickedness, and pray to God, if perhaps this
thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee." Now here John, the next
of the Apostles in rank, is with Peter, yet he does not speak,
teach, or enjoin: Peter does all this singly. He answers Simon's
question, lances and probes the most secret wound of his conscience,
declares how divine gifts are given, proscribes the plague of
simony, orders penance, and inflicts excommunication on a scandalous
public offender. Thus the twenty-second of the Apostolic canons
runs, "If any bishop, priest or deacon, hath obtained this dignity
by money, let him and his ordainer be deposed, and altogether be
deprived of communion, as Simon Magus was by Peter." Nothing but an
inequality of rank between Peter and John will account for Luke's
narration here. But if John was inferior to Peter, much more the

But there is another proof of his superiority here, in that God
caused Simon Peter to engage Simon Magus. Thus, by His providence,
"reaching from end to end mightily, and ordering all things
sweetly," the first-born of Christ is brought to conflict with the
"first-born of the devil," the chief of teachers with the earliest
of heretics, and prime of that long brood of the evil one, who are
to persecute "the seed of the woman." Thus ancient writers record
that Peter afterwards went to Rome on purpose to expose the acts of
this same Simon. Thus they mention his engaging with the famous
Alexandrine Apion, the enemy of the Jewish and the Christian faith
alike. And hence, too, probably the very ancient writer (whoever he
was) of the Epistle of Clement to S. James, begins it by recording
how "Simon, for his true faith and his firm grounding in doctrine,
was appointed to be the foundation of the Church, and for this very
reason by Jesus Himself with most true augury had his name changed
to Peter, the first-fruits of our Lord, the first of the Apostles,
to whom first the Father revealed the Son, whom Christ with reason
blessed, the called and the elect, His guest and comrade, the good
and the proved disciple, _he who, as the most able of all, was
commanded to illuminate the West, the darker quarter of the world_,
and who was enabled to succeed."

But as to what is said that "the Apostles who were in Jerusalem
_sent_ to the Samaritans Peter and John," it must be remembered,
that at the head of those thus _sending_ was Peter himself, and that
next to him John was the most distinguished of the Apostolic
college. And since it is evident from all that we have hitherto
seen, that in whatever concerned the Apostles equally, Peter took
the leading part, and in their common deliberations exercised the
initiative, it must be concluded that he was likewise the first
author of this resolution, to send himself and John to the
Samaritans. And this is confirmed by our seeing that in the
fulfilment of this mission he discharges the offices, and acts with
the authority, of head. To none else could the execution of a fresh
advance in the propagation of the Church be committed; and so great,
besides, were the jealousies between the Jews and Samaritans, that
it needed no less than Peter's authority to induce the Jewish
converts to receive them into the bond of the same society.

IV. But now we[46] draw nigh to the revelation of that great
"mystery which in other generations was not known to the sons of
men--that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body,
and co-partners of His promise in Christ Jesus by the Gospel,"
whereby was brought to pass the prophecy, "from the rising of the
sun even to the going down My Name is great among the Gentiles, and
in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My Name a
clean oblation."[47] The hour was come "when the true adorers were
to adore the Father in spirit and in truth" throughout every region
of the world purchased with the blood of the Son of God, and of this
event, expected during four thousand years, God, by an unexampled
honour, disclosed to Peter, and through Peter, the time and the
manner. This greatest of purposes, after His own ascension, Christ
left to be revealed through him to whom He had committed the feeding
of His sheep.

While Peter[48] was "passing through all," that is, exercising his
general supervision as primate of the Church, God sent His angel "in
a vision manifestly" to "a certain man in Cesarea named Cornelius, a
centurion of that which is called the Italian band, a religious man,
and fearing God with all his house, giving much alms to the people,
and always praying to God." And the angel says to him: "Thy prayers
and thine alms are ascended for a memorial in the sight of God, and
now send men to Joppa, and call hither one Simon, who is surnamed
Peter; he will tell thee what thou must do." Though God, then, sends
an angel, it is left to _Simon, who is surnamed Peter_, to declare
His counsel, in what affected the salvation of innumerable souls.
Other Apostles there were to whom had been said equally, "Go ye into
the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature," and "Ye
shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and
Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth;" and "as the
Father hath sent Me, I also send you." Yet putting aside all these,
as on so many other occasions, Peter is preferred, and that because
to him alone was said, "on this rock I will build My Church," and
again, "Feed My lambs, be shepherd over My sheep." Fitting it was
that, when the wall between the Jews and Gentiles should be taken
away, by him specially, all should be collected into one, on whom,
as the divinely-laid foundation, all were to rest. Fitting, again,
that the Lord's prophecy, "Other sheep I have which are not of this
fold; those also I must bring; and they shall hear My voice; and
there shall be one fold and one shepherd," should be fulfilled
chiefly by his ministry to whom the Lord had committed His own
office of universal visible pastor. For the Church, in her very
birth, and in the whole process of her growth, bore this upon her
forehead, that _universality_ as well as _unity_ belonged
substantially to Peter, and that it was no less his function to
gather up all nations into the mould of unity by his ministration as
the one chief shepherd, than to embrace them all in the wide circuit
of his love. Therefore it is a marvellous agreement in which the
_institution_ of the Primacy has a corresponding _execution_; and as
the latter confirms the former, so from the former you might
anticipate the latter before it was recorded in the sacred history.

But in the meantime, while the messengers of Cornelius were
approaching the house in which Peter was a guest, "there came upon
him an ecstasy of mind, and he saw the heaven opened, and a certain
vessel descending, as it were a great linen sheet let down by the
four corners from heaven to the earth, wherein were all manner of
four-footed beasts, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of
the air;" and while Peter is fixed in contemplation, "there came a
voice to him, Arise Peter, kill and eat," that he might understand
how "by[49] his preaching he was to make a sacrifice to the Lord of
those who were represented by these animals, bringing them into the
divine service through the mysteries of the Lord's passion," which
he not yet understanding, replies, "Far be it from me, for I never
did eat anything that is common or unclean." Then the heavenly
"voice spoke to him again the second time, That which God hath
cleansed, do not thou call common. And this having been done thrice,
presently the vessel was taken up into heaven."

Here three things are set forth; first, that as the ark of Noah
contained all sorts of animals, clean and unclean, so the fold of
Christ was to gather from Jews and Greeks and barbarians "a[50]
great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and
tribes, and peoples, and tongues;" secondly, that the blessings of
Christ concerned all who did not reject the proferred grace;
thirdly, that the elaborate system of Mosaic ordinances concerning
meats, rites, and ceremonies, had fallen to the ground. But to whom
is disclosed, first and immediately, this whole dispensation of the
first principles on which the Church was to be propagated? To none
other but Peter, "to me hath God shown to call no man common or
unclean." Now the undoubted knowledge of this dispensation must
appear of the greatest moment, whether in itself, or as concerns the
Jews, of whom the earliest church consisted, or the Apostles, by
whose ministry it was to be extended. And yet, by that providence
which is ever over His Church, the wisdom of God so ruled it, that
through Peter alone the Apostles should be taught when they were
first to approach the Gentiles, and discharge their office of
witnesses before all nations without distinction. And that because
He had made Peter "the greater one" and "the leader" of all, and put
him in His own place, and constituted him supreme teacher in these
words, "Confirm thy brethren." Thus[51] Epiphanius, in the fourth
century, says that the charge of bringing the Gentiles into the
Church was laid upon all the Apostles, "but most of all on holy
Peter." Why this _most of all_? Because, while He had heard with the
rest, "make disciples of all nations," he had singly and peculiarly
received the charge of the whole fold, and of the Apostles, as part
of it.

But Peter, still pondering on the vision, hears a fresh voice from
the Spirit, "Behold three men seek thee. Arise, therefore, get thee
down, and go with them, doubting nothing, for I have sent them." He
accompanies the messengers and finds Cornelius, "his kinsman and his
special friends;" he asks why they have sent for him, whereupon
Cornelius informs him of what had past, and concludes, "now
therefore all we are present in thy sight, to hear all things
whatsoever are commanded thee by the Lord." Peter in reply sets
forth to them the heads of Christian doctrine, and as he comes to
the words "to Him all the prophets give testimony, that by His name
all receive remission of sins, who believe in Him," "the Holy Ghost
fell upon all them that heard the word" of life and truth from his
lips. And the Jewish Christians who were with him, being astonished
at this reception of Gentiles into the Church by the Holy Spirit's
visible descent, Peter cries, "Can any man forbid water that these
should not be baptised, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as
we?" "Words," says [52]S. Chrysostome, "of one almost assaulting any
that would forbid, and say that should not be," and so "he
commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus;" for
Peter also, like his Lord,[53] preached in person, but baptized by
the hands of others.

Are not then the prerogatives of Peter written legibly on this whole
narration? First, among all the Apostles he alone is chosen to
consecrate to God the first fruits of the Gentiles. Again, through
him, as the teacher of all, God makes known to the Apostles
themselves when the door was to be opened to the Gentiles. Thirdly,
without advising with the rest, he enlarges the fold of Christ,
which in Christ's place he ruled, with the accession of the
Gentiles. Fourthly, the building of the Church is thus referred to
him alone. Further, he gathers up to himself the Church which is
made out of Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles; as the foundation he
sustains the whole; and when constructed, he binds it together.
Lastly, Luke, without having recorded a single speech of any other
Apostle, has given five of Peter, thus showing that Peter's words,
as well as his actions, had a higher importance than theirs in the
history of the Church's birth and growth; for, indeed, in the
history of the head that of the body is included.

On Peter's[54] return to Jerusalem, "the Apostles and brethren who
were in Judea, having heard that the Gentiles also had received the
word of God,"[55] "they that were of the circumcision contended with
him," because he had "gone in to men uncircumcised, and ate with
them." Hereupon Peter set forth to them the whole series of events,
upon which "they held their peace and glorified God, saying, God
then has also to the Gentiles given repentance unto life." Now some
in late times have attempted to derogate from Peter's authority on
the strength of this incident. On the other hand S. Chrysostome,
not satisfied with setting forth Peter's rank, and assigning his
whole apology to a most gracious condescension, continues, "See how
he defends himself, and _will not use his dignity as the Teacher_,
for he knew that the more gently he spoke with them, the surer he
was to win them."[56] And what expression can signify Peter's rank
more markedly than _the_ Teacher? And Gregory the Great sets forth
Peter's distinctions, how he alone had received the keys, walked on
the waters, healed with his shadow, killed with his word, and raised
the dead by his prayer; then he goes on, "and because, warned by the
Spirit, he had gone in to Cornelius, a Gentile, a question was
raised against him by the faithful, as to wherefore he had gone in
to the Gentiles, and eaten with them, and received them in baptism.
And yet the same first of the Apostles, filled with so great a grace
of gifts, supported by so great a power of miracles, answers the
complaint of the faithful by an appeal not to authority but to
reason.... For if, when blamed by the faithful, he had considered
the authority which he held in holy Church, he might have answered,
that the sheep entrusted to the shepherd should not venture to
censure him. But if, in the complaint of the faithful, he had said
anything of his own power, he would not have been the teacher of
meekness. Therefore he quieted them with humble reason, and in the
matter where he was blamed even cited witnesses. If, therefore, _the
Pastor of the Church, the Prince of the Apostles_, having a
_singular_ power to do signs and miracles, did not disdain, when he
was censured, humbly to render account, how much more ought we
sinners, when blamed for anything, to disarm our censurers by a
humble defence."[57]

Here it occurs to observe with what different eyes Holy Scripture
may be read, for just where persons determined to deny Peter's
authority find an excuse for their foregone conclusion, the Fathers
draw arguments to praise the moderation with which he exercised that
same superior authority.

V. But [58]founded as we have seen the Church to have hitherto been,
and at each step of its course advanced, mainly by the authority of
Peter, it could not hope to remain in a vigorous and united state
without the continual exercise of _judicial_ and _legislative_
power, and diligent _inspection_. Nor is there, in fact, one of
these which Peter did not exercise, and that in a manner to indicate
the ruler set over all. For as to the judicial power, do we not hear
him saying, "Tell[59] me whether you sold the land for so much;"
and, "Ananias, why hath Satan tempted thy heart, that thou shouldst
lie to the Holy Ghost, and by fraud keep part of the price of the
land? Whilst it remained did it not remain to thee? And after it was
sold, was it not in thy power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in
thy heart? Thou hast not lied to men but to God." And presently the
sentence comes forth from him who binds in heaven as well as on
earth. "Behold the feet of them who have buried thy husband are at
the door, and they shall carry thee out." Here then we have Peter,
in the midst of the Apostles, yet acting singly as the supreme
judge, and defender of ecclesiastical discipline, on which S.
Chrysostome says, "For Peter was terrible, punishing, and convicting
the thoughts, to whom they adhered the more both for the sign, and
his first speech, and his second, and his third. For he it was who
did the first sign, and the second, and the present, which seems to
me double, one to convict the thoughts, and another to kill with his
command." Then, asking why nobody had announced her husband's death
to Sapphira, "This was fear of the Teacher; this respect of the
disciples; this obedience:"[60] where he is mentioned not as _a_
teacher, but the supreme and chief one.

Yet though the other Apostles were judges, with power to bind and to
loose, though they were present, and concerned, for "Ananias
bringing a certain part, laid it at the feet of the Apostles," not
of Peter only, it was not they, but Peter, who entered on the cause
of Ananias and Sapphira, passed sentence, and inflicted punishment.
Why did he judge singly a cause which was brought before the common
tribunal of the Apostles? Because Peter was to have the Primacy in
all things; because from him the model of ecclesiastical judgments
was to be taken; because the charge of maintaining ecclesiastical
discipline belonged in chief to him as the head.

VI. But no less [61]markedly does Luke represent Peter as everywhere
visiting the Churches, providing for them as universal pastor, and
exercising herein the administrative Primacy. "The Churches," he
says, "throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace,
being edified and walking in the fear of the Lord, and were
multiplied by the consolation of the Holy Ghost. And it came to pass
_that Peter, as he passed through, visiting all_, came to the saints
who dwelt at Lydda."[62] In illustration of this we may remember
Paul's charge to Titus:[63] "for this cause I left thee in Crete,
that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and
shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee."
And again, what Luke writes of Paul himself: "After some days Paul
said to Barnabas, Let us return and visit our brethren in all the
cities wherein we have preached the word of the Lord, to see how
they do."[64] And what[65] Eusebius, from S. Clement, relates of S.
John, that he visited with authority the Churches of Asia, which he
had either founded, or specially attended to. By these passages we
see the nature of Peter's visitation, that it was pastoral, and
likewise the difference between his and these others, for they were
_local_, but his _universal_. Titus acted in Crete, the special
sphere of his labour, to which S. Paul the founder of that Church
had appointed him. Paul and Barnabas propose to visit "our brethren
_in every city in which we have preached the word of the Lord_;" S.
John exerts visitatorial power over the churches of that province
wherein he dwelt, and that too, apparently, when he was the sole
survivor of the Apostolic college, yet did not go into other parts.
But Peter's charge is oecumenical, and therefore his visitation
universal. He inspects the labours of others, as well as his own.
For he was not the only Apostle at Jerusalem, nor had he singly
built up all the churches of Judea, Galileo, and Samaria, yet he
alone makes a progress from Jerusalem to all these churches. Though
not the Bishop of Jerusalem, over which the Apostle James presides,
he goes everywhere, as "the Bishop of Bishops."[66] No other reason
coherent with Scripture can we find for this universal inspection of
Peter; for all the Apostles were indeed pastors, but he alone set
over the whole fold; he alone not limited, like Paul, "to the
brethren in every city wherein he had preached." He differs from
all others as the universal from the particular, and so S.
Chrysostome says of him in this very passage, "like a general he
went round surveying the ranks, seeing what portion was well massed
together, what in order, what needed his presence. Behold him making
his rounds in every direction."[67]

VII. Further, [68]we may see the deference paid to this supreme
authority of Peter by the Apostles and ancients at Jerusalem, on
occasion of that severest dissension which threatened the unity of
the Church, and kindled the greatest agitation, the question whether
Gentile converts should be bound to obey the Mosaic ritual law. For
"the [69]Apostles and Ancients having assembled to consider of this
matter," after "there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up,
said to them." But why does Peter first rise and decide the cause?
Because he was first of the Apostles, and as such supreme arbiter in
controversy. But consider what he says. "Men and brethren, you know
that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the
Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel, and believe." _By my
mouth_, he appeals to their knowledge of his election by God to the
singular privilege of receiving the Gentiles: in virtue of that
election he claims and exercises authority. "And God, who knoweth
the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well
as unto us, and put no difference between us and them, purifying
their hearts by faith." God, therefore, has already decided this
controversy, by my ministry, whom He specially called thereunto, and
by the effects which He caused to accompany it. Then, using words
full of force, being, indeed, very like those in which he had
answered Ananias and Sapphira, he continues, "now, therefore, why
tempt you God, to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which
neither our fathers, nor we, have been able to bear? But by the
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we believe that we shall be saved, in
like manner as they also." "How full of power are these words," is
the comment of S. Chrysostome,[70] "he says here what Paul has said
at great length in the Epistle to the Romans." And then, speaking of
the heads of Paul's doctrine, he adds, "the seeds of all this lie in
Peter's discourse." This, then, is a _decision_, and given in no
hesitating manner, but with severe censure of those who maintained
the opposite, as "tempting God," words suitable for him only to use
who had authority over all. But how did the council receive them?
Though "there had been much disputing before," though the keenest
feelings had been excited, and the point involved the strongest
prepossessions of the Jewish converts, "all the multitude held their
peace." They acquiesced in Peter's judgment, and now readily "heard
Barnabas and Paul telling what great signs and wonders God had
wrought among the Gentiles by them." It follows, then, that on a
capital point, and in the first council of the Church, Peter
occupied a position which befits only the supreme judge of
controversies, so that had we no other evidence but this place
whereby to decide upon his rank and office, his pre-eminence would
be evident. "See," says S. Chrysostome, "he first permits a
discussion to arise in the Church, and then he speaks."[71]

But is this affected by other persons likewise speaking and voting,
as Paul and Barnabas? or by S. James likewise giving his sentence,
as an Apostle? or by the whole matter being settled by common
consent? As little as to be _head_ involves being _all_; as to
preside over the rest takes from them the power of deliberation, and
resolution. Rather it is the office of the Head and the President to
take the initiative, and point out the course which others are to

For those here present were teachers, and had the prerogative of
hearing and judging, as well as Peter; they were bound to weigh the
matter in controversy to the best of their power, and to decide on it
according to the proportion of faith. They stood to Peter in a relation,
not of simple obedience, as the ordinary members of the flock, but of
judges, who, though responsible to his superintendence, yet are really
judges, pass sentence, and decree by inherent authority. It is no part
of the idea of a judge, that he should be supreme and irresponsible:
this is the _special_ privilege of the one supreme judge. Objections
such as these, therefore, do not take from Peter his Primacy, and
quality of Head, but claim for Paul, Barnabas, James, and the other
Apostles, the judicial authority and office, which they undoubtedly

Nor again, that, not Peter only, but all, passed the decree in
common, as it is written: "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to
us;" and as Paul and Timothy "delivered to the cities the decrees to
keep that were decreed by the Apostles and Ancients."[72] For a
decree made in common by many shews not an equality of power in
each, but a competent authority to join in that decree. Such acts
proceed, not only from equal, but from unequal assemblies. A
question, therefore, terminated by common decision, and laws
established by common consent, do indeed prove a power to deliberate
and decree common to all participating, but do not prove that all,
and every, of the judges were equal in their privileges, for who
gives to the Ancients the same authority as to the Apostles?

This inequality is elsewhere established, and rests on its own
proof, but bearing it in mind, we shall see that Peter is the first
and chief author of this common decree, and that laws passed by
common consent depend on him primarily as Head. Most unsuspicious
witnesses of this are the ancient writers, and this is the very
conclusion which they drew from the account of this council. Thus,
Tertullian, in the second century, speaking of Peter's singular
prerogatives, says, "On him the Church was built, that is, through
him: it was he who hanselled the key. This is it. 'Ye men of Israel,
hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among
you, &c.' He, too, first by Christian baptism opened the approach of
the heavenly kingdom, by which offences, heretofore bound, are
loosed, and those not loosed are bound, according to true salvation.
And Ananias he bound with the chain of death: and him that was weak
in his feet he delivered from his disease. But likewise, in that
discussion as to maintaining the law, Peter, first of all, instinct
with the Spirit, and preluding with the vocation of the Gentiles,
says, 'And now why tempt ye the Lord, by imposing a yoke on the
brethren, which neither we, nor our fathers have been able to bear?
But by the grace of Christ we believe that we shall be saved, as
also they.' _This_ SENTENCE _both loosed what was given up of the
law, and kept binding what was reserved_."[73] As clearly, S.
Jerome, in the fourth century, writes, that Peter "used his wonted
freedom, and that the Apostle James _followed his sentence_, and all
the ancients at once _acceded to it, and that the decree was drawn
upon his wording_."[74] A little later Theodoret wrote to S. Leo,
thus: "If Paul, the preacher of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy
Spirit, hastened to the great Peter, to carry from him the solution
to those at Antioch, at issue about living under the law; much more
do we, poor and humble, run to your Apostolic throne, to receive
from you healing for the wounds of the Churches."[75] Why does he
here call Peter, _the great_, or say that Paul hastened to him for
solution of a grave contention? Did not Paul go to all the Apostles?
But Peter was the head among them, and had a power in chief--a power
above the rest, a "more special" power--of binding and loosing.

VIII. One other [76]instance there is of Peter's superior dignity,
and therefore importance, in the Apostolic college, which if,
perhaps, less direct than some of the foregoing, is even more
persuasive. For there was an Apostle associated, as we have seen, by
our Lord with Peter and John in several favours not granted to the
rest; one who with John received from Him the name Boanerges; the
elder brother of John, who with him had once asked to sit on the
Lord's right hand and on His left in His kingdom. Now Luke is led in
the course of his narrative to mention the martyrdom of this great
and favoured Apostle; the first likewise of the Apostolic choir who
drank, as he had promised, of His Lord's baptism, and sealed his
labours and trials with his blood. The occasion was a great and
striking one. It is thus recorded by Luke. "And at the same time
Herod the king stretched forth his hands to afflict some of the
Church. And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword."
This is the first and the last time that he is mentioned by himself
in Luke's inspired history of the universal Church. Great as he was,
so eminently favoured by his Lord, the elder brother of John,
nothing is said of the Church's anxiety for his danger, her prayers
for his release, her sorrow at his loss, or her exultation at his
triumph by witnessing unto blood. He passed to his throne in heaven
with this short record. The more emphatic is the contrast following.
"And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter
also. Now it was in the days of the azymes. And when he had
apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four
files of soldiers to be kept, intending after the pasch to bring him
forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. _But prayer
was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him._" That is,
by the instinct of self-preservation she prayed for her head. A few
years later another Apostle, after glorious labours by land and sea,
and missions of unrivalled success, was seized and imprisoned in
this same city of Jerusalem, and in danger of his life. But we do
not hear of prayers being offered up without ceasing even for Paul,
the doctor of the nations. The Church's safety was not bound up with
his, any more than with that of James, and therefore not even of the
great preacher "in labours more abundant than all," are we told that
in the hour of danger "prayer was made without ceasing by the Church
unto God for him." James and Paul were most distinguished _members_,
but Peter was more. This was an honour reserved for the Head alone,
as the life of the Head was peculiarly precious to the whole body.
Thus S. Chrysostome explains it. "The prayer is a proof of
affection: they all sought for a Father, a kind Father."[77] And
then Luke proceeds to give at length Peter's delivery out of prison
by the angel, and his departure in safety to another place. But
there is no other solution of such a difference in recording what
happened alike to James, to Peter, and to Paul, but that Peter held
the place of father in the Lord's family, of commander in His army,
of steward in His household, delivering to each of His servants
their measure of wheat in due season.

The result,[78] then, of our particular enquiry in the Acts is to
demonstrate two things, that Peter discharged the office of Father
and Head in the Lord's family, and that the Church received and
admitted him when so acting, with a consciousness that such was the
will of Christ.

Now this office did not consist in "lording it" over his brethren,
in assuming high titles, and interfering with the ministry of others
when exercised in its due course, in rejecting their assistance, or
impeding the unanimous exercise of their counsel. On the contrary,
the Lord had before prescribed that "the greater" among them should
be as the younger, and "the leader" as he that ministers, proposing
to them Himself as the great model, who had exercised the highest
power with the utmost gentleness, and, being "the Lord," had become
"the servant of all." What, then, did this office of Primate consist
in? We may say that Peter was undoubtedly such, if he constantly
exercised the power of a head in building up the Church, in
maintaining discipline, in reconciling dissensions, and in general
administration. Now it would be doing Peter wrong to suppose that he
usurped as peculiar to himself what equally belonged to all the
Apostles; or that, having received the special power of the Holy
Ghost, he did not fulfil his own advice to others, "not to lord it
over the clergy, but to be made a pattern of the flock."[79] And the
four points just mentioned may be reduced to a triple authority, a
Primacy _magisterial_, _judicial_, and _legislative_. Let us take in
at one glance what has been said of Peter in regard to each of

As to the _magisterial_, or power of authoritative teaching, and
general administration, Peter is constantly taking the lead, he is
the mouthpiece of the Apostles: he alone, or he first, by teaching
plants the Churches; he alone, or he in chief, completes them when
planted; he it is who by divine revelation given to himself,
discloses to the rest the dispensation of God; and he in words full
of power sets forth to these assembled in council the course which
they are to pursue.

As to the _judicial_, none other judgments are found in that portion
of the Acts which contains the history of the whole Church, save
those of which he was either the _sole_ or the _chief_ author. Alone
he took cognisance of Ananias and Sapphira, and alone he punished
them. And Simon he censured in chief, and excommunicated.

As to the _legislative_, Peter alone promulged the law as to
receiving the Gentiles; alone he prescribed that for abrogating the
Mosaic ceremonial ordinances; and he was the chief author of the
decree which expressed in terms his own previous act, and was put
forth in common by the Apostles and Ancients.[80]

Again, compare the _institution_ of the Primacy with its _exercise_.
Its institution consisted in three things. 1. That Peter was named
by Christ the foundation of the Church, with whom its whole fabric
was most intimately to cohere, and from whom it should derive
visible unity and impregnable strength: 2. That the authority of
universal pastor, and the care of the whole fold, was committed to
him: 3. That to him belonged the confirmation of his brethren, and a
power of the keys to which all were subject. Now consider the

As foundation of the Church, he gathers up to himself congregations
from the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Gentiles.

As universal pastor, he collects from these three the flock,
nourishes, defends, inspects it, and fills up one place of highest
rank in the ministry forfeited by the traitor.

As confirmer of the brethren, he disclosed to them the heavenly
vision signifying the universal calling of the Gentiles, and the
abrogation of the Mosaic law. He acts in the Lord's household as the
bearer of the keys, going to all parts, defending and inspecting
all. By himself he binds and looses, calling Ananias and Sapphira to
his tribunal, and excommunicating the first heretic.

So exactly, then, do the institution of the Primacy and the acts of
Peter fit into each other, that from the former you may predict the
latter, and from the latter prove the former. They are like cause
and effect, or an à priori and an à posteriori argument. They are a
reciprocal confirmation to each other; just as if by time you
calculate the sun's rising, and see the diffusion of his light, from
his having risen you infer his light, and from his light conclude
that he has risen.

Nor in the Apostolic Church does any one appear to resist or
question this office of Peter. Rather upon him all eyes are fixed,
for him all are anxious; no Abiram rises up against him with the
words of rebellion; "Thou takest too much upon thee, seeing all the
congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among
them, wherefore then liftest thou up thyself above the congregation
of the Lord?"[81] No Aaron in a moment of delusion cries, "Did the
Lord speak by Moses only? hath He not spoken also by us?"

Yet Peter acts not like one out of a number, and occasions of
contention are not wanting, strong prepossessions and keen
feelings.[82] He is everywhere; his pre-eminence and his control are
universal: he can act with severity, and there are some impatient
even of a just control. When Ananias and Sapphira fell dead at his
feet, none murmured. When he exclaimed, in full council, "now,
therefore, why tempt you God?" the whole multitude was silent. When
he explained the reception of the Gentiles, those who had murmured
"held their peace, and glorified God."[83]

But had Peter not possessed, by divine commission, the authority
which he exercised, it is clear, from the conduct of Paul, that he
would have met with opposition from each in proportion to his
advance in Christian perfection. Paul's censure of his indulgence to
the prejudices of the circumcision, proceeding as it did from
charity, shews this. But what would Paul, and what would the other
Apostles have done, had they seen Peter perpetually taking the lead,
and exercising the power of a head, without any special title
thereto? Would they not have resisted him to the face, and before
all, and declared that there was no difference of authority between
them? Yet, not a trace of such resistance appears, while on
numberless occasions the Apostles, and the whole assembly of the
faithful, yield to him the Primacy, a sign truly that they
recognized in him one who had received the place of Christ as
visible Head among them.

The place of Christ _as visible Head_, for infinite indeed is the
distance between Christ and Peter, as to the headship of mystical
influx and the source of grace. Neither he nor any creature has part
with Christ as to this latter, of which Paul writes, "that God hath
set all things under His feet, and given Him to be Head over all to
the Church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who filleth all in
all;" of which again, "from whom the whole body, being compacted and
fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to
the operation in the measure of every part maketh increase of the
body, unto the edifying of itself in charity;" and "the husband is
the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church, and He is
the Saviour of His body:" and all this "to present it to Himself a
glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing."[84]
In _this_ sense Headship belongs to Christ, not only first and
chiefly, but absolutely and solely. But, as to the Headship of
external government and visible unity, though here also the same
Apostle calls Him, "the head of the body the Church, who is the
beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things He may
hold the primacy,"[85] to this Christ Himself has in a measure
associated Peter by saying to him specially, "Feed My sheep--follow
thou Me."

And observe how that divine injunction was fulfilled. For as
following our Lord with loving gaze through the Gospels we see every
object grouped about that heavenly figure of His; as our eyes rest
ever upon Him in the synagogue, in the market-place, among the
crowd, before the Pharisees, the elders, the chief priests, healing
the sick, raising the dead, supporting and animating His
disciples--so turning to the Acts we see a human copy indeed of that
Divine portrait, but still one wrought by the Holy Spirit out of our
redeemed flesh and blood. We see the fervent Apostle treading in his
master's steps, the centre and the support of his brethren, the
first before the Council, and before the people, ready with his
words and his deeds, uttering to the dead, as the echo of his Lord,
"Arise," and healing the sick with his shadow. With reason, then, do
the inspired writers use of Peter and of Christ similar forms of
speech, and as they write, "Jesus, and His disciples," "there went
with Him His disciples," "there He abode with His disciples," so
they write, "Peter standing up with the Eleven," "they said to Peter
and to the rest of the Apostles," "Peter and the Apostles
answering." What above all is remarkable is to observe the same
_proportion_ between the figure of Peter and the Apostles in the
first twelve chapters of the Acts, as between the figure of our Lord
and the Apostles in the Gospel. Such was the power and the will of
the Divine Master when He said, "Feed My sheep; follow thou Me."
Such the truth of the disciple, answering, "Lord, Thou knowest all
things, Thou knowest that I love Thee."


[1] Passaglia, p. 138.

[2] Passaglia, p. 140. St. Chrys. in Acta, Hom. 1.

[3] St. Chrys. Hom. in Ascens., and on Acts, Tom. 3, p. 773.

[4] Acts xvii. 28-9, and compare 1 Cor. xii. 12-17 with Eph. iv. 16.

[5] Dionys. de Coel. Hier. cap. 1, § 3.

[6] S. Cyril. Thes. lib. 34, p. 352, and lib. 9, on John, p. 810.

[7] Passaglia, p. 143.

[8] Passaglia, p. 144.

[9] Acts i. 13; ii. 14; iii. 1-3; iv. 19; viii. 14.

[10] Acts i. 15; ii. 14, 37; iii. 4; v. 29.

[11] Acts ii. 13, 37, 38; iii. 11, 12.

[12] St. Chrysostome.

[13] Euthalius, apud Zaccagnium, p. 410.

[14] On Acts, Hom. 21, n. 2.

[15] Hom. on beginning of Acts, n. 8. Tom. 3, 764.

[16] Passaglia, p. 148.

[17] Ps. lxix. 26; cviii. 8.

[18] Hom. 3, in Act. n. 1, 2, 3.

[19] Authentikôs.

[20] Authentei.

[21] Acts 2.

[22] On the Acts, Hom. 4, n. 3.

[23] St. Chrysostome, as before.

[24] Passaglia, p. 153.

[25] Acts i. 8; John xv. 27.

[26] On Acts, Hom. 7, n. 1.

[27] Acts iv. 4.

[28] Acts iii. 12-26; iv. 8-19.

[29] Acts iii. 11, 12-26.

[30] Acts iv. 7, 8.

[31] On Acts, Hom. 8, n. 2.

[32] Acts ii. 44; iv. 32; John xvii. 21.

[33] Passaglia, p. 157.

[34] John xv. 22-4.

[35] Matt. x. 7.

[36] Mark xvi. 15-17.

[37] John xx. 21.

[38] Compare Acts ix. 33, with Mark ii. 3-11.

[39] Mark v. 40; Acts ix. 39.

[40] Acts v. 12-14.

[41] Matt. xv. 30.

[42] Passaglia, p. 163.

[43] Matt. xv. 24; x. 5; Acts i. 8.

[44] St. Cyprian, Ep. 69. St. Jerome, dialogue con. Luciferianos.

[45] Acts viii. 14.

[46] Passaglia, p. 174.

[47] Eph. iii. 5; Mal. i. 11.

[48] Acts ix. 32.

[49] Bede on this text.

[50] Apoc. vii. 9.

[51] Hær. 28, s. 3.

[52] Hom. 24 on the Acts, n. 1.

[53] John iv. 2.

[54] Passaglia, p. 181.

[55] Acts xi. 1-4.

[56] On Acts, Hom. 24, n. 2.

[57] Lib. 9. Ep. 39.

[58] Passaglia. p. 188.

[59] Acts v. 8. 3.

[60] On Acts, Hom. 12.

[61] Passaglia, p. 190.

[62] Acts ix. 31.

[63] Titus i. 5.

[64] Acts xv. 36.

[65] Hist. Ecc. Lib. 3, ch. 23.

[66] So called by Arnobius, on psalm 138.

[67] On Acts, Hom. 21, n. 2.

[68] Passaglia, p. 192.

[69] Acts xv. 6.

[70] Hom. 32, n. 1.

[71] Hom. 32, Tom. 9, p. 250.

[72] Acts xv. 28; xvi. 4.

[73] De Pudicitia, c. 21.

[74] S. Jerome, Ep. 75, inter Augustinianas, Tom. 2, p. 171.

[75] Theodoret, Ep. 113, Tom. 3, 984.

[76] Passaglia, p. 197.

[77] On Acts, Hom. 26, n. 2.

[78] Passaglia, p. 198.

[79] 1 Pet. v. 3.

[80] Princeps hujus fuit decreti, says St. Jerome to St. Augustine,
Ep. 75, n. 8. inter Augustinianas.

[81] Numbers xvi. 3; xii. 2.

[82] Acts vi. 1; xv. 2; xi. 2.

[83] Acts xi. 18.

[84] Eph. i. 22; iv. 15; v. 23, 27.

[85] Col. i. 18.



In leaving the Gospels and the Acts we quit those writings in which
we should expect, beforehand, that divine government to be set
forth, which it pleased our Lord to establish for His church. In
exact accordance with such expectation we have seen the institution
of the apostolic college, and of S. Peter's Primacy over it,
described in the Gospels, and the history in the Acts of its
execution and practical working. Both institution and execution have
been complete in their parts, and wonderfully harmonise with each
other. But in the other inspired writings of the New Testament,
comprising the letters of various Apostles, and specially of S.
Paul, we had no reason to anticipate any detailed mention of Church
government. The fourteen Epistles of S. Paul were written
incidentally on different subjects, no one of them leading him to
set forth, with any exact specification, that divine hierarchy under
which it was the pleasure of the Lord that His Church should grow
up. Moreover, it so happened that the [1]circumstances of S. Paul's
calling to be an Apostle, and the opposition which he sometimes met
with from those attached to Jewish usages, caused him to be a great
defender of the Apostolic dignity, as bestowed upon himself, and
continually to assert that he received it not of men, but of God.
Had there, then, been no recognition at all of S. Peter's superior
rank in the Apostolic College to be found in his writings, it would
not have caused surprise to those who consider the above reasons.
And proportionably strong and effective is the recognition of that
rank, which, though incidental, does occur, and that several times.
If, then, S. Paul, being so circumstanced, selected expressions
which seem to indicate a distinction of dignity between the Apostles
and S. Peter, they claim a special attention, and carry a double
force. Now on putting these together we shall find that they show
not merely a distinction of dignity, but a superior authority, in

The first are four several passages in the first Epistle to the
Corinthians, in all of which S. Peter holds the higher place, and in
two is moreover mentioned singly, while the rest are mentioned only
in mass. These are the following, "Now this I say, that every one of
you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I of Apollo; and I of Cephas;
and I of Christ." Again: "All things are yours, whether it be Paul,
or Apollo, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things
present, or things to come, for all are yours, and you are Christ's,
and Christ is God's." Again, "Have we not power to carry about a
woman, a sister, as well as the rest of the Apostles, and the
brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" And once more: "That He was seen
by Cephas, and after that by the eleven."[2] First, we may remark
that the place of dignity in a sentence varies[3] according to its
nature: if it _descends_, such place is the first; but if it
_ascends_, it is the furthest point from the first. Now in the first
instance the discourse ascends, for what can be plainer than that it
terminates in Christ, as in the supreme point? "Every one of you
saith, I indeed am of Paul, and I of Apollo, and I of Cephas, and I
of Christ;" so S. Chrysostome observes, "It was not to prefer
himself before Peter that he set him last, but to prefer Peter even
greatly before himself. For he speaks in the ascending scale:" and
Theodoret: "They called themselves from different teachers: now he
mentioned his own name and that of Apollo: but he adds also the name
of the chief of the Apostles."[4] As plain is this in the second
instance, where S. Paul, developing his thought, "all things are
yours," adds, "whether Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas," or if that be
not sufficient, "the world" itself, which, carried away in a sort of
transport, he seems to divide into its parts, "or life, or death, or
things present, or things to come, all," I repeat, "are yours:" but
only, you are not your own, "you are Christ's, and Christ is God's."
In all which, from human instruments, who plant and water, he rises
up to God, the ultimate source, the beginning and the end. Stronger
yet is the third passage, for being in the very act of setting forth
the dignity of his own Apostolate, "have we not power," he says, "to
lead about a sister, a woman, as well as the rest of the Apostles,
and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" Now, whether "the rest of
the Apostles" here means, those who, in the looser signification are
so called, as "the Apostles of the Churches," and "Andronicus, and
Junias--who are of note among the Apostles,"[5] or the original
Twelve, the ascending scale is equally apparent. For why is Peter
distinguished by name from all the rest? Why alone termed by his
prophetical name? S. Chrysostome, again tells us why. "Look at
Paul's wisdom. _He puts the chief the last. For there he puts that
which was strongest among the principal. For it was not so
remarkable to shew the rest doing this, as him that was chief, and
had been entrusted with the keys of heaven._ But he puts not him
alone, but all, as if he would say, whether you look for inferiors,
or superiors, you have examples of all. For the brethren of the
Lord, being delivered from their first unbelief,[6] were among the
principal, though they had not reached the height of Apostles, and,
therefore, he put them in the middle, with the highest on the two
sides:"[7] words in which he seems to indicate that Peter was as
excellent among the Apostles, as they among the rest of the
disciples, and the Lord's brethren.

Of the superiority contained in the fourth passage, we have spoken
above, under another head: and, therefore, proceed to much more
remarkable testimonies of S. Paul.

In the epistle to the Galatians, S. Paul has occasion[8] to defend
his Apostolic authority, and the agreement of the Gospel which he
had preached with that of the original Apostles. After referring to
his marvellous conversion, he continues, "immediately I condescended
not to flesh and blood; neither went I to Jerusalem to the Apostles,
who were before me, but I went into Arabia, and again I returned to
Damascus. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem, to visit
Peter, and I tarried with him fifteen days. But other of the
Apostles I saw none, saving James, the brother of the Lord." At
length, then, S. Paul goes to Jerusalem, and that with a fixed
purpose, "to visit Peter." But why Peter only, and not the rest of
the Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord?[9] Why speaks he of
these, and of James himself, besides, as if he would intimate that
he had little care of seeing them? No other answer can be given to
such queries, than is shadowed out in the prophetic name of Peter,
and contained in the explanation of it given by Christ Himself,
"Upon this Rock I will build My Church."

For, to prove this, let us go back once more to witnesses beyond
suspicion, who wrote a thousand years before the denial of Peter's
Primacy began. The Greek and Latin Fathers see here a recognition of
his chief authority. Thus Theodoret, "Not needing doctrines from
man, as having received it from the God of all, he gives the fitting
honour to the chief." Theodoret follows S. Chrysostome, who had
said, "After so many great deeds, needing nothing of Peter, nor of
his instruction, but being his equal in rank, for I will say no more
here, still he goes up to him as to the greater and elder:" his
equal in the Apostolic dignity, and the immediate reception of his
authority from Christ, but yet his inferior in the range of his
jurisdiction, Peter being "greater and elder." And he goes on, "he
went, but for this alone, to see him and honour him by his presence.
He says, I went up to visit Peter. He said not to see Peter, but to
visit Peter, as they say, in becoming acquainted with great and
illustrious cities. So much pains he thought it worth only to see
the man." And he concludes, "This I repeat, and would have you
remember, lest you should suspect the Apostle, on hearing anything
which seems said against Peter. For it was for this that he so
speaks, correcting by anticipation, that when he shall say, I
resisted Peter, no one may think these words of enmity and
contention. For he honours the man, and loves him more than all. For
he says that he came up for none of the Apostles, save him."
Elsewhere, S. Chrysostome, commenting on the charge, Feed My sheep,
asks, "Why, then, passing by the rest, does He converse with him
(Peter) on these things?" And he replies, Peter "was the one
preferred among the Apostles, and the mouth-piece of the disciples,
and the head of the band: _therefore_, too, Paul then went up to
visit him _rather than the rest_."[10] Tertullian, the most ancient
of the Latins, says, "then, as he relates himself, he went up to
Jerusalem for the purpose of becoming acquainted with Peter, that
is, according to duty, and the claim of their identical faith and
preaching:"[11] the _duty_, which Paul had to Peter; the _claim_
which Peter had on Paul. In the fourth century, Marius Victorinus
observes: "After three years, says he, I came to Jerusalem; then he
adds the cause, to see Peter. For if the foundation of the Church
was laid in Peter, as is said in the Gospel, Paul, to whom all
things had been revealed, knew that he was _bound_ to see Peter, as
one to whom so great an authority had been given by Christ, not to
learn anything from him."[12] The writer called Ambrosiaster, as his
works are attached to those of S. Ambrose, and contemporary with
Pope Damasus, (A.D. 366-384) remarks, "It was proper that he should
desire to see Peter, because he was first among the Apostles, to
whom the Saviour had committed the care of the Churches." S. Jerome,
more largely, says, "not to behold his eyes, his cheeks, or his
countenance, whether he were thin or stout, with nose straight or
twisted, covered with hair, or as Clement, in the Periods, will have
it, bald. It was not, I conceive, in the gravity of an Apostle, that
after so long as three years' preparation, he could wish to see
anything human in Peter. But he gazed on him with those eyes with
which now he is seen in his own letters. Paul saw Cephas with eyes
such as those with which all wise men now look on Paul. If any one
thinks otherwise, let him join all this with the sense before
indicated, that the Apostles contributed nothing to each other. For
even in that he seemed to go to Jerusalem, in order that he might
see the Apostle, it was not to learn, as having himself too the same
author of his preaching, but _to shew honour to the first
Apostle_."[13] Our own S. Thomas sums up all these in saying, "the
doctor of the Gentiles, who boasts that he had learnt the Gospel,
not of man, nor through man, but instructed by Christ, went up to
Jerusalem, conferred concerning the faith _with the head of the
Churches_, lest perchance he might run, or had run, in vain."[14]

These last words lead us attentively to consider the passage which
follows in S. Paul. At a subsequent period the zealots of the law
had raised against him a report that the Gospel which he preached
differed from that of the Twelve. At once to meet and silence such a
calumny, he tells us that "after fourteen years, I went up again to
Jerusalem, with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. And I went up
according to revelation, and," assigning the particular purpose,
"conferred with them the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,
but apart with them who seemed to be something; lest, perhaps, I
should run, or had run, in vain." Then, having proved the identity
of his doctrine with that of those who "seemed to be something,"
that is, Peter, James, and John, though to him they "added nothing,"
he specifies Peter among these, and proceeds to draw a singular
parallel between, on the one hand, Peter, as accompanied by James
and John, and himself, as working with Barnabas and Titus. If we set
the clauses over against each other, this will be more apparent:--

    When they had seen that              As to Peter was that of
    to me was committed the Gospel       the circumcision,
    of the uncircumcision,

    For He who wrought in                Wrought in me also among
    Peter, to the Apostleship of         the Gentiles,
    the circumcision,

    [15]James, and Cephas, and           Gave to me and Barnabas
    John, who seemed to be               the right hand of fellowship;

where it would appear that James and John stand in the like relation
to Cephas, as Barnabas and Titus, just before mentioned, to Paul.
And S. Chrysostome, who, it must be remarked, reads Cephas, and not
James, first, as do some manuscripts and many Fathers, observes,
"where it was requisite to compare himself, he mentions Peter only,
but were to call a testimony, he names three together and with
praise, saying, 'Cephas, and James, and John, who seemed to be
pillars.'" And further, Paul "shows himself to be of the same rank
with them, and matches himself not with the rest, but with the
leader, showing that each of them enjoyed the same dignity,"[16]
that is, of the Apostolic commission, and the divine cooperation.
And Ambrosiaster explains the parallel: "Paul names Peter only, and
compares him to himself, as having received the Primacy _for the
founding of the Church_, he being in like manner elected to hold a
Primacy _in founding the Churches of the Gentiles_, yet so that
Peter, if occasion might be, should preach to the Gentiles, and Paul
to the Jews. For both are found to have done both." And presently,
"by the Apostles who were the more illustrious among the rest, whom
for their stability he names pillars, and who were ever in the
Lord's secret council, being worthy to behold His glory on the
mount," (where Ambrosiaster confuses James, the brother of the Lord,
with James the brother of John,) "by these he declares to have been
approved the gift which he received from God, that he should be
worthy to hold the Primacy in the preaching of the Gentiles, as
Peter held it in the preaching of the circumcision. _And as he
assigns to Peter for companions distinguished men among the
Apostles, so he joins Barnabas to himself; yet he claims to himself
alone the grace of the Primacy as granted by God, like as to Peter
alone it was granted among the Apostles_.[17]

Now Baronius proves that the above words cannot be taken of a
division of jurisdiction, and that the singular dignity of Peter is
marked in them. "For as a mark of his excellence Christ Himself, who
came to save all men, with whom there is no distinction of Jew and
Greek, was yet called 'minister of the circumcision,' by Paul, (Rom.
xv. 8,) a title of dignity, according to Paul's own words, for
theirs was 'the adoption of children, and the glory, and the
testament, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and
the promises,' while 'the Gentiles praise God for His mercy,' But
just as Christ our Lord was so called minister of the circumcision,
as yet to be the Pastor and Saviour of all, so Peter too was called
the minister of the circumcision, in such sense as yet to be by the
Lord constituted (Acts ix. 32,) pastor and ruler of the whole flock.
Whence S. Leo, 'out of the whole world Peter alone is chosen to
preside over the calling of all the Gentiles, and over all the
Apostles, and the collected Fathers of the Church, so that though
there be among the people of God many priests and many shepherds,
yet Peter rules all by immediate commission, whom Christ also rules
by Sovereign power.'"[18]

The parallel, then, drawn by Paul between himself and Peter,
distinctly conveys that as he was superior to Barnabas and Titus,
and used their cooperation, so was Peter among the Apostles, and
specially the chief ones, James and John, as their leader and head.
For what is the meaning of the words, "He who wrought in Peter to
the Apostleship of the circumcision?" Was the Apostleship of the
circumcision entrusted to Peter only? It needs no proof that it was
also entrusted to James and John, nay, Paul himself immediately says
so, "They gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship,
that _we_ should go unto the Gentiles, and _they_ unto the
circumcision." Why then does Paul so express himself as to intimate
that the Gospel of the circumcision was given to Peter only? For the
same reason that he said that to himself "was committed the Gospel
of the uncircumcision," and that God "wrought in me also among the
Gentiles." Now Barnabas likewise had been[19]separated by the Holy
Ghost Himself for the Gentile mission; Barnabas, too, and Titus
were discharging the office of ambassadors for Christ among the
Gentiles: "that _we_," Paul says, not I, "should go to the
Gentiles." The terms, therefore, used by Paul both of himself and
Peter, do not _exclude_ the rest, but express the _superiority_ of
the one named singly before the rest, as if he alone held the
charge. Their fittest interpretation, then, will be, "The Apostles
saw that the Gospel of the uncircumcision was no less given to me
_above_ the rest, than the Gospel of the circumcision to Peter
_above_ the rest; for He who wrought in Peter _above_ the rest in
the Gospel of the circumcision, wrought also in me _above_ the rest
in the Gospel of the uncircumcision." But what can set forth S.
Peter's dignity more remarkably than to exhibit him in the same
light of superiority among the original Apostles, as S. Paul was
among S. Barnabas and his other fellow-workers?

Further confirmation of this is given by the argument with which he
refutes the calumny urged against him of disagreement with the
Apostles. For while he appeals to them _in general_, and to his
union with them, he likewise _specifies_ the point which favoured
that union. It was the parallel between himself and Peter, as we
have seen; it was the exact resemblance between his mission and that
of Peter, which was the cause of their joining hands: they approve
Paul's Apostleship because they see that it follows the type of

And other words of Paul which follow, prove not only the point of
his own cause, but the source of Peter's singular privileges. "But
when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face,
because he was to be blamed: for before that some came from James,
he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were come he withdrew,
and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision.
And to his dissimulation the rest of the Jews consented, so that
Barnabas also was led by them into that dissimulation. But when I
saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the Gospel, I
said to Cephas before them all, If thou being a Jew livest after the
manner of the Gentiles, and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel
the Gentiles to live as the Jews?" For why did Paul here censure
Peter _only_? By his own account not only Peter, but the rest, and
Barnabas himself amongst them, set apart as he was by the Holy Ghost
to preach to the Gentiles, did not defend Christian liberty, as they
ought to have done. Why, then, does he single out Peter among all
these, resist him to the face, and so firmly censure all, in his
person? No answer can be given but one: that by this dissembling of
Peter the zealots of the law gathered double courage to press
against Paul their calumny of dissension from Peter, and to infer
that he had run in vain, from the indulgence which Peter showed;
that Peter's authority with all was so great that his example drew
the pastors and their flocks alike to his side, and that it was
requisite to correct the members in the head. From this S.
Chrysostome proves that it was really the Apostle Peter, which some,
as we shall soon see, denied: "For to say, that I resisted him to
the face, and to put this as a great thing, was to show that he had
not reverenced the dignity of his person. But had he said it of
another, that I resisted him to the face, he would not have put it
as a great thing. Again, if it had been another Peter, his change
would have not had such force as to draw the rest of the Jews with
him. For he used no exhortation, nor advice, but merely dissembled,
and separated himself, and that dissembling and separation had
power to draw after him all the disciples, _on account of the
dignity of his person_."[20] Again, another writer of the fourth
century tells us this: "Therefore he inveighs against Peter alone,
in order that the rest might learn in the person of him who is the
first."[21] It was, then, Peter's primacy, and the necessity of
agreeing with him thence arising, which led Paul to resist him
publicly, and, disregarding the conduct of the rest, to direct an
admonition to him alone. "So great," S. Jerome tells us, on these
two passages, "was Peter's authority, that Paul in his epistle
wrote, 'Then after three years I went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and
I tarried with him fifteen days.' And again in what follows, 'After
fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking
Titus also with me. And I went up according to revelation, and
conferred with them the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,'
_showing that he had no security in preaching the Gospel, unless it
were confirmed by the sentence of Peter and those who were with

But this passage,[23] concerning the reprehension of S. Peter by S.
Paul, has afforded so signal an instance "of the unlearned and
unstable wresting Scripture to their own proper destruction,"[24]
that we must dwell a little longer upon it. First, the Gnostics and
the Marcionites quoted it to accuse the Apostles of ignorance, and
to favour their own claim to a progressive light. In Peter, they
would have it, there was still a taint of Judaism. Next Porphyry,
who "raged against Christ like a mad dog,"[25] tried by this passage
to weaken the authority of the Apostles, and to convict Paul of
ambition and rashness, who censured the first of the Apostles and
the leader of the band, not privately, but openly before all, as S.
Chrysostome and S. Jerome tell us. Julian the apostate succeeded
these, and tried, by means of Paul's contention with Peter, to bring
discredit on the religion itself. For who, he asked, could value a
religion whose chief teachers were guilty of hypocrisy, ignorance,
and ambition? And in complete accordance with the spirit of these,
all, who, since the sixteenth century, have attempted to impugn S.
Peter's prerogatives, have rested their chief effort on the
exaggeration and distortion of this reprehension. "This," says
Baronius, "is the stone of stumbling, and rock of offence, on which
a great number have dashed themselves. For those, who without any
diligent consideration have superficially interpreted a difficult
statement, have gone so far in their folly as either to accuse Paul
of rashness for having inveighed against Peter not merely with
freedom, but wantonness, or to calumniate Peter as a hypocrite, for
acting with dissimulation; or to condemn both, for not agreeing in
the same rule of faith."[26]

In most remarkable contrast with these stand out three several
interpretations, which prevailed in early times, all differing from
each other in points, but all equally careful to maintain the
dignity of Peter, and to clear up the conduct of Paul. First, from
S. Clement of Alexandria in the second century up to S. Chrysostome
in the fourth, we find a number of Greek writers asserting that it
was not the Apostle Peter, who was here meant, but another; S.
Jerome gives their reasons thus: "there are those who think that
Cephas, whom Paul here writes that he resisted to the face, was not
the Apostle Peter, but another of the seventy disciples so called,
and they allege that Peter could not have withdrawn himself from
eating with the Gentiles, for he had baptized Cornelius the
centurion, and on his ascending to Jerusalem, being opposed by those
of the circumcision who said, 'why hast thou entered in to men
uncircumcised, and eaten with them?' after narrating the vision, he
terminates his answer thus: 'If, then, God hath given to them the
same grace as to us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I
that I should withstand God?' On hearing which they were silent, and
glorified God, saying: 'Therefore to the Gentiles, also, God hath
given repentance unto life.' Especially as Luke, the writer of the
history, makes no mention of this dissension, nor even says that
Peter was at Antioch with Paul; and occasion would be given to
Porphyry's blasphemies, _if we could believe either that Peter had
erred, or that Paul had impertinently censured the prince of the

But this interpretation, contrary both to internal evidence and to
early tradition, and suggested only by the anxiety to defend S.
Peter's dignity, did not prevail. Another succeeded, supported by S.
Chrysostome, S. Cyril, and the greatest Greek commentators, and for
a long time by S. Jerome, even more remarkably opposed to the
apparent sense of the passage, and only, as it would seem, dictated
by the same desire to defend the dignity of S. Peter, and the
conduct of S. Paul. Admitting that it was really Peter who was here
mentioned, they maintained that it was not a real dissension between
the two Apostles, but apparent only, and arranged both by the one
and the other, to terminate the question more decidedly. S.
Chrysostome[28] sets forth at great length this opinion: "Do you
see," says he, "how S. Paul accounts himself the least of all
saints, not of Apostles only? Now he who was so disposed with
respect to all, both knew how great a prerogative Peter ought to
enjoy, and reverenced him most of all men, and was disposed towards
him as he deserved. And this is a proof. The whole earth was looking
to Paul; there rested on his spirit the solicitude for the Churches
of all the world. A thousand matters engaged him every day; he was
besieged with appointments, commands, corrections, counsels,
exhortations, teachings, the administration of endless business; yet
giving up all these, he went to Jerusalem. And there was no other
occasion for this journey save to see Peter, as he says himself: 'I
went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter.' Thus he honoured him, and
preferred him to all men." Suspecting, too, that an accusation
against Peter's unwavering faith, might be brought from the words,
"fearing those of the circumcision," he breaks out, 'What say you?
Peter fearful and unmanly? Was he not for this called Peter, that
his faith was immovable? What are you doing, friend? Reverence the
name given by the Lord to the disciple. Peter fearful and unmanly!
Who will endure you saying such things?'"

Now compare[29] together these two interpretations of the Greek
Fathers with that of the reformers and their adherents since the
sixteenth century. A more complete antagonism of feelings and
principles cannot be conceived. I. There is not a Greek Father who
does not infer the singular authority of Peter from the first and
second chapter of the epistle to the Galatians. There is not an
adherent of the reformers who does not trust that he can draw from
those same chapters matter to impugn S. Peter's Primacy. II. The
Greek Fathers anxiously search out every point which may conduce to
Peter's praise. The adherent of the reformers suppresses all such,
and seems not to see them. III. If anything in Paul's account seems
at first sight to tell against Peter's special dignity, the Greek
Fathers are studious carefully to remove it; the adherents of the
reformers to exaggerate it. IV. The Greek Fathers prefer slightly to
force the obvious meaning of the words, and to desert the original
interpretation, rather than set Apostles at variance with each
other, or admit that Peter, the chief of the Apostles, was not
treated with due deference. The adherents of the reformers intensify
everything, take it in the worst sense, and are the more at home,
the more bitterly they inveigh against Peter.

Now turn to the third interpretation, that of the Latin Fathers.
They admit both that it was Peter and that it was a real dissension,
but they are as anxious as the Greek to defend Peter's dignity. Thus
Tertullian:[30] "If Peter was blamed--certainly it was a fault of
_conduct_, not of _preaching_." And Cyprian:[31] "not even Peter,
whom first the Lord chose, and upon whom He built His Church, when
afterwards Paul disagreed with him respecting circumcision, claimed
aught proudly, or assumed aught arrogantly to himself, saying that
he held the Primacy, and that obedience rather was due to him by
those younger and later." And Augustine: "Peter himself received
with the piety of a holy and benignant humility what was with
advantage done by Paul in the freedom of charity. And so he gave to
posterity a rarer and a holier example, that they should not
disdain, if perchance they left the right track, _to be corrected
even by their youngers_, than Paul, that even _inferiors_ might
confidently venture to resist _superiors_, maintaining brotherly
charity, in the defence of evangelical truth. For better as it is on
no occasion to quit the proper path, yet much more wonderful and
praiseworthy is it, willingly to accept correction, than boldly to
correct deviation. Paul then has the praise of just liberty, and
_Peter of holy humility_: which, so far as seems to me according to
my small measure, had been a better defence against the calumnies of
Porphyry, than the giving him greater occasion of finding fault: for
it would be a much more stinging accusation that Christians should
with deceit either write their epistles, or bear the mysteries of
their God."[32]

Now, to see the[33] fundamental opposition between the Greek and
Latin Fathers, and the reformers, let us observe that, though there
are three ancient interpretations of this passage, differing from
each other, the first denying that the Cephas so reprehended by
Paul, was the chief of the Apostles, the second affirming this, but
reducing the whole contention to an arrangement of prudence between
the two Apostles, and the third maintaining the reality of the
reprehension, yet all three have in common the reconciling Peter's
chief dignity with the reprehension of him, and the two latter,
besides, are much more careful to admire his modesty, than Paul's
liberty, and make the most of every point in the narration setting
forth Peter's Primacy. On the other hand the reformers use this
reprehension as their sharpest weapon against his authority, praise
Paul's liberty to the utmost in order to depress that authority,
hunt out everything against Peter, and pass over everything for him.
It is equally evident that their motive in this runs counter to the
faith universal in the Church during the first four centuries; and
that their inference cannot be accepted without rejecting all
Christian antiquity, and the very sentiments expressed by Paul
himself, as we have seen, towards Peter.

But as to the reprehension itself, it would seem to have been not on
a point of _doctrine_ at all, but of _conduct_. S. Peter had long
ago both admitted the Gentiles into the Church, and declared that
they were not bound to the Jewish law. But out of regard to the
feelings of the circumcised converts, he pursued a line of conduct
at Antioch, which they mistook to mean an approval of their error,
and which needed, therefore, to be publicly cleared up. Accordingly,
Peter's fault, if any there were, amounted to this, that having,
with the best intention, done what was not forbidden, he had not
sufficiently foreseen what others would thence infer contrary to his
own intention. Can this be esteemed either a dogmatic error, or a
proof of his not holding supreme authority? But the _event_ being
injurious, and contrary to the truth of the Gospel, why should not
Paul admonish Peter concerning it? But very remarkable it is, that
he quotes S. Peter's own example and authority, opposes the
antecedent to the consequent fact, and maintains Gospel liberty by
Peter's own conduct. S. Chrysostome remarked this. "Observe his
prudence. He said not to him, Thou dost wrong, in living as a Jew,
but he alleges his former mode of living, that the admonition and
the counsel may seem to come not from Paul's mind, but from the
judgment of Peter already expressed. For had he said, Thou dost
wrong to keep the law, Peter's disciples would have blamed him, but
now, hearing that this admonition and correction came not from
Paul's judgment, but that Peter himself so lived, and held in his
mind this belief, whether they would, or would not, they were
obliged to be quiet."[34]


[1] Passaglia, p. 206.

[2] 1 Cor. i. 12; iii. 22; ix. 5: xv. 5.

[3] Passaglia, p. 124-6.

[4] S. Chrys. in 1 Cor. Hom. 3, n. 2. Theodoret on text.

[5] 2 Cor. viii. 23; Rom. xvi. 7.

[6] John vii. 5.

[7] In 1 Cor. Hom. 21. n. 2.

[8] Passaglia, p. 208.

[9] Gal. i. 16-19.

[10] Theodoret and Chrysostome on the text, and on John, Hom. 88.

[11] De Præsc. c. 23.

[12] Comm. in Gal. i. 18. Mai nova collectio. Tom. 3.

[13] Ambrosiaster and S. Jerome on the text.

[14] S. Thomas Cant. Epist. Lib. i, 97.

[15] An argument has been drawn by some against S. Peter's primacy
from S. Paul here placing S. James first. Now as to this we must
remark that some most ancient manuscripts, and the original Latin
version, read "Peter, and James, and John," and that this is
followed by Tertullian, Chrysostome, Ambrose, Ambrosiaster,
Augustine, Theodoret, Jerome, Irenæus, Gregory of Nyssa, and
Cassiodorus, of whom Jerome is the more important, in that he had
studied so many ancient commentaries before writing his own. But
supposing that the vulgar reading is the true one, Peter's being
once placed by S. Paul between S. James and S. John will not
counterbalance the vast positive evidence for his primacy. Those who
wish to see the probable reasons why S. James was here placed first,
may consult Passaglia, b. 1, c. 14, who treats of the question at
length. Perhaps S. Paul, narrating historically a past incident,
recalled them to his recollection _in the order of time_, in which
they received him: and S. James, residing constantly at Jerusalem,
might very probably have seen him first.

[16] S. Chrys. in Gal. c. 2.

[17] Comm. on Gal. ii. 7, 8.

[18] Baron. Ann. A.D. 51. § 29. S. Leo. Serm. 4.

[19] Acts xiii. 2.

[20] Hom. on, I resisted Him to the face, n. 15.

[21] Ambrosiaster on Gal. ii. 14.

[22] Epist. inter. Augustin. 75, n. 8.

[23] Passaglia, p. 217.

[24] 2 Pet. iii. 16.

[25] S. Jerome.

[26] Ad. Ann. 51, § 32.

[27] S. Jerome on Gal. ch. 2.

[28] Homily on the text, I resisted him to the face, n. 8, Tom. 3,
p. 368.

[29] Passaglia, p. 232.

[30] De Præse. c. 24.

[31] Cyprian, Ep. 71.

[32] Ep. 82, n. 22.

[33] Passaglia, p. 240.

[34] Hom. on text, n. 17.



The doctrine[1] of S. Paul has brought us to a most interesting
point of the subject, what, namely, is the principle of unity in the
Church. A short consideration of this will shew us how the office of
S. Peter enters into and forms part of the radical idea of the
Church, so that the moment we profess our belief in one holy
Catholic Church, the belief is likewise involved in that Primacy of
teaching and authority which makes and keeps it one.

The principle of unity, then, is no other than "the Word made
flesh:" that divine Person who has for ever joined together the
Godhead and the Manhood. Thus, S. Paul speaks to us of God "having
made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good
pleasure, which He purposed in Himself, in the dispensation of the
fulness of times, _to gather together under one head all things in
Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth_:" at whose
resurrection, "He set all things under His feet, and gave Him to be
head over all to the Church, which is His body, the fulness of Him
who filleth all in all." And again, "the head of every man is
Christ;--and the head of Christ is God." "And we being many are one
body in Christ, and every one members one of another:"[2] as, again,
he sets forth at length in the 12th chapter of the First Epistle to
the Corinthians, calling that one body by the very name of Christ.

With one voice the ancient Fathers[3] exult in this as the great
purpose of His Incarnation. "The work," says S. Hippolytus,[4] "of
His taking a body, is the gathering up into one head of all things
unto Him." "The Word Man," says S. Irenæus,[5] "gathering all things
up into Himself, that as in super-celestial, and spiritual, and
invisible things, the Word of God is the chief, so also in visible
and corporeal things He may hold the chiefship, assuming the Primacy
to Himself, and joining Himself as Head to the Church, may draw all
things to Himself, at the fitting time." And again, "The Son of God
was made Man among men, to join the end to the beginning, that is,
man to God;" or, as Tertullian says,[6] "that God might shew that in
Himself was the evolution of the beginning to the end, and the
return of the end to the beginning." And Oecumenius, "Angels and
men were rent asunder; God then joined them, and made them one
through Christ." S. Gregory Thaumaturgus breaks out, "Thou art He
that didst bridge over heaven and earth by Thy sacred body." And
Augustine,[7] "Far off He was from us, and very far. What, so far
off as the creature and the Creator? What, so far off as God and
man? What, so far off as justice and iniquity? What, so far off as
eternity and mortality? See how far off was 'the Word in the
beginning, God with God, by whom all things were made.' How, then,
was He made nigh, that He might be as we, and we in Him? 'The Word
was made flesh.'" "Man, being assumed, was taken into the nature of
the Godhead," says S. Hilary:[8] and S. Chrysostome,[9] "He puts on
flesh, that He who cannot be held may be holden:" "dwelling with
us," says Gregory[10] of Nazianzum, "by interposing His flesh as a
veil, that the incomprehensible may be comprehended." "For since,"
adds S. Cyril,[11] "man's nature was not capable of approaching the
pure and unmixed glory of the Godhead, because of its inherent
weakness, for our use the only-begotten one put on our likeness."
"In the assumption of our nature," says S. Leo,[12] "He became to us
the step, by which through Him we may be able to mount unto Him:"
"the descent of the Creator to the creature is the advance of
believers to things eternal:" and, "it is not doubtful that man's
nature has been taken into such connection by the Son of God, that,
not only in that Man who is the first-born of all creation, but even
in all His saints, there is one and the same Christ: and as the Head
cannot be divided from the limbs, so neither the limbs from the
Head. For though it belong not to this life, but to that of
eternity, that God be all in all, yet even now He is the undivided
inhabitant of His temple, which is the Church." For all the above is
contained in our Lord's own words, "that they all may be one, as
Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee," on which S. Athanasius[13]
says, "that all, being carried by Me, may be all one body and one
spirit, and reach the perfect man:"--"for, as the Lord having
clothed Himself in a body, became man, so we men are deified by the
Word, being assumed through His flesh." S. Gregory,[14] of Nyssa,
has unfolded this idea thus: "since from no other source but from
our lump was the flesh which received God, which, by the
resurrection, was together with the Godhead exalted; just as in our
own body the action of one organ of sense communicates sympathy to
all that which is united with the part, so, just as if the whole
nature (of man) were one living creature, the resurrection of a part
passes throughout the whole, being communicated from the part to the
whole, according to the nature's continuity and union." And
another,[15] interpreting the words, "that they all may be one,"
"thus I will, that they being drawn into unity, may be blended with
each other, and becoming as one body, may all be in Me, who carry
all in that one temple which I have assumed; the temple, namely, of
His Body." And lastly, S. Hilary[16] deduces this not only from the
Incarnation, but from the Blessed Eucharist. "For, if the Word be
really made flesh, and we really receive the Word as flesh, in the
food of the Lord, how is He not to be thought to remain in us
naturally, since, both in being born a man, He assumed the nature of
our flesh, never to be severed from Him, and has joined the nature
of His flesh to the eternal nature under the sacrament of the flesh
to be communicated to us."

So deep in the junction of the divine and human natures in our
Lord's adorable Person lies the root of unity for that humanity
which He purchased with His blood. It is in virtue of this headship
that the whole mystical body is one, and "we all members one of
another." By this headship our Lord nourishes and cherishes the
Church, and communicates to her incessantly that stream of grace by
which she lives. And as this headship flows from the union of the
Godhead and Manhood, so it is inseparable from His Person, and
incommunicable. But He has Himself, in His parting discourse,
recorded by S. John, dwelt upon the great sacrament of unity, the
result of this headship, and set it forth as the sign and seal of
His own divine mission, and the one convincing proof of His
religion's superhuman origin. By following His words we shall see
that this unity is not simple but fourfold, and we shall trace the
mutual relation and subordination to the divine Headship of its
several kinds.

1. And first, "In[17] that day," says He, that is, after His own
resurrection, "ye shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me,
and I in you," whereby He declares that, in the completion of the
dispensation, the union between Himself and the faithful shall be
such as to image out the mutual indwelling of the Father and the
Son. Which again is further expressed, "I[18] am the true vine, and
My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not
fruit He will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, He will
purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit.... I am the vine; you
the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth
much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing. If any one abide not
in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and
they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask
whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you." In these words He
sets forth that union of mystical influx, by cooperation with which
His disciples keep His words and abide in His love, and of which He
is Himself the immediate principle.

2. But He does not stop at this interior and invisible union between
His disciples and Himself: He speaks likewise of a new and special
command, and of a special gift, by which their union with each other
should be known. "A[19] new command I give unto you, that you love
one another: as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By
this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love
one to another." And again, "This[20] is My command, that you love
one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this hath no
man, that any one lay down his life for his friends.--These things I
command you, that you love one another." But the Holy Spirit, whom
our Lord was about to send forth, is the efficient principle of the
love here enjoined, by His substantial indwelling, as we are told,
"The[21] charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy
Ghost who is given to us." From Him, therefore, bestowed by the Head
of the Church, springs that unity of charity, which, being itself
internal, is shown in outward signs, and constitutes that
distinctive spirit of the Christian people, the spirit characterising
it, and analogous to the national spirit in civil organization.

3. But our Lord likewise speaks of a third unity, springing from the
direction of one and the same divine Spirit. "And[22] I will ask the
Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide
with you for ever: the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot
receive, because it seeth Him not, nor knoweth Him: but you shall
know Him, because He shall abide with you, and shall be in you."
"The Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My
name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your
mind whatsoever I shall have said to you." "It[23] is expedient to
you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you;
but if I go, I will send Him to you." "But when He, the Spirit of
truth, is come, He will teach you all truth. For He shall not speak
of Himself, but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak;
and the things that are to come, He shall show you. He shall glorify
Me, because He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it to you." Of
the nature of this unity we may judge by the gifts and offices
assigned to that Spirit and Paraclete from whom it springs. Now He
is repeatedly termed "the Spirit of truth," and His office, to
_suggest_, to _announce_, to _teach_, and _to lead into all truth_.
This unity, therefore, is opposed to the division produced by
ignorance and error, and so is the unity of faith, or Christian
profession. Thus our Lord promises, besides the unity of charity,
that of faith, the efficient principle of which, as well as of the
former, is contained in the communication of the Holy Spirit. But it
is no less true in the supernatural order of divine gifts, than in
the order of nature, that the first cause produces its effects by
means of second causes. And here, as often as the Lord promises the
Spirit of truth, He promises Him _to the Apostles_, and assures His
perpetual abidance with them and the successors in their charge,
thus, "That He may abide with you for ever:" "He shall abide with
you, and shall be in you:" "He shall teach you all things, and bring
all things to your mind which I have said unto you:" "Whom I will
send unto you from the Father:" "I will send Him unto you:" "He
shall lead you into all truth:" "He shall show you the things that
are to come." And so the unity of faith may be expected from its
_supreme_ cause, the Holy Spirit the Paraclete, _through the medium_
of the Apostles and their legitimate successors: the Holy Spirit in
its _ultimate_, but they its _subordinate_ principle: He is the
_source_, but they the _channel_. Thus to trust to the invisible
action of the Spirit, but to despise the office and direction of the
teachers ordained by Christ, in the very virtue of that Spirit, is
to reject His divine institution, and to risk a shipwreck of the
promised gift of faith and truth.

For in exact accordance with our Lord's words here, S. Paul has set
forth not only the institution, but the source, as well as the end
and purpose, of the whole visible hierarchy. It is instituted by our
Lord, as an act of His divine headship; its source is in "one and
the same Spirit dividing to every one according as He will;" its end
and purpose is, "the edifying the body of Christ, until we all meet
into the unity of faith."[24]

Each of these points is important. Our Lord's divine headship over
the Church, all encompassing, as it is, and the spring of all
blessing and unity, does not dispense with the establishment of a
visible hierarchy, but rather is specially shown therein. And again,
the Holy Spirit is the source and superior principle of all
spiritual gifts to all, but yet He acts _through_ this hierarchy. He
is the spirit who maintains faith and truth, but it is by the
instruments of His own appointing.

Now these three points, the bestowal of all spiritual gifts and
offices by Christ in virtue of His mystical headship, the Holy
Spirit being the one superior principle of such gifts and offices,
and His manifold operation therein through the visible hierarchy,
are set forth most distinctly in two passages of S. Paul, the
twelfth chapter of the First to the Corinthians, and the fourth
chapter to the Ephesians. "To every one of us is given grace,
according to the measure of the giving of Christ. Wherefore he
saith, Ascending on high He led captivity captive; He gave gifts to
men. Now that He ascended, what is it but because He also descended
first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the
same also that ascended above all the heavens, that He might fill
all things. And He gave some Apostles, and some prophets, and other
some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, for the
perfecting of the saints, unto the work of the ministry, unto the
edifying of the body of Christ, until we all meet into the unity of
faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ; that
henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by
cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive. But doing
the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in Him who is the
Head, even Christ; from whom the whole body, being compacted and
fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to
the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the
body, unto the edifying of itself in charity." "And the
manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To
one indeed by the Spirit is given the word of wisdom; and to another
the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another,
faith, in the same Spirit; to another, the grace of healing, in one
Spirit; to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy;
to another, the discerning of spirits; to another, divers kinds of
tongues; to another interpretation of speeches. But all these things
one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as
He will. For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the
members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so
also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one
body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free, and in one
Spirit we have all been made to drink."[25]

Thus, then, we have been brought by the words both of our Lord and
of S. Paul, through an inward invisible unity, that of mystical
influx from the vine to its branches, and again, that of charity,
and that of faith and truth, to an outward and visible unity, one of
social organization, called forth by the great Head for the purpose
of exhibiting, defending, maintaining, and conveying the former,
since it is expressly said that He gave it "for the perfecting of
the saints, unto the work of the ministry, unto the edifying of the
body of Christ," and in order that "we may be no more children
tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine." And
the inward source and cause of this unity are indeed invisible,
being the Holy Spirit of God, sent down by Christ, when He ascended
up on high, to dwell permanently among men, but its effects are
external and most visible, even the growth of a body "unto a perfect
man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ," a body
which has an orderly arrangement of all its parts, and a hierarchy
of officers to continue till the end of all. And the function of
this hierarchy is one never to be superseded, and which none but
itself, the organ of the Holy Spirit, can perform, namely, to bring
its members "to meet in the unity of the faith, and of the
knowledge of the Son of God." As our Lord says, in the promise,
before His passion, "I will ask the Father, and He shall give you
(the Apostles) another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for
ever, the Spirit of truth," so S. Paul of the accomplishment after
His ascension, "He gave some Apostles and some prophets, and other
some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors," yet "all
these things worketh one and the same Spirit." For as the divine
Head took to Himself a body, bridging thereby the worlds of matter
and of spirit, and as "in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead
_corporally_," so in His Church, in perfect analogy with the
Archetype, the visible is the channel of the invisible, and the
outward organization is instinct with inward life, and the hierarchy
is the gift of the mystical Head, and the instrument of the one
sanctifying Spirit. To think otherwise, to disregard the external
framework, under a pretence of exalting the inward spirit, is to
undo so far the work of the Incarnation, and to renew the insanity
of those early heretics who in one way or another would "dissolve"
Christ; for there is no less "one Body," than there is "one Spirit."

But if His headship of mystical influx is _alone_ and _immediately_
sufficient, as is so often objected, for the maintenance of external
unity, to what end is the creation of this visible hierarchy? For
the objection that the invisible headship of Christ renders a
visible headship unnecessary, and indeed an infringement on His sole
divine prerogative, whatever force it may have, tells not more
against an oecumenical head of the Church, than against every order
and officer of the hierarchy. These all, and with them the whole
system of sacraments as well as symbols, become alike unnecessary
and even injurious, if each member of the mystical body be knit to
Christ _immediately_ without any outward framework. And with what
face especially can those maintain that the bishop is the visible
head of each diocese, and in being such does not contradict, but
illustrate, the headship of Christ, who yet deny that there is one
in the whole Church put in the like place over bishops, and see in
such an appointment an infringement on the office of Christ? Such an
argument is so profoundly illogical and inconsistent, that one has
difficulty in believing it to be seriously held, or is hopeless of
bringing conviction to those who cannot see an absurdity.

Let those, then, who confound together the supreme Headship of
Christ over His Church, whereby He communicates to it life and
grace, with the inferior and subordinate headship of external unity,
see to what their objection tends. It stops at nothing short of
destroying the whole visible hierarchy, and the sacramental grace of
which it is the channel. Holy Scripture, on the contrary, tells us
in these passages that the providence by which the Church is
governed resembles that by which this outward universe is ruled, in
the subordination of second causes to the supreme cause. Christ
repeats as Redeemer His work as Creator, to give life and force to
these second causes, and while He works in the members of His body
both "to will and to do," bestows on them the privilege of
cooperating with Him. Thus the dignity of supreme Head which belongs
to Christ, and is incommunicable, no more takes away the ministry of
the external head who is charged with the office of effecting and
maintaining unity, than it impedes the ministry of "apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors, and doctors," to whom Christ
entrusted the Church, that by their means it might be brought to
sanctity and perfection.

4. And these words bring us to the fourth unity mentioned by our
Lord. For not until "He ascended up on high" did "He give gifts to
men." And this visible hierarchy, the sign and token of His mystical
Headship, and fostering care, is by Him quickened and informed with
the Holy Spirit, when He is Himself invisible at the right hand of
the majesty of God. This absence, too, is what He foretold, saying,
"And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I
come to thee; Holy Father, keep them in Thy name whom Thou hast
given Me; that they may be one, as we also are. While I was with
them, I kept them in Thy name.--And now I come to Thee."--These
words of our Lord show that it was His will that His believers
should be no less one among each other, by an outward and visible
union, than they were one by the internal bond of charity, the
guidance of one Spirit of truth, and the influx of the one Vine. And
so far we have seen that, to guard and maintain that unity under the
guidance of the Spirit of truth, He called forth the visible
hierarchy, in all its degrees. But what, then, was the external root
and efficient principle of this visible hierarchy, when He was gone
to the Father? Did He not likewise provide for the loss occasioned
by His own absence, which He had foretold? The argument of S. Paul
proves that He did so provide, as well as His own words. For S. Paul
declares the Church to be "one Body." Was it then a body without a
head, or a body with a head invisible? Or did the Lord of all,
having with complete wisdom framed His mystical body in all its
parts and proportions, and having set _first_ Apostles, and then in
their various degree, doctors and pastors, in one single, and that
the main point, reverse the analogy of all His doings? Did He
appoint every officer in His household, except the one who should
rule all? Did He construct the entire arch, save only the keystone?
Did He make a bishop to represent His person, and be the centre of
visible unity in every diocese, but none to represent that person in
the highest degree and to be the centre of unity to the whole
Church? Was it the end of His whole design "to gather together in
one the children of God, that were dispersed," in order that there
might be "One Fold," and did He fail to add, "One Shepherd?" Yet S.
Paul declares that "there are many members, but one body." How can
the distinct and diverse members be reduced to the unity of a body,
but by the unity of the head, as the efficient principle? In
accordance with which we may observe that never is the image of a
body used in Scripture to represent the Church, but it is thereby
shown to be visible; and never is it compared with a body as a type,
but that body is shown complete with its head. Such are the
well-known images of one House, Kingdom, City, Fold, and Temple, to
which we have had so often to appeal. Even the unity of things in
themselves dissimilar is derived in Scripture from the unity of the
Head. Thus the man and the woman are said in marriage to be one, and
that in a great mystery, representing Christ and the Church, but
this, because "the husband is the head of the wife." And Christ is
said to be one with the faithful, because "the head of every man is
Christ:" and God one with Christ, because "the head of Christ is
God." If, then,[26] the Church is one body, it receives, according
to the reasoning of Holy Scripture, that property from the unity of
its head.

But such a one body, while yet militant upon earth, S. Paul declares
it to be, setting forth at the same time the various orders of its
hierarchy. Is it then a body complete, or incomplete? With a head or
without one? For it is no reply to say that it has indeed a head,
but one invisible. That invisible headship did not obviate, as we
have seen, the necessity of a visible hierarchy: why then does it
obviate the like and even more striking necessity, that the
hierarchy too must have its visible head? If it was, so to say, the
very first act of our Lord's supreme headship over all to the
Church--the very token that He had led captivity captive--to quicken
the visible ministry which He had established by sending down the
Holy Spirit to abide with it for ever, is the one place most
necessary in that ministry to be the only one left vacant by Him? Is
the one officer most fully representing Himself to be alone omitted?
"The _perfecting_ of the saints" (a metaphor taken as we have seen,
from the exact fitting together of the stones in a building,) and
"the edifying of the body of Christ," are described as the end to be
reached by those to whom "the work of the ministry" is committed,
but as this applies in a higher degree to the Bishop than to the
priest, so it applies in the highest of all to the Bishop of

Again, God's method of teaching by symbols, which runs through the
whole Scripture, and the institution of Sacraments, proves to us His
will to lead us on from the visible to the invisible, and to make
the former a channel to the latter. For "we are all baptized into
one body," and the outward act both images and conveys the inward
privilege. And again in the highest conceivable instance, "because
the head is one, we being many are one body, who all partake of
that one bread."[27] In like manner the outward unity of the Church
must accurately represent, and answer to the inward, which, we know,
is derived from the Person of Christ, who is its head. And so that
Person must be specially represented in the outward unity.

And this is one reason why no unity of a college, whether of
Apostles, or of Bishops, will adequately express that visible
headship of which our Lord's Person is the exemplar. For the root of
all lies in a personal unity, that of the Godhead and Manhood, and
therefore a merely collective or representative unity cannot express
it. And if the Apostle wrote, "God hath set in the Church _first_
Apostles," yet he also wrote that the grand result, "the perfecting
of the saints, and the edifying of the body of Christ," was due to
the ministry, not only of Apostles, but of prophets, evangelists,
pastors, and doctors, each in their degree; they all conspire to a
joint action, which does not impede the existence of distinct orders
in the hierarchy. And his expression that the Apostles are _first_
in this hierarchy, without defining their mutual relations to each
other, does not exclude those other passages of Scripture which _do_
define those relations, and which make Peter among the Apostles "the
first," "the ruler," "the greater," the Judah among his brethren,
the foundation of the whole building, and the one shepherd in the
universal fold. And the more so because S. Paul uses three
expressions of the Church, two of which are _relative_, but one
_absolute_. He calls it "the body of Christ," and "Christ," which
are relative; but he also calls it "one body," which is absolute.
Now, these expressions are not to be severed from each other, as if
each by itself would convey the whole idea of the Church, which
rather is to be drawn from them all together. In answer to what the
Church is, we must not say that it is _either_ "the body of Christ,"
_or_ mystically called "Christ," _or_ set before us as "one body,"
for it is _all_ of these at once, relatively "Christ," and "the body
of Christ," and absolutely "one body."

As, then, the former expressions show that the Church is one _in
reference to Christ_, so the latter shows that it is so _in itself_,
and _simply_. For as the Church is called "Christ," and "the Body of
Christ," because it is one with Christ by mystical union, drawing
its supernatural life from Christ its head, so it is called "one
body," because in the variety of members and parts, of which it
consists, no one is wanting to its being one body in itself, and to
its being seen to be such. But it would neither be so, nor seem to
be so, if it were without a visible head, the origin and principle
of its inherent visible unity. And so where the Church is called by
S. Paul "one Body," he declares that it has a visible head.

Thus it is that the inherent notion of the Church, as one visible
body, and the whole dispensation by which visible things answer to
invisible, as their archetypes, demand one visible head. Now to this
_inherent_ necessity let us add the force of _positive_ teaching.
When our Lord in almost His last words to His Church prays to His
Father, "while I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy
name--but now I come to Thee," what does He but suggest the
appointment of another visible head to take that place which He was
leaving? and further, what does He but name one to that high
dignity, when He calls him "the greater" and "the ruler" among his
brethren, commits them to him to be confirmed by him, and makes him
the shepherd of the whole flock? What else had He done but prepare
them for such a nomination, when He promised _one_ that he should
be the foundation of His Church, and the bearer of the keys? What
else did Christians from the beginning see in such an one, when they
called him the _head_, the _centre_, the _fountain_, the _root_, the
_principle_ of ecclesiastical unity?

Let us remark, once more, as a confirmation of the above, that the
archetype of visible unity in the Church, which our Lord sets before
us in His prayer to the Father, is no other than that most high and
solemn of all things conceivable, the mutual indwelling of the
Father and the Son. "Holy Father, keep them in Thy name whom Thou
hast given Me, that they may be one, as We also are;" and again, for
all successive generations of the faithful, "that they all may be
one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may
be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me."
Now the relation established by our Lord between Peter and the rest
of the Apostles, by appointing him the visible head of the Church,
and between Peter's successor and all bishops, does represent, so
far as earthly things may, and in a degree which nothing else on
earth reaches to, the mutual relation of the three divine Persons to
each other. For as these are distinct, but inseparable, so, too, are
the Apostles. As the fulness of the Godhead is _first_ in the Father
and _then_ in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, so the fulness of
power _first_ promised and given to Peter, is _then_ propagated to
the other Apostles united with him. As in the Father the economy of
the divine Persons is summed up under one head, and gathered into a
monarchy, so in Peter is gathered up the fulness of ecclesiastical
power, which, through union with him, is one in all, as the Church
is one, and the Episcopate one. Moreover, as it is the dignity of
the Father to be the exemplar, principle, root, and fountain of
unity in the Trinity, so is it the dignity of Peter to be the
exemplar, principle, root, and fountain of visible unity in the
kingdom of God, which is the Church. This is alluded to by Pope
Symmachus, thirteen hundred and fifty years ago: "There is one
single priesthood in the different prelates, (of the Apostolic See)
after the example of the Trinity, whose power is one and
indivisible."[28] And long before him S. Cyprian: "The Lord says, 'I
and the Father are one.' And again it is written of the Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit, 'And these three are one.' Is there a
man who believes that this unity, coming from the divine solidity,
cohering by heavenly sacraments, can possibly be broken in the
Church, and torn asunder by the collision of adverse wills? This
unity he who holds not, holds not the law of God, holds not the
faith of the Father and the Son, holds not the truth unto

Whereas, then, all unity in the Body of Christ, the Church, is
derived ultimately from the person of its Head, the Word Incarnate,
that unity is yet four-fold in its operation, and the efficient
principle of one sort is not to be confounded with that of another.
There is the _mystical_ unity, which consists in the perpetual
divine influx from the great invisible Head to His members; there is
the _moral_ or _spiritual_ unity of charity, consisting in the
presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers, and these
two are internal, and in closest correspondence. There are two
likewise external, which may be called the _civil_ or _political_
unity, consisting in the public profession of the same faith, the
same truth, for what the _law_ is to temporal states, the _faith_ is
to the great spiritual kingdom of Christ; and this unity is indeed
inspired by the Holy Spirit, but is maintained by Him through the
visible hierarchy; and lastly, correspondent to the unity of faith,
there is the _visible_ unity of external organization, the immediate
or efficient principle of which lies in the visible headship over
the Church attached by the Lord to S. Peter's chair. The latter two,
while they correspond to each other, are indeed subordinate to the
former, the unity of faith to that of charity, as the unity of the
visible headship to that of the invisible; yet the very truth of the
Body which the Lord has assumed, and in which He reigns, and the
whole analogy of His dealings with men, and the sacraments whereby
He makes us "partakers of the divine nature," warn us that it is of
the highest importance for us to see how external unity is the
channel of internal, and the visible the road to the invisible. No
words can be more emphatic to this effect than those with which the
Apostle introduces the description of the visible hierarchy, and the
divine headship which called it forth. "There is _one Body_ and one
Spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one
faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and
through all, and in us all." From which he goes on to say,
"Ascending up on high, He gave gifts to men--some Apostles, and some
prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors, and teachers." And
lastly, "the Head over all things to the Church," is "the Saviour
_of the Body_."[30]

But if this be so, we can say nothing more highly to exalt S.
Peter's office in the Church, for he is the great bond and stay of
this outward unity, as even[31] enemies confess. As surely as in a
real monarchy the person of the sovereign ties together every part
of the political edifice, and is endued with majesty because he is
at once the type of God, and concentrates in one the power and
dignity of the whole community, so it is in that divine structure in
which "the manifold wisdom of God" is disclosed to all creation. The
point of strength is felt alike by friend and foe. On the Rock of
Peter has fallen every storm which the enmity of the evil one has
raised for eighteen hundred years; but yet the gates of hell have
not prevailed against it. In the Rock of Peter, and the divine
promise attached to it, every heart faithful to God and the Church
trusts now, as it trusted from the beginning. Many temporal monarchs
in their hour of pride have risen against S. Peter's See, but the
greatest of them all[32] declared that no one had ever gained honour
or victory in that conflict, and he lived to be the most signal
instance of his own observation. "God is patient, because He is
eternal," and the Holy See prevails in its weakness over power, and
in its justice over cupidity, because while temporal dominion passes
from hand to hand, and stays not with any nation, following the
gift of God which the poet calls fortune,

    Perchè una gente impera, e l'altra langue,
    Seguendo lo giudizio di costei
    Che è occulta, come in l'erba l'angue,--(DANTE, _Inferno_.)

the visible kingdom of Christ, which is His Church, lasts for ever,
and is built upon the rock of Peter. The long line of descendants,
from Constantine and from Charlemagne, have in their turn impugned
and illustrated this glorious privilege of the Papal See. What is
there so stable in an empire of commerce, or so solid in the
nicely-balanced and delicate machinery of a constitutional monarchy,
as to exempt them from the action of an universal law, or to ensure
their victory in the doomed contest with the Vicar of Christ?
Mightier things than they have done their worst, have oppressed,
triumphed, and become extinct, and if it be allowed them in the
crisis of their trial to crucify Christ afresh, He will yet reign
from the cross, and "draw all men unto Him."


[1] In this chapter I have availed myself of Passaglia, b. 1, c. 25,
and b. 2, c. 11.

[2] Eph. i. 9, 22; 1 Cor. xi. 2; Rom. xii. 5.

[3] See Petavius, De Incarn. Lib. 2, c. 7 and 8, for the following

[4] Hippolytus, quoted by Anastasius, p. 216.

[5] Irenæus, Lib. iii. 18, and iv. 37.

[6] De Monogamia, c. 5.

[7] Augustine, 21 Tract. in Joannem.

[8] Hilary on Psalm 68.

[9] S. Chrys. Tom. 5, (Savile) Hom. 106.

[10] Greg. Naz. Orat. 36.

[11] S. Cyril, Dialog. 1, De Trin. p. 399.

[12] S. Leo. 5 Serm. on Nativity, c. 4 and 5, 12th Serm. on Passion,
c. 3.

[13] S. Athanasius, Orat. 3, Contr. Arian. Tom. 1, p. 572. Oxf.
Trans. p. 403.

[14] Greg. Nyss. Tom. 2, p. 524. Catechet Oratio, c. 32.

[15] Ephrem, Patriarch of Antioch, quoted by Photius, cod. 229.

[16] S. Hilary, de Trin. Lib. 8. n. 13.

[17] John xiv. 20.

[18] John xv. 1-2, 5-7.

[19] John xiii. 34-6.

[20] John xv. 12.

[21] Rom. v. 5.

[22] John xiv. 16-18. 26.

[23] John xvi. 7. 13-15.

[24] 1 Cor. xii. 11; Eph. iv. 13.

[25] Eph. iv. 7-16; 1 Cor. xii. 7-13.

[26] Passaglia, p. 254.

[27] 1 Cor. x. 17.

[28] Mansi, Concil. Tom. 8, 208.

[29] S. Cyprian, de Unitate.

[30] Eph. iv. 4. 8. 11; i. 22; v. 23.

[31] That such was the belief of the most ancient fathers, Ignatius,
Irenæus, Tertullian, Cyprian, and others, see a most curious
admission of the Lutheran Mosheim, in his dissertation, De Gallorum
appellationibus, &c. s. 13. And his way of extricating himself is at
least as curious as the admission. His words are, "Cyprian and the
rest cannot have known the corollaries which follow from their
precepts about the Church. For no one is so dull as not to see that
between a certain unity of the universal Church, terminating in the
Roman pontiff, and such a community as we have described out of
Irenæus and Cyprian, there is scarcely so much room as between hall
and chamber, or between hand and fingers. If the _innocence_ of the
first ages stood in the way of their anticipating the snares which
ignorantly and unintentionally they were laying against sacred
liberty, those succeeding at least were more sharp-sighted, and it
was not long in becoming clear to the pontiffs what force in
establishing their own power and authority such tenets possessed."
So the ancient fathers were not intelligent enough to see that _the
hand was joined to the fingers_. But the other alternative was still
harder to Mosheim, that Lutheranism was fundamentally heretical and

[32] Napoleon.



It would now seem to be made clear to all that the controversy on S.
Peter's Primacy relates _generally_ to the question of inequality in
the Apostolic college, and _specially_ to the question, whether
Christ, the Founder of the Church, set any one of the Apostles, and
whom of them in particular, over the rest. For as, on the one hand,
there would have been no room for the superior dignity of the
Primacy, had all the Apostles been completely equal, and
undistinguished in honour and authority from each other; so, on the
other hand, it is the nature of the Primacy to be incapable of even
being contemplated, save as fixed on some certain definite subject.

But to determine the two questions, whether the Apostles stood, or
did not stand, on a complete equality, and whether one of them was
superior to the rest in honour and dignity, it seemed requisite to
examine chiefly four points.

First, the words and the acts of Christ respecting the Apostles.

Secondly, His expressions which seemed to mark the institution of a
_singular_ authority.

Thirdly, the mode of writing and speaking usually and constantly
employed by the Evangelists and other inspired writers.

Lastly, the history of the Church, from its beginning, from which
might be drawn conjectures, or even certain proofs, of the power
which either all the Apostles had exercised equally, or one had held
above the rest.

For should it become plain, from the agreement of these four
sources, that a certain one of the Apostles, and that one Simon
Peter, had been distinguished from the rest by the acts and words of
Christ, and set over the Apostles; had been invariably described by
the inspired writers, as the Head and supreme authority; and in the
history of the rising Church, been portrayed in a way which could
only befit the universal ruler, no difficulty would remain, and
there would be arguments abundant to prove that Christ was the
author both of the inequality among the Apostles, and of Peter's

Now we seem to have proved _absolutely_, what we proposed
_hypothetically_. For we have shewn that Christ declared by His
whole method of acting, and by solemn words and deeds, that He did
not account Peter as one of the rest, but as their Leader, Chief,
and Head.

We have shown it to have been the will of Christ to concentrate in
Peter the distinctions which belong to Himself, as Supreme Ruler of
the Church. For such must be deemed the properties of being the
Foundation, the Bearer of the keys, the Holder of universal
authority, the Supporter, and lastly, the Chief Shepherd. Of these
there is no one which He did not promise to Peter singly, and confer
on Peter singly: no one, with which He did not associate Peter, and
Peter only, in making him the foundation of His Church, bestowing on
him the keys, and universal power of binding and loosing, in
setting him over his brethren to confirm them, and over His fold as
universal Pastor.

We have shown that the Evangelists place almost the same distinction
between the Apostles and Peter, as between Peter and Christ, while
still among us. For as they set forth Peter as second after Christ,
so do they subject the Apostles to Peter; as the acts and words of
Christ occupy the foreground in respect to those of Peter, so do his
in respect to those of the Apostles; as Christ, in their histories,
is pre-eminent above Peter, so is Peter more conspicuous than the
Apostles; and as the Gospels cannot be read without seeing in them
Christ as the prototype, so neither can they without seeing that
Peter approaches the nearest to Christ.

We have shown that S. Paul spoke of S. Peter in no other way than
the Evangelists, and that his pre-eminence is evident in S. Paul's
Epistles, as well as in the Gospels.

Lastly, we have shown that Peter shines as the superior luminary in
the history of the rising Church. The lustre of his deeds in the
Acts recalls that of Christ in the Gospels. In the Gospels Christ is
named by far most frequently; in the Acts no one occurs so often as
Peter. The discourses, the acts, the miracles of Christ occupy every
page of the Gospels; and in that portion of the Acts which embraces
the history of the whole Church, a very large part has reference to
the discourses, the acts, and the miracles of Peter. In the Gospels,
Christ leads, the Apostles follow; in the Acts, Peter takes the
precedence, the Apostles attend him. In the Gospels, Christ teaches,
and the Apostles, in silence, consent; in the Acts Peter alone makes
speeches, and explains the doctrine of salvation; the Apostles by
their silence consent. In the Gospels, Christ provides for the
Apostolic college, guards it from injury, defends it when attacked;
in the Acts, Peter provides for filling up the place of Judas,
determines the conditions of eligibility, enjoins the election, and
defends the Apostles before people, rulers, and chief priests, in
quality of their head.

Moreover, he alone is pre-eminent in exercising the triple power of
_authoritative Teacher, Judge, and Legislator_. _Of authoritative
Teacher_, not only towards Jews and Gentiles, whom he is the first
to join to Christ, so that the same person who was the Church's rock
and foundation, also became its chief architect; but towards the
Apostles likewise, who are taught by his ministry, that the time was
come for the blessing of redemption to be extended no less to
Gentiles than to Jews, and that the burden of legal rites could not
be laid on the Gentile converts without tempting God. _Of Judge_,
because, while the Apostles are silent, he is the first to hear the
causes of the faithful, to erect a tribunal, to examine the accused,
to issue sentence, and to support and confirm it by inflicting
excommunication. Of _Head and Supreme Legislator_, both when he
singly visits Christians in all parts, and provides for their needs,
or when he uses the prerogative of first voting, and draws with
authority the wording of the law to which the rest are to give an
unanimous consent.

From this compendious enumeration we draw a multifold proof, both of
inequality in the Apostolic college, and of Peter's superiority at
once in rank and in real government.

I. For, _first_, a college cannot be considered equal, out of which
Christ chose one, Simon Peter, whom, by His words and His actions,
He showed to be set over all. Now Christ's whole course of speaking
and acting, of which the Gospels give us the picture, tends to
exhibit Peter as chosen out from the rest, and set over them.
Accordingly, neither is the college of the Apostles equal, nor can
Peter be accounted as one of the rest.

II. Again, one who has received all in common with the rest, but
much besides peculiar to himself, special and distinguishing, must
seem to be taken out of the common number. Now such must Peter have
been among the Apostles, since Christ granted nothing to them which
He denied to Peter, but did grant to Peter many most distinguishing
gifts which He gave not to the rest.

III. And, further, it is apparent that the Foundation and the
Superstructure, the Bearer of the keys, and those who inhabit the
house or city whose keys he bears, the Confirmer, and those whom he
is to confirm, the universal Pastor and the sheep committed to his
charge, cannot be comprehended under the same order and rank. Now
the distinctions expressed by the terms Foundation, Bearer of the
keys, Confirmer, and universal Pastor, are Peter's official insignia
in reference to, and over, the Apostles themselves. His distinction
from them, therefore, and the inequality of the apostolic college,
are plain.

Perhaps this may be put somewhat otherwise even more clearly. And
so, IV. Let it first be considered, what is plain in itself, that a
distinction carrying pre-eminence depends on distinction in
perfection and gifts, and follows in a greater or less degree from
the greater or less inequality of these, or in case of their parity
exists not at all. Next, be what we hold both of reason and of faith
remembered, that "every best gift and every perfect gift, is from
above, coming down from the Father of lights," that God is the
fountain head of all good, and that all gifts whatsoever flow over
from Him to His creatures. From both points it follows that the
amount of the creature's dignity and perfection lies in the
participation of divine goods, and is greater or less in proportion
to the participation and association with divine goods. So, then,
the controversy on Peter's Primacy and the inequality of the
Apostolic college, comes ultimately to this: _whether Christ, the
God-man, associated Peter singly, above all, with Himself, in the
possession of those properties on account of which He stands Himself
related to the Church as its supreme Ruler_. For let it be once
evident that Christ did so, and it will of necessity be evident
also, not only that Peter was preferred to all, but wherein his
leadership and headship consisted. And since we have made the
inquiry, there is abundant evidence to prove that Christ really did
associate Peter singly in five properties, which, belonging to
Himself _primarily_ and _chiefly_, contain the special cause for
which He is the Prince and Supreme Head of the Church.

For, in truth, it is specially due to the properties and
distinctions of _Foundation, Bearer of the keys, Establisher, Chief
Shepherd_, and _Lord_, who has received all authority from the
Father, that the Church has an entire dependence on Christ, is
subject to Him, and that He enjoys over the Church the right and
authority of Supreme Lord and Ruler. But which of these properties
did He not choose to communicate to Peter, according to the degree
in which they were communicable? He bestowed them all upon Peter,
and upon Peter alone, so that Peter also is termed _the Foundation,
the Bearer of the keys, the Confirmer, the universal Pastor_, and
_the_[1] _Chief of the whole Church_. We see, therefore, a
remarkable proof of Peter being distinguished from the rest of the
Apostles, and set over them, in his singular and special association
with these gifts.

Again, V., to this tends that disposition of divine wisdom which
provides that Peter holds in the Church, and among the Apostles, a
rank of dignity greatly resembling that which Abraham among the
Patriarchs, and Judah among his brethren, received from God. The
former of these relations has been exhibited, and shown not to be
arbitrarily conceived, but grounded on due proof. The latter will be
presently farther touched upon. Now who shall deny Abraham that
superiority whereby he was made the Father and Teacher of all the
faithful, or strip Judah of the dignity in which he excelled his
brethren, and was in many points preferred to them? As little may
any one strip Peter of his authority as supreme teacher, and take
from him those singular endowments, which make him "the greater one"
among his brethren the Apostles.

Especially as, VI., this authority of Peter is clearly confirmed by
the mode of writing usual to the Evangelists. For it is monstrous
and preposterous to confound with the rest one whom the Evangelists
constantly distinguish and prefer to all. For what more could they
do to show their purpose to distinguish Peter, select him from the
rest, and place him at all times before all the Apostles? We may
venture to say that they omitted nothing to this end. And so it is
absurd to doubt of Peter's prerogatives, or set him on the same
footing with the rest.

For, indeed, VII., no one would endure it to be denied, from the
usual mode of writing of the Evangelists, that Christ was
pre-eminent among the Apostles as their Supreme Head, and was
removed from them in dignity by an infinite interval. Now though the
Evangelists do not give Peter all things, nor in the same degree,
yet they do give him much, and in a degree not dissimilar, to
distinguish him from the rest, showing him, as in a nearer relation
to Christ, so proportionally exalted above the other Apostles.

And this proof, VIII., is the more persuasive because S. Paul
follows the very same mode of speaking as the Evangelists. For in
repeatedly mentioning S. Peter in his epistles, he always gives him
the place of honour, and joins him as near as may be with Christ.
Who then can doubt that Peter held a certain pre-eminent rank?

And the more, IX., because what is read in the Acts, and the view of
primitive history therein contained, looks the same way, and seems
set forth with the same purpose. For if you compare together the
Acts and the Gospels, the mind at once suggests that the position of
Prototype which Christ holds in the Gospels, belongs to Peter in the
Acts, and that Peter seems distinguished above the rest of the
Apostles in the Acts, as Christ is pre-eminent far above all in the
Gospels. Now what is the result of so apparent a likeness? What is
it fair to deduce from such a bearing in the Evangelical and
Apostolical history? Those who are obedient to reasoning, and follow
the bright torch of the Scriptures, must confess with us that in
this parallelism of both histories, and so of Christ and Peter, is
contained a mark and sign, proving that Peter follows next after
Christ in dignity and authority.

In authority, X., I repeat, and, therefore, that kind of superiority
which very far surpasses the limits of precedence and order. For
what are the grounds on which we see Peter's eminence in the Acts,
or a resemblance between the Acts, when speaking of Peter, and the
Gospels when speaking of Christ? Chiefly these, that Peter is set
forth as remarkable, singly, above all, for the use and exercise of
the triple power, of Judge, Legislator, and authoritative Teacher.
Now, the superiority herein asserted, not merely distinguishes Peter
from the rest, but attaches to him a greater authority over the

XI. And, indeed, propose an hypothesis which is necessary to solve a
complex and undoubted series of facts: is such an hypothesis thereby
made a certainty. At least these are the principles of philosophy,
from which the laws of reasoning will not allow us to depart. Now,
Peter's pre-eminence and supremacy are such an hypothesis, without
which you can render no sufficient cause of the facts narrated in
the first twelve chapters of the Acts. Accordingly, this supremacy
of Peter may be considered as proved.

XII. Or to put the argument somewhat differently, thus: As the
existence of causes is deduced, _à posteriori_, from effects, so it
is perfectly established, _à priori_, whenever the series and sum of
effects, of which the senses are cognisant, are foretold from it
with certainty. We deduce the force of gravity necessarily from its
effects, à posteriori, but we likewise determine it to exist, with a
judgment no less invariable, à priori, when it is such that we do
not merely guess at, but certainly anticipate, its sensible
effects. Now Peter's supremacy is not inaptly compared with this
very force of gravity. For it is a characteristic of each to be, in
its proper order of things, the source and principle in which
effects are involved, which afterwards become apparent, whether in
this physical universe, or in the supernatural region of the Church.

Suppose, then, Peter to have held the dignity which we claim for
him. What happens in the Acts which might not, nay, which should
not, have been anticipated? Is it his being mentioned above all, his
speaking in the name of all, his constantly taking the lead, and his
eminence, as if he were the head? But it could not be otherwise if
he alone received from Christ a higher dignity than all the rest. Is
it his discharging the office of supreme Judge, Legislator, Teacher,
and Doctor? Is not this just what was to be expected from the rank
of Head and universal Pastor? The Primacy, then, the larger
authority, and the unshared majesty of Peter, belong to that class
of truths which are indubitably believed on the strength of
deduction, and rational anticipation.

Having noted, if not all, at least the greater number of those
arguments which we have alleged hitherto in favour of our cause, we
approach the question which was secondly to be cleared up, what,
namely, is _the force and nature of that Primacy_, which the same
arguments prove to belong to Peter. For I know that all Protestants
are possessed with the notion that no other pre-eminence should be
ascribed to Peter, on scriptural authority, than one limited to a
certain precedency of honour and order. That _precedency_ should be
granted Peter they are not unwilling to admit, but _supremacy_, they
stoutly maintain, must not and cannot be allowed him. As to which
their opinion I consider, that it would be much the shorter way to
strip Peter utterly of every prerogative, than to attenuate the
distinctions applied to him in Scripture to a sort of shadowy
precedency. I consider that nothing is so foreign to truth and the
Scriptures, as on their testimony to allow that Peter was
distinguished from the rest of the Apostles, but to confine that
superiority within the very narrow bounds of honour and order.

For, _first_, whence do we most evidently and chiefly draw the
greater dignity which Peter clearly possessed above the others? We
draw it from the endowments separately bestowed upon him, whereby he
became the Foundation of the Church, the Supreme Bearer of the keys,
the Confirmer of his brethren, and the universal Pastor. But are
these names, images, signs, expressing a naked superiority of honour
and order, or rather designating an authority of jurisdiction and
power? I cannot hesitate to assert either that these forms are most
fitted of all to express a singular authority, or that none such
exist in language. For, _secondly_, their force is to ascribe to
Peter the main sway, and to mark him as set for the head and leader
of all. Who that hears them can, without perverting the natural
force of words, or disregarding the laws of interpretation, imagine
anything merely honorary, or figure to himself Peter with a mere
grant of precedency?

Especially as, _thirdly_, he is named in Scripture not only _the
First_, but, comparatively, the _Greater_, and absolutely, the
_Superior_.[2] Now these terms do, of themselves, and far more if
you consider the context of the discourse in which they occur,
express a singular authority, and one without rival. An authority,
_fourthly_, kindred to that with which Christ, while yet in His
mortal life, presided over the Apostolic college, and administered
as supreme Head, the company which He had formed. For we can never
sufficiently urge a point which, being in itself most true, is of
itself abundantly sufficient completely to set at rest the present
controversy. It is this, that Peter's Primacy proceeds from a
singular association with those distinctions, in virtue of which
Christ is considered the Head and Chief, and Supreme Ruler of the
Church. So that the more his Primacy is depressed, the more Christ's
prerogatives and dignity are lowered; nor can he be confined to a
precedency of honour and order, without Christ's superiority being
shut within well nigh the same limits.

Besides, _fifthly_, are tokens wanting in Scripture which disclose
the nature of Peter's Primacy? Are there not effects which unfold
the force and quality of the cause from which they spring? Such
tokens there are in abundance, and such effects manifold. These are,
the care with which Peter guarded the Apostolic college; the
authority with which he visited Christians in every part; the
singular exercise of judicial power, by which he established Church
discipline, and provided for its maintenance; his acts of
authoritative teaching; his drawing the form of laws which were to
rule the universal Church; and, in short, the wonderful regard with
which that Church followed Peter as its Head, and the Steward of all
the Lord's family. What Primacy is it which these tokens set forth?
What cause which these effects demonstrate? Is it one limited to a
precedency of honour and order? or one pre-eminent by an inherent
jurisdiction and authority? It is a point which needs no further
words. For if any there be whose minds are not struck by a candid
and sincere exposition of facts, you will in vain attempt to
persuade them by arguments.

Unless, indeed, _sixthly_, they allow themselves to be forced out
of their prejudice by the Scriptures exhibiting such a Primacy of
Peter as compels all others to profess one and the same faith with
him, and to maintain one and the same society. For such an
obligation could proceed neither from titles of honour, nor from
precedency. It demanded a stronger cause--none other, in fact, but
that supreme authority by which Peter is made head of all.

But we shall feel much more at home in the truth of this deduction,
if we enquire a little more deeply into the reasons for selecting
one among the rest, namely Peter, and instituting the Primacy. For
the purpose, and end proposed in a work, have the force of a
_negative_ rule by which we may judge with certainty what ought to
be done, or could not be left undone. I know well that it does not
follow, if anything has been instituted for a certain purpose, that
it ought to be endowed _only_ with those properties which appear
necessary for the end to be gained; for it may be much more
munificently established than the absolute need required. But at the
same time I know that there would be a failure in prudence and
wisdom in one who, desiring a certain work for a specific end, did
not provide it with everything that could be deemed necessary. Thus
the _knowledge of the intention and purpose_ is equivalent, if not
to a _positive_ rule, determining all and singular the powers
bestowed on any institution, at least to a _negative_, ascertaining
what must be given to it, and what cannot be denied to it.

Now is the purpose for which Christ instituted the Primacy, and
honoured Peter with its dignity, unknown, or is it most truly
ascertained? The end which moved Christ to make the college of
Apostles unequal, and to set Peter as head over it, is it secret, or
very conspicuous? There are in all three _classes of reasons_ which
enable us to form, not a mere guess, but an ascertained judgment, as
to the purpose of Christ in instituting the Primacy. There are
_typical_ reasons, drawn from previous shadowings forth of it: there
are _analogical_, derived from relations of resemblance; and there
are _real_, inherent in the testimonies themselves, and the Church's
endowments. Let us briefly exhibit these in order.

I. By, then, that signal agreement wherewith the two dispensations,
the old and the new, correspond to each other, the first in outline,
and the last as filled up, this rudimental, and that complete, we
are plainly instructed that it was Christ's purpose for Peter, in
the new dispensation, to bear the character, whose lineaments had
been traced before in Abraham, and to be eminent among the Apostles,
for the prerogative which Abraham had possessed among the
Patriarchs. Now Abraham's special prerogative, and pre-eminence, was
this, that no one could share either promise, whether carnal or
spiritual, which is expressed in Scripture, by "the Blessing," who
was not joined with Abraham by a double, that is, a carnal and
spiritual, a physical and moral, bond. For to him and to his seed
were the promises made, with the condition, that only by conjunction
with him, and with his seed, they could flow over to the rest.
Since, then, in the new dispensation, Peter was to sustain the
character of Abraham in the old, and since the only-begotten Son of
the Father, having put on the form of a servant, granted to Peter
the prerogative which, in prelude of His future order, He had given
to Abraham, it is plain that Simon was chosen, honoured with the
name of Cephas, and preferred above all, in order that from him as
supreme minister of Christ, and by union with him as visible head,
all the members of the Church's body might enjoy the blessings and
fruits of the Christian institution.

The deductions from this are easy to see. For two things chiefly
follow, specially declarative of the nature of the Primacy, and
shewing its intent, to be the cause and efficient principle of that
unity by which the Church of Christ is one visible body. First,
there follows the _duty_ laid upon all the faithful, of being joined
with Peter, if they would not fall from those promises with which
Christ has most bountifully enriched His mystical Body, being no
other than that which reverences Peter as its visible head.
Secondly, there follows Peter's _jurisdiction_, in virtue of which
he enjoins all to form one communion and society with him, as well
as effects, defends, and maintains it. Now, nothing can be stronger
than this ordinance of Christ, either to prove a Primacy of supreme
jurisdiction, or to unfold its purpose of effecting and maintaining

The same is the bearing of another type no less remarkable, and no
less adopted to explain the whole matter. For, as Israel, "according
to the flesh," was the shadow of the "Israel of God," which was
"according to promise:"[3] and as the kingdom of Israel was a type
and ensample of the kingdom of heaven, the approach of which Christ
proclaimed in these words, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of heaven is at hand:" so the twelve sons of Israel, the heads of
the Israelitish race, represented and imaged out those Twelve whom
Christ chose, made princes in His Church, and endowed with supreme
authority to build up that Church's structure, and enrich it day by
day with new accessions of spiritual children. Of this type our
Lord's words are the strongest guarantee: "Amen, I say unto you,
that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of
Man shall sit on the throne of His Majesty, you also shall sit on
twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." And, again, in
the very discourse where He sets forth the future Superior, "I
dispose to you, as My Father disposed to Me, a kingdom; that you may
eat and drink at My table, in My kingdom; and may sit upon thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel."[4]

But now, though all the sons of Israel in the former typical kingdom
were chiefs, and heads of tribes, yet one of them, that is Judah,
had a special prerogative, which the Scriptures set forth, and which
was called the _right of the first-born_. In virtue of this, on the
one hand, Judah was esteemed the Lord of his brethren, whom they
were to reverence as the parent of the whole family, and on the
other, it was only by union with him, and with the seed that was to
spring from him, that the other chiefs could promise to themselves
the divine blessing. And so the tribe of Judah had a great
pre-eminence over the other eleven. It was its prerogative to take
the[5] lead: it had received from God the promise of an[6] authority
which was not to terminate before the old covenant should be
transformed into the new: from it was the seed[6] to be expected,
which should be the source of blessing to all nations, prefigured as
they were by the twelve tribes; the other tribes were bound[7] to
union with it, and to the profession of its religion, on pain of
falling into schism, and forfeiting the divine covenant. All this
was expressed by Jacob in prophetic inspiration, when he addressed
Judah as the head and root of his line: "Judah (praise) art thou,
thy brethren shall praise thee: thy hand is on the neck of thine
enemies: the sons of thy father shall bow down to thee." It remains,
then, to ask, who was to represent Judah's person in the new
kingdom, and on whom Christ bestowed the prerogative, the type and
image of which had gone before in Judah. It is most plain that this
was Simon Peter, for whom we have, therefore, to claim a double
prerogative, the one of being the source and origin, from which no
one may be separated without severance from the kingdom and promises
of Christ: the other of being the first-born, as betokening
excellence, by which he was pre-eminent in the possession of special
rights among his brethren, the Apostles.

The former prerogative was expressed by the Fathers of Aquileia,
when, in the words of S. Ambrose, they stated their belief in S.
Peter's chair, "For thence, as from a fountain head, the rights of
venerable communion flow unto[8] all." The latter is confirmed and
illustrated by the solemn expressions so often recurring in
Christian records, wherein Peter is called, "[9]the Bishop of
Bishops," "[10]the Pastor of Pastors," "[11]first prelate of the
Apostles," "[12]Patriarch of the whole world," "[13]universal
bishop," "[14]father of fathers," "[14]having the dignity of
pastoral headship," "[14]the most divine head of all heads,
arch-pastor of the Church."

II. To these reasons, which, as we think, may be called _typical_,
succeed the _analogical_, which prove with equal evidence the
purpose of the Primacy as instituted, and its inherent powers. If we
ask what are these reasons from analogy, and to what they point, one
only answer can be given commended by any show of truth, that the
Primacy was instituted in order that the Church of Christ might seem
to be moulded after the analogy of one human body, one house, one
kingdom, one city, and one fold. But whence the need that so very
remarkable and clear an analogy should be obtained by the
institution of the Primacy? Doubtless because the Primacy was
created as a principle, by whose virtue and efficiency what was
various and manifold should be gathered up into unity, because it
was to be a head in which all the diverse members of the
ecclesiastical body should be joined, the centre of the Church's

Therefore the reasons drawn from analogy show that the unity of the
Church is to be considered the special end for which the Primacy was
instituted, and the Primacy itself a principle abundantly provided
with all those means by which so admirable a blessing as unity may
be first produced and then maintained.

And this is confirmed by another analogy, well worthy of close
attention. This consists in the double and reciprocal relation in
which the universal Church stands to particular Churches, and the
institution of the Primacy to the institution of bishops, who, by
Christ's appointment, govern those particular Churches: an agreement
which ought to have especial force with those who believe in the
divine institution of bishops. For as the whole society of true
believers, and the particular congregations of which it is made up,
are called in Holy Scripture and the Christian records by one and
the same name of the Church, so is there the very closest analogy
between the bond which connects the universal Church and that which
connects its several parts.

Exactly, then, as it is asserted with great truth of all these
particular Churches that they are one house, one city, and one fold,
so must this be repeated of the whole Church, since it is set forth
in Scripture by no other images, and has no less right to claim the
property of unity. Hence S.[15] Chrysostome's golden saying, "If it
is the Church of God, it is united and one, not at Corinth only, but
in the whole world. For _the Church_ is a name not of division, but
of union and harmony;" and S.[16] Gregory calls it, "The tunic
without seam, woven from the top throughout."

Now the same reason which existed for instituting particular bishops
to govern and preserve in unity particular flocks, moved Christ to
institute an universal Primate, and to set him over the whole fold.
If in the former case the best description of a particular Church is
that of S. Cyprian, "A people united to its priest, and a flock
adhering to its pastor;"[17] in the latter the _form of unity_,
which Christ established in the universal Primate, no less imposes
on all, both taught and teachers, the necessity of saying with S.
Jerome, "I following none as the first save Christ, am joined in
communion with your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter.
Upon that rock the Church is built, I know. Whoever outside of this
house eateth the lamb, is profane. If any one was not in the ark of
Noah, he shall perish. I know not Vitalis; I reject Meletius; I am
ignorant of Paulinus. Whoever gathers not with thee, scatters: that
is, he who is not of Christ is of Antichrist."[18]

III. A great accession of evidence will accrue to what we have said
if we attentively consider the reasons deduced from the texts
containing the institution of the Primacy, and those proceeding from
the inherent properties of the Church. To speak of the texts first:

1. Either they carry no meaning with them, or they prove at least
this, that Christ, in instituting the Primacy, intended,[19] while
exhibiting the whole Church under the usual image of a house and
building, to give it a _foundation_, the bond at once of its
strength and unity; and, again, while communicating to one the
special gift of unwavering faith, to make him the channel for
establishing and[20] _confirming_ all the faithful; to[21] render
the fold which he had gathered out of all nations one by the unity
of a supreme visible _pastor_, and to[22] constitute in the Lord's
family, amid so manifold a distinction of officers, one of such
eminence as to be _the Ruler_ and _the Greater_ among all.

But can we, or ought we, to conclude from this as to the purpose of
the Primacy, and as to its constituent force and principle?
Assuredly these texts prove directly and categorically that the
Primacy was set up as _the efficient principle_, whereby to mould
the Church's visible unity, and was endowed with all that authority,
without which unity could neither have been produced, nor maintained
in existence.

2. And in this judgment we shall be confirmed if we investigate the
properties of which the Church cannot be deprived, without taking a
form and an appearance different from that which it received from
Christ. The first which occurs is that _identity_ by which the
Church must always be like itself, and cannot be substantially
different at its beginning and in its growth; one thing when it had
Christ for its visible head, and another when His words had come to
pass, "A little while, and now you shall not see Me--because I go to
the Father." Now at its first commencement, in the time of our
Lord's mortal life, the Church presented the form of a society
governed by the supreme power of one, and deriving its visible unity
from one supreme visible head. That it might not subsequently lose
this identity, and put on another form, our Lord chose a Primate to
be the principle of visible unity, and to have the power of a head
over the whole body.

And indeed this was necessary to maintain the double character and
test of[23] _unity_ and[24] _Catholicity_, by which the Church is
distinguished in Holy Scripture and in the records of Christian
antiquity. As to _unity_, not only are the expressions in the
creeds, and the more ample explanation of them in the[25] Fathers,
most clear and emphatic, but likewise what is said in the Holy
Scriptures of the _end_ for which the Church was founded by Christ.
For the[26] grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men,
instructing those who had[27] changed the truth of God into a lie,
and liked not to have God in their knowledge, that[28] denying all
these things they might become an acceptable people, and[29]
enlightened by Christ, and sanctified in the truth, might by the
profession of one faith be[30] one body and one spirit, in the
same[31] manner in which the Father and the Son are one, and might
be[32] divided by no sects and dissensions, which are manifestly the
works of the flesh, not of God, who is not the[33] God of dissension
but of peace. For therefore[34] Christ, the only-begotten of the
Father, gave His blood for it, to present it to Himself, a glorious
Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, which would
break peace, and disturb the agreement of faith; but that it should
be holy and without blemish,[35] immovable through that rock on
which it rests, and against which not even the gates of hell shall
prevail; wisely ordered as the[36] house of God, in which[37] all
hear his voice, who is set over as the[38] ruler, and has received
his brethren to be[39] confirmed, and the[40] care of the whole
flock;[41] endued with virtue from on high, and strengthened by
the[42] Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father; possessing the
power of[43] authoritative teaching, which if any[44] hear not, nor
obey, they are to be accounted as heathens and publicans, by a
judgment which binds both in heaven and on earth. Are there any who
do not see that in this description, which sets forth the Church's
pre-ordained end, its proper character and very lineaments, the
Primacy itself is included, and exhibited as the principal cause
which effects the unity of the whole body? I hardly think that any
such can be, so apparent is the bond which ties these several parts

Yet perhaps this may be more vividly brought out if we shortly
mention the common opinions among Protestants on the Church's unity.
For, omitting those who hold an[45] invisible Church, and so expunge
visible unity from its attributes, all the other opinions may be
reduced to three.

A. Anglicans, whose belief has been set forth, besides Pearson on
the Creed, with more than usual care by Dodwell, (in his Treatise on
the Bishop, as the Principle of Unity, and S. Peter's Primacy among
the Apostles as the Exemplar of Unity,) begin by noting that the
question of visible unity cannot be determined in the same way as it
respects the universal Church, or each particular Church. But why?
Because, they say, it was indeed the will of Christ, that each
particular Church should have a double unity, inward and outward,
but it was not His will that the whole Church, the sum of these
particular Churches, should have the same mark and test. Because, it
was His will that both unities should characterise the particular
Churches, to use a school phrase, _separately_ and _distributively_,
but not the whole body, and the sum of these, taken _collectively_.
Whence they conclude that Bishops were chosen and made, by the
command of Christ, to preside over particular Churches, and be in
them the source and principle of external unity, but that a Primate
was not chosen, to whom the whole Church should be subject, and on
whom its external unity should depend.

At this argument one is lost in astonishment, how it could have
suggested itself to learned men, and gained their assent. For what
had they to prove, or how could they assure themselves, or others,
as to either of these two points, that external unity was necessary
to particular Churches, but not to the whole Church, or that the
institution of Bishops, presiding over particular Churches, came
from Christ, but not that of the Primate, whose charge was to rule,
administer, and maintain in unity the whole Church. Had they texts
wherein to trust? But as often as the Bible speaks of the Church's
unity, it means that Church, which is called "the kingdom of God,"
"the kingdom of Christ," and "the kingdom of heaven," which is
termed "the inheritance of the Gentiles," and embraces with a
mother's bosom, and a mother's love, the whole race of man, from one
end of the earth to the other. Had they creeds to cite? But in these
unity is attributed to that Church only, which is so termed
absolutely, and very often has the epithet of Catholic.

Moreover, is the word Church, in its unrestricted application, of
doubtful meaning? On the contrary, it is specially defined as well
in the Holy Scriptures,[46] where it expresses of itself the whole
society of believers, as in the Fathers, such as Irenæus,[47]
Tertullian,[48] Clement[49] of Alexandria, Origen,[50] Hilary,[51]
Jerome,[52] and all the rest without exception, who, in using it,
express the whole Christian people joined in one sole communion. It
is defined also by Councils, as in the Canons of Laodicea,[53]
Carthage,[54] and Constantinople,[55] where the Church means the
whole assembly of orthodox believers, as distinct from heretics and
schismatics. It is defined in the most ancient explanation of the
creeds, the unanimous meaning of which Tertullian seems to have
rendered in saying: "And, therefore, so many and so great Churches
are that first one from the Apostles, whence all come. So all are
first, and all Apostolical, while all set forth one unity, while
they have interchange of peace, the appellation of brotherhood and
the common rights of friendship, privileges regulated by no other
principle than the tradition of the same sacrament."[56] Lastly, the
very heretics[57] defined this term, who, in order to make
themselves understood, could use the word Church in no other sense
than to express the universal assembly of the faithful.

After this it is not at all necessary to ask Anglicans afresh if
they have ancient Fathers whose authority they can quote. What these
thought and believed about the Church's unity is fully shown by
those whom we have quoted, and by the words of Irenæus, "The Church,
though dispersed throughout the whole world, yet as if it were
contained in the same house, carefully preserves the rule of faith,
and holds it as if she had one soul and one heart, nay, and teaches
it with one consent, as if she spoke with one voice. For although
different tongues occupy the world, yet the force of tradition is
one and the same, nor do the Churches of Germany, Spain, Gaul, the
East, Egypt, Libya, and the middle of the world, embrace any other
faith. But as there is one and the same sun shining over the whole
world, so the preaching of the truth shines everywhere, and
enlightens all men who desire its knowledge."[58]

What, then, was the motive of Anglicans, in maintaining the unity of
particular churches, and the institution of bishops cohering with
it, to be necessary, while they denied the necessity of unity in the
Church universal, or of a Primate's institution, to effect universal
unity? What induced them to assert incompatibilities, and defend
them as a matter of life and death? The evidence of the Scriptures,
and the unquestionable belief of all Christian antiquity, extorted
from them the acknowledgment that unity was a mark of the Church,
and the ascription to Christ of the institution of bishops as
necessary for the forming and maintaining unity. _But the fixed
purpose of defending their schism, and their determination to reject
the Primacy, urged them to deny that unity in the whole Church was
ordered and provided for by Christ._ The result of these
affirmatives and negatives was a doctrinal[59] monster of
incomparable ugliness, an outrage on the light both of nature and of
revelation, as incapable of defence, as abhorrent from reason and
from grace.

B. The second Protestant opinion has been set forth at length by[60]
Vitringa, and supported with all his ingenuity. It is that of those
who distinguish a two-fold unity of the Church, one interior,
spiritual, proceeding from union with one and the same invisible
Head, Jesus Christ, and completed and perfected by the inhabitation
of the Holy Spirit, and the bestowal of heavenly gifts; the other
exterior, visible, depending on profession of the same faith,
participation of the same sacraments, obedience to the same
superiors. Having made this distinction, they proceed to argue for
the purpose of proving that while the former unity is universal, and
absolutely necessary, the latter is neither universal nor necessary,
save hypothetically, (of which hypothesis Vitringa nowhere explains
the nature,) and so is capable both of extension and restriction. In
a word, they attach simple and absolute necessity and universality
to the spiritual and invisible unity, but by no means to the
external and visible.

But for this what are their authorities? Can they allege the most
ancient Fathers in unbroken succession from the Apostles? Nay, they
candidly confess that the Fathers thought external and visible unity
simply and absolutely necessary, and not those only of the fourth
and fifth century, but those of the second and third. Witness
Vitringa,[61] who says, "If we consult on this point the doctors of
the ancient Christian Church, they seem on all hands to have
embraced the view that the communion of believers in holy rites, in
the supper of the Lord, and in reciprocal offices of brotherly love,
was maintained absolutely, not hypothetically. They supposed, and
seem to have persuaded themselves, that all who were joined to the
Christian Church by the due rite of baptism after previous
preparation, were really regenerated by the grace of the Holy
Spirit, and so that the Christian Church was an assembly of men,
who in far greater part, saving hypocrites, of whom a few might
exist in secret, participated in the renewing and sanctifying grace
of the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, to be joined to the Church was much
the same as being joined to the heavenly city. To have one's name on
the Church's books, much the same as to have it in God's book of
life. On the other hand, to be severed from Church communion, or to
use Tertullian's words, "to be deprived of the sacrament of the Body
and Blood of the Lord, and to be debarred from all brotherly
communion," was to risk salvation, and incur the danger of eternal
death. That is, they supposed that no one was saved out of the
external communion of the Church, which they confounded with the
mystical and spiritual communion of the Saints. And again, kindred
points to these, and resting on the same principle, that bishops
represent the office and person of Jesus Christ Himself in the
Christian Church; that those who separated themselves from them when
rightly and duly elected, separated themselves at the same time from
the communion of Christ Himself. That those who were absolved by the
bishops after penance publicly performed according to the canons of
ecclesiastical discipline, restored to their rank, and honoured with
the kiss of peace, were absolved in the heavenly court by God
Himself, and Christ the Judge. Lastly, which was the most[62]
_audacious_ of all such hypotheses, that it was all over with the
salvation of all who separated themselves in schism from the
external communion of the Church and its rites, although hitherto
they had neither been tainted with heresy, nor involved in crimes
destructive of the Christian[63] profession. It would be easy for me
to support at length each one of these particulars by the sentiments
and the discipline of the doctors of the primitive Church, were they
unknown to the more instructed, or did my purpose allow it. I now
only appeal to Cyprian's letter to Magnus, in the whole of which He
supposes and urges the very hypotheses which I have been
enumerating; and amongst the rest, speaking of Novatian's schism, he
writes thus distinctly: "But if there is one Church, which is
beloved by Christ, and alone is cleansed in His laver, how can he
who is not in the Church," (that is, in communion with that
particular external assembly which makes a part of the external
Catholic Church,) "be loved by Christ, or washed and cleansed in His
laver? Wherefore as the Church alone possesses the water of life,
and the power of baptizing and washing a man, let him who asserts
that any one can be baptized and sanctified with Novatian, first
show and teach that Novatian is in the Church, or [64]_presides over
the Church_. For the Church is one, which, being one, cannot be at
once within and without. For if it is with Novatian, it was not with
Cornelius. But if it was with Cornelius, who succeeded the Bishop
Fabian in regular order, and whom the Lord hath glorified with
martyrdom over and above the rank of his high priesthood, Novatian
is not in the Church."[65] It is the precise thing which we have
been stating."

But where did Vitringa and the supporters of his doctrine get
courage to contradict the whole line of Fathers and their unbroken
tradition? You would surely expect from them decisive arguments, and
expressions from Holy Writ distinctly laying down no other than a
_hypothetical_ necessity of visible and external unity. But you may
search in vain all over the Gospels, the Epistles, and the Acts, for
any such. Not only is there no mention in them of such a distinction
as that invisible unity is absolutely necessary, while external and
visible unity is but hypothetically so, but this latter is plainly
enjoined and set forth as the note which the mystical body of
Christ, the true Church, cannot be without; and its violation is
reckoned among those works of the flesh which exclude from the
kingdom of God.

How, besides, can that be deemed necessary only under hypothesis,
without holding and faithfully maintaining which you cut yourself
off from the very fountain of blessing, and transgress and subvert
the order appointed by God for attaining salvation? Such an
assertion would be senseless. Yet in most of the Protestant
confessions,--the Helvetic, art. xiv., the Galliean, art. xvi., the
Scotch, art. xxvii., the Belgian, art. xxviii., the Saxon, art.
xii., the Bohemian, art. viii., and that of the Remonstrants, art.
xxii.,--it is laid down as an indisputable principle, "That the
heirs of eternal life are only to be found in the assembly of those
called." What then do those who violate outward and visible unity,
and withdraw from the outward and visible body of the Church? They
stop up the very way which Providence has opened for their obtaining
"the inheritance of sons."

For indeed Christ is the Saviour, but of His mystical body,
which[66] is the Church, which therefore He purchased with His own
blood, joined to Himself by that closest bond of being His spouse,
enriched with promises,[67] provided with all manner of graces, and
most nobly dowered with[68] truth, charity, and the Holy Spirit, to
give her at last salvation, and[69] "the weight of eternal glory."
But have these things reference to a visible or an invisible Church?
To a Church one and coherent, or rent and torn by factions? It is
the Church which Christ founded, which He made to be[70] "the light
of the world," bound together by[71] manifold external links,
ordered to be one with the unity of a house, a family, a city, a
kingdom; with that unity wherewith the Father and the Son are one;
in which He placed[72] pastors and doctors to bind and to loose, and
to watch over the agreement of all the parts; which He founded upon
Peter, committed in chief to Peter to rule and to feed it. Such,
then, as fall off from one single visible Church are of the
condition of those whom the Apostles of the Lord foretold, that "in
the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their
own desires in ungodlinesses: these are they who separate
themselves, sensual men, having not the[73] Spirit:" these tear
themselves from their Saviour, lose the fruit purchased by His
blood, and fall from the inheritance which the Head obtained for His
body and His members.

Therefore the necessity of union with the one single visible Church
is as great as the necessity of union with Christ the Head, as the
necessity of the remission of sins, "for[74] outside of it they are
not remitted: for this Church has specially received the Holy Spirit
in earnest, without whom no sins are remitted:" as the necessity of
charity, "[75]for it is this very charity which those who are cut
off from the communion of the Catholic Church do not possess,"
whence "[76]whatsoever thing heretics and schismatics receive, the
charity which covers a multitude of sins is the gift of Catholic
unity and peace:" as great, in fine, as the necessity not to involve
oneself "in[77] a horrible crime and sacrilege," "in[78] the
greatest of evils," one "by[79] which Christ's passion is rendered
of no effect, and His body is rent," by which[80] the sin is
committed of which Christ said, "It shall not be forgiven, neither
in this world nor in the world to come:" by which one is estranged
"from the sole Catholic Church, which retains the true worship, in
which is the fountain of truth, the home of faith, the temple of
God, into which if any one enter not, or from which if any one go
out, he loses the hope of life and eternal salvation. Let no one
flatter himself in the spirit of obstinate contention, for life is
at issue, and salvation, which without care and caution will be
forfeited."[81] Can any necessity be greater, or less conditional
than this? Or what can be more plain than this statement of the
simple and absolute necessity of visible unity and outward

Where then are we to find the cause which induced so many learned
and able Protestants first to imagine this distinction between the
necessity of internal and external communion and unity, and then to
deceive themselves and others with such a mockery? The real cause
was, as I believe, that having denied the institution of the
Primacy, and the authority lodged in it for the purpose of forming
and maintaining unity, they were without a criterion or proof, in
virtue of which, among so many Christian societies divided from and
condemning each other, they could safely choose the one with which
they were to be joined in communion, and the outward unity of duty
and obedience. For they would readily conclude that the unity so
often commended in Scripture, and so earnestly enjoined, could not
be external, since God, who does not command impossibilities, had
instituted no visible sign to mark that company of Christians, which
alone among all the rest was the continuation and development of the
Church founded by Christ, and built up by the Apostles.

C. From the same source must the third Protestant doctrine on unity
be derived. [82]Jurien filled up the sketch of this, which
[83]Casaubon, [84]Claude, and [85]Mestrezat had drawn, and it became
so popular as not only to infect a large number of Protestants, but
to exert a withering influence on certain unstable members of the
Catholic body. It teaches that we must believe not only in an
internal and spiritual, but in a visible and external unity, for the
Scriptures plainly urge its necessity, and Christian tradition fully
describes it, so that there is not a truth more patent or
established on greater authority; but this unity is restricted
within narrow bounds, and confined to the articles called
fundamental, though as to how many these are no one defender of the
system is agreed with another. For it is sufficient for Christians
not to differ in the profession of such articles for them to be
deemed members of one and the same Church. Whence they infer that
one and the same true Church is made up out of almost all Christian
societies, the Roman, the Greek, the Nestorian, the Eutychian, the
Waldensian, the Lutheran, the Anglican, and the Calvinist, for their
differences, important as they are, offer no hindrance to the unity
which Christ enjoined, the Apostles preached, the creeds express,
and universal tradition demands.

As Bossuet,[86] the brothers Walemburg,[87] Nicole,[88] and even
some Protestants have most fully dealt with this portentous opinion,
there is no need to urge much against it here. I prefer repeating
the question, what _occasion_ the Protestants had to get up so
unheard-of a paradox, and a system so absurd? It was twofold: one
theoretical, and the other practical.

The theoretical was this. The crime of heresy, depicted in
Scripture, and Christian antiquity, with colours so dark, had
gradually lost its foulness and its magnitude in the minds of
Protestants, who had, at length, come to the pass of reckoning
religious, as well as civil, liberty, among the unquestionable
rights of man. As if, all other human acts being subject to a law,
those alone which proceed from the intellect are exempt: as if the
difference between right and wrong, which embraces the whole range
of man's life, did not relate to its noblest part, in the acts of
the intellect and the reason: as if God had laid down a law of
justice, charity, fortitude, and prudence, but entirely omitted a
_law[89] of faith_: as if the will submitted to a law of _good_, but
the mind owned no law of _truth_: or as if God cared for the boughs
and leaves, but took no thought of the root.[90] But what could
Protestants do? Having allowed to all full license of thought, and
overthrown the authority which ruled the mind, they were forced,
while they kept the _name_ of heresy, to give up the _thing_ meant
by it, and the effects springing from that thing: they were forced
to attenuate to the utmost the crime of heresy, and to reduce to the
smallest possible number the articles necessary to be believed by
all; they were forced to extend beyond all measure the Church's
limits, while they contracted beyond all measure the range of
necessary unity.

Besides the theoretical, there was a practical occasion in those
schisms which, not merely in later or in mediæval times, but in the
first ages also, rent the Christian society. Jurien and Pfaff appeal
to these, pretentiously enumerating those which arose under Popes
Victor, Cornelius, Stephen, Urban VI., and Clement VII., and those
named from Donatus, Meletius, and Acacius. Then they ask if the true
Church of Christ can be thought to consist in one single society
perfectly at union with itself. They allege many conjectures against
this, but dwell on the argument, that _in defect of a visible
external test_, such an assertion could not be maintained without
_imposing upon all a most intolerable burden of searching out where
is the true doctrine and the legitimate ministerial succession_: for
it is not until those are found, that, at length, that one single
society will be recognised, with which, as the only true Church,
unity of Communion is to be kept.

Now, I profess that I do not see how this argument can be met, if
the institution of the Primacy, and its proper function to form and
maintain unity, be rejected. For, without this, by what visible
token among so many Christian societies, divided by intestine
dissension, and condemning each other, can you distinguish the one
which has the character of the true Church, and the right to exact
communion with itself? There is none to be found; and so, either all
hope of finding the true Church must be relinquished, or an enquiry
must be undertaken into purity of doctrine, and legitimate
ministerial succession, on the termination of which the only true
Church will at last be found. But as this latter course is to by far
the greater number of men impossible, dangerous[91] to all without
exception, and most foreign to the Christian temper, the only
conclusion remaining, is, that the selection of a Primacy with the
power of effecting unity impressed upon it, _is most intimately
involved and bound up in the visibility and unity of the true

And quite as closely is it bound up with that other test of the
Church, its Catholicism. We are not to believe Voss and King,[92] in
their assertion that this test began to be applied first in the
fourth century, for the purpose of distinguishing the genuine
company of the orthodox, and the true body of Christ, from heretics
and schismatics. For we find the Church distinguished by the epithet
of Catholic, not merely in the records of the fourth[93] and
fifth[94] century, but in those of the third,[95] and the
second,[96] at the beginning of which S. Ignatius wrote, "Follow all
of you the bishop, as Jesus Christ the Father; and the body of
presbyters, as Apostles. But reverence deacons, as the command of
Christ. Without the bishop let nothing of what concerns the Church
be done by any one. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist which is
under the bishop, or with his sanction. Where the bishop is, there
also let the multitude be; as, where Christ Jesus is, _there is the
Catholic Church_."[97] As, therefore, that cannot be the Church of
Christ, which is not Catholic, we ought to investigate the meaning
which is given to this word by the consent of all orthodox

Now, two points are signified in it, one of which is its _material_,
the other its _formal_, or _essential_, part. Its _material_ part
is, that the geographical extension of the true Church be such that
its mass be _morally_[98] universal, _absolutely_ great, and
eminently visible, but _comparatively_ with all heretical and
schismatical sects, larger and more numerous. Of this _material_
meaning attached to the epithet, Catholic, we find abundant
witnesses in all[99] the orthodox writers who defended the cause of
the Church against the Donatists, and again, against the
Luciferians,[100] and Novatians; and likewise, in those who have
explained the creeds,[101] and, as occasion offered, have touched on
the force of the term Catholic.[102] But the same first cited
witnesses tell us that universal diffusion is not sufficient, and
that we require another element to infuse a soul into this
universally extended body, and to bring it to unity.

For two properties are continually recurring in Christian records, one
of which may be called _negative_, the other _affirmative_. The force
of the former is to _expel from the circle of the one true Catholic
Church all sects of heretics and Schismatics_: of the latter, that
this Church _consist in one single communion and society, whose
members cohere together by hierarchical subordination_.

But is it true that both these points are so plainly and constantly
inculcated? To remove all doubt we will quote the authors who most
distinctly assert the one and the other. As to the first, there are
[103]Clement of Alexandria, [104]Tertullian, [105]Alexander of
Alexandria, [106]Celestine, [107]Leander, the Emperor Justinian;[108]
then again the Councils of Nice,[109] Sardica,[110] and the
third of [111]Carthage; nay, the heretics[112] themselves; and all
these agree in asserting that _there is one only ancient Catholic
Church_, outside of which the divine patience endures and bears with
heresies, which are as thorns. Thus in language ecclesiastical and
Christian nothing can be considered as more certainly proved than
that the epithet of Catholic is _distinctive_, and shows the
communion which rejects from its bosom all heresies and all schisms.
It was with great reason, therefore, that [113]Pacian wrote what
[114]Cyril of Jerusalem, and [115]Augustine very frequently
repeated, "Our people is divided from the heretical name by this
appellation, that it is called Catholic."

Moreover this unity, which we have said may be called _negative_, is
necessary indeed to the understanding of the Church as Catholic, but
is by no means sufficient to complete the idea of Catholicity. To it
therefore must be added the _affirmative_ unity, by which
Catholicism is not only divided from heretics and schismatics, but
becomes in itself a coherent body with members and articulations. It
is to the assertion and maintenance of this unity, which is the soul
of Catholicity, and without which it cannot even be conceived, that
has reference what we so often read in the monuments of antiquity
about the [116]necessity of communion among the members of the
Church and the [117]tokens and means of that communion. There are
very distinct and innumerable testimonies about it in the ancient
Fathers,[118] declaring its _necessity_, and setting forth its
_mode_ of composition and coherence.

For to set forth the _mode_ of this is the plain drift of what
[119]Irenæus writes in confutation of heretics by the tradition of
the Apostolical churches: "For since it would be very long in the
compass of our present work to enumerate the successions of all the
Churches, taking that Church which is the greatest, the most
ancient, and well known to all, founded and established at Rome by
the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, by indicating that
tradition which it has from the Apostles, and the faith which it
announces to men, which has reached even to us by the succession of
bishops, we confound all those, who, in whatsoever manner, either
through self-pleasing, or vain glory, or blindness and evil
intention, [120]gather otherwise than they ought. _For_ to this
church on account of its superior chiefship, it is necessary that
every Church should come[121] together, that is, the faithful who
are everywhere; for in this Church the tradition which is from the
Apostles has been ever preserved by those who are everywhere.
...By this ordination and succession, the tradition and preaching of the
truth, which is from the Apostles in the Church, has reached down to
us. And this proof is most complete, that it is one and the same
vivifying faith, which has been preserved, and handed down in truth,
in the Church from the Apostles to the present day."

The churches, therefore, which are everywhere diffused, derive that
strength and harmony of parts, out of which the whole body of the
Catholic Church is made up, from the fact of their agreeing in the
unity of faith and preaching with that Church of Peter, which is the
greatest, the chief, and the more powerful. It follows that the
Primacy of Peter, and the authority inherent in it to effect unity,
is that principle which Christ selected, that the Church which He
had set up might be Catholic, and bear the note of Catholicity on
its brow.

And Cyprian would set forth the same _mode_ of communion, when he
speaks of the _coherence of bishops_, by which both the _Catholic
episcopate_ is made _one, and the Church one and Catholic_. For as
the _several communities draw the unity of the body from the unity
of the prelates_ to whom they are subject; so all prelates, and the
communities subject to them, constitute _one Catholic episcopate and
one Catholic Church_, because they cohere with the _principal_
church, _the root and matrix_, which is the Church of Peter, _upon
whom_ the Lord founded the whole building, and whom He instituted
_to be the fountain and source of Catholic unity_.[122]

These words are a clue to understand [123]Tertullian's meaning, when,
already become a Montanist, he called the Catholic Church, whose
discipline he was attacking, _the Church near to Peter_--"Concerning
your opinion, I now enquire whence you claim this right to the
Church. If because the Lord said to Peter, 'Upon this rock I will
build My Church,' 'to thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of
heaven,' or 'whatsoever thou shalt bind or loose on earth, shall be
bound or loosed in heaven,' you, therefore, pretend that the power
of binding and loosing is derived to you, that is, to all the Church
near to Peter; how do you overthrow and change the manifest
intention of the Lord in conferring this on Peter[124] _personally_,
'Upon thee I will build My Church,' and 'I will give to thee the
keys,' not to the Church, and 'whatsoever thou bindest or loosest,'
not what they bind or loose." Now he used this mode of speaking
because it was customary with Catholics, who were wont to exhibit
_nearness with Peter_ as the characteristic of the Church, and the
necessary condition for sharing that power, whose plenitude and
native source Christ had lodged in Peter.

This certain and undoubting judgment of Catholics, Tertullian
himself, before his error, had clearly expressed in his book, De
Scorpiace, c. x., where he says, "For if you yet think the heaven
shut, remember that the Lord here (Matt. xvi. 19) left its keys to
Peter, and _through him to the Church_." Nearness, then, with
Peter, and [125]_consanguinity of doctrine_ thence proceeding, are no
less necessary to the Church, that it may be the Catholic Church
which Christ founded and built upon Peter, than that it be partaker
in those gifts which, again, He Himself granted only to unity, as it
is effected in Peter and by Peter.

Now not only the most ancient Fathers, as Irenæus, Tertullian, and
Cyprian, but the whole body of them, assign the origin of this to
Peter. This they make the vivifying principle of agreement, society
and unity, without which the Church can neither be intrinsically
Catholic, nor the mind conceive it as such. It is so stated by
[126]Pacian, [127]Ambrose, the [128]Fathers of Aquileia, [129]
Optatus, [130]Gregory Nazianzen, [131]Jerome, [132]Augustine, [133]
Gelasius, [134]Hormisdas, [135]Agatho, [136]Maximus Martyr, and, to
shorten the list, by Leo[137] the Great. It is in setting forth the
unity of the Catholic episcopate that he writes what ought never to
be forgotten by Christian minds: "For the compactness of our unity
cannot remain firm, unless the bond of charity weld us into an
inseparable whole, because, as we have many members in one body,
and all members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one
body in Christ, and every one members one of another. For it is the
connection of the whole body which makes one soundness and one
beauty; and this connexion, as it requires unanimity in the whole
body, so especially demands concord among bishops. For though these
have a like dignity, yet have they not an equal jurisdiction; since
even among the most blessed Apostles, as there was a likeness of
honour, so was there a certain distinction of power, and the
election of all being equal, pre-eminence over the rest was given to
one, from which mould, or type, the distinction also between bishops
has arisen, and it was provided by a great ordering, that all should
not claim to themselves all things, but that in every province there
should be one whose sentence should be considered the first among
his brethren; and others again, seated in the greater cities, should
undertake a larger care, through whom the direction of the universal
Church should converge to the one See of Peter, and nothing anywhere
disagree from its head."

And, if I do not deceive myself, the direct drift of all this is to
answer the question, whether the doctrine of Peter's Primacy, and
its virtue, as the constituent of unity and Catholicity, is
contained in the most solemn standard of faith, the creed. For
although there are unimpeachable testimonies to prove that the
creeds were not published and explained to Catechumens, in order to
convey to them a full and complete Christian instruction; and though
it be proved further to have been the purpose of the Church's
ancient teachers to omit many points in the creeds which were to be
set before the initiated at a more suitable season afterwards, it
may nevertheless be said that the most commonly received articles
of the creed may be regarded as so many most fruitful germs, from
which the remaining doctrines would spontaneously spring. And so, to
keep within our present point, what is more plain than that the sum
of doctrine concerning Peter's Primacy, contained in the Bible,
illustrated by the Fathers, and defined by Councils, is involved in
that article of the creed in which we profess that the Church is one
and Catholic? No doubt there nowhere occurs in the creeds,
_expressed in so many words_, mention of Peter, or of the Primacy
bestowed on him, or of hierarchical subordination; yet it is most
distinctly stated that the Church is one and Catholic. What meaning,
then, were the faithful to give to those epithets? What were they to
intend in the words, I believe one Catholic Church? What but the
meaning of the words themselves, which they received from the
Church's teachers together with the creeds? But they could not form
the conception of one Church and that Catholic, without thinking
likewise of one Catholic _principle_ of the Church; nor could they
assign the dignity of that one Catholic principle to any other but
Peter, whom alone they had invariably been taught to have been set
over all. For what S.[138] Bernard wrote in mediæval times, "For
this purpose the solicitude of all Churches rests on that one
Apostolic See, that all may be united under it and in it, and it may
be careful in behalf of all to preserve the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace," must be considered nothing but a repetition of
the faith which resounded through the whole world, from the very
beginning of the Christian religion.

Unless, therefore, any can be found who prefer asserting _either_
that true believers _never_ understood what they believed, in
professing the Church to be one and Catholic, _or_ that they
understood this _otherwise_ than it had been universally and
constantly explained by the Church's teachers; it must be admitted,
that faith in Peter's Primacy, and in the power bestowed upon it for
the purpose of making the visible kingdom of Christ one and
Catholic, is coeval with that profession of the creeds which sets
forth the Church as one and as Catholic.[139]


[1] Hêgoumenos, Luke xxii. 26, the very term still given in
the East to the head of a religious community; and also, as has been
said, that which marks our Lord in the great prophecy of Micah,
recorded in Matt. ii. 6.

[2] Prôtos, meizôn, hêgoumenos. See ch. 2.

[3] 1 Cor. x. 18; Gal. vi. 16.

[4] Matt. xix. 28; Luke xxii. 29.

[5] See Num. ii. 3-9; x. 14; Judges i. 1-3; xx. 18.

[6] Gen. xlix. 10; and see John iv. 22.

[7] 3 Kings, xii.

[8] S. Ambrose, Ep. 11.

[9] Arnobius Junior in Ps. 138.

[10] Eucherius of Lyons, hom. in vig. S. Petri.

[11] Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople, on the Transfiguration.

[12] The Archimandrites of Syria to Pope Hormisdas, Mansi 8, 428.

[13] S. Bernard, de Cons. Lib. 2, c. 8.

[14] S. Theodore Studites to Pope Leo III., Lib. 1, Ep. 33.

[15] In 1 Cor. Hom. 1, n. 1.

[16] S. Greg. Naz., Orat. 12, alluding to John xix. 23.

[17] S. Cyprian, Ep. 79.

[18] S. Jerome, Ep. 57.

[19] Matt. xvi. 18.

[20] Luke xxii. 31-2.

[21] John xxi. 15.

[22] Luke xxii. 26.

[23] Unity, John x. 16; xvii. 20-23; 1 Cor. xii. 12-31; Ephes. ii.
14-22; iv. 5; 1 Cor. i. 10.

[24] Catholicity. Luke xxiv. 47; Mark xvi. 20; Acts i. 8; ix. 15;
Rom. x. 18; Colos. i. 8-23.

[25] For all the fathers hold the doctrine thus expressed by St.
Hilary of Poitiers on Ps. 121, n. 5. "The Church is one body, not
mixed up by a confusion of bodies, nor by each of these being united
in an indiscriminate heap and shapeless bundle; but we are all one
by the unity of faith, by the society of charity, by concord of
works and will, by the one gift of the sacrament in all." No notion
of the Church's unity in England, it may be remarked, outside of
Catholicism, goes beyond "the indiscriminate heap and shapeless

[26] Tit. ii. 11.

[27] Rom. i. 25.

[28] Tit. ii. 14, with 1 Pet. ii. 25.

[29] John xvii. 17.

[30] Eph. iv. 4.

[31] John xvii. 21.

[32] Gal. v. 20, 19.

[33] 1 Cor. xiv. 33.

[34] Eph. v. 27.

[35] Matt. xvi. 18.

[36] 1 Tim. iii. 15.

[37] Matt. xviii. 17.

[38] Luke xxii. 26.

[39] Luke xxii. 31-2.

[40] John xxi. 15.

[41] Acts i. 4-8.

[42] John xv. 26.

[43] Matt. xxviii. 20.

[44] Matt. xviii. 18.

[45] The first Reformers fell into this grievous error because they
had no other way to defend their schism. They may be passed over at
present, as in most even of the Protestant confessions visibility is
reckoned among the notes of the Church.

[46] 1 Cor. vi. 4; x. 32; xi. 22; xii. 28; Ephes. i. 22; iii. 10-21;
v. 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32; Colos. i. 18-24; 1 Tim. iii. 15.

[47] Irenæus, Lib. 1, c. 3, Lib. 3, c. 4.

[48] Tertullian, de Præsc. c. 4.

[49] Clement. Stromat. Lib. 7, 17.

[50] Origen in Cantic, Hom. 3.

[51] Hilary, De Trin. Lib. 7, c. 12.

[52] Jerome, adv. Lucifer.

[53] Concil. Laodic. Can. 9, 10.

[54] Concil. Carthag. 4, Can. 71.

[55] Concil. Constant. 2, act 3.

[56] De Præsc. c. 20.

[57] See in the sixth act of the second Nicene Council the
quotations from the iconoclast synod of Constantinople.

[58] Adv. hæreæs, Lib. 1, c. 3.

[59] Even the Puritan Cartwright observed, "if it be necessary to
the unity of the Church that an archbishop should preside over other
bishops, why not on the same principle should one archbishop preside
over the whole Church of God?" Defence of Whitgift.

[60] Sacred observations, Lib. 5, c. 7, on the hypothetical external
communion of Christians.

[61] See also the testimony of Mosheim, quoted above p. 197, note.

[62] Thus the universal belief of the Fathers from the beginning is
charged with _audacity_. It is difficult not to be struck with the
utter antagonism of feeling which separates Protestants from the
whole body of the Fathers. The statements here ascribed, and truly,
by Vitringa to them, would be viewed in modern English society, as
the very insanity of bigotry.

[63] Because to rend Christ's mystical body, and to subvert that
unity for which He had prayed the Father, was regarded by them as a
crime of the deepest dye. In modern England it would be consecrated
by the glorious principle of "civil and religious liberty."

[64] The unrestricted expression, "to preside over the Church," used
by Cyprian of Novatian, who claimed to be Peter's successor,
contains a clear indication that the fold entrusted to Peter was as
wide as the Church itself. It is the same Church in the two clauses,
but in the former it _must_ be understood universally.

[65] Ep. 69.

[66] Ephes. v. 23-25.

[67] Ephes. iv. 15-17.

[68] John xiv. 16-26; xv. 26; xvi. 7.

[69] 2 Cor. iv. 17.

[70] Matt. v. 14.

[71] Compare Luke xii. 8, 9, with Matt. x. 32; Mark viii. 38; Rom.
x. 10; and again, Mark xvi. 15, with Matt. xxviii. 19; Acts ii. 41;
viii. 36; xix. 5; 1 Cor. xii. 13; and Matt. xxvi. 28, with Luke
xxii. 19; 1 Cor. x. 17; xi. 21; and Ephes. iv. 11, with Acts xx. 28;
Tit. i. 5.

[72] Compare Ephes. iv. 11-16, with 1 Cor. xii. 13-31; and Matt.
xviii. 18, with John xx. 21; Acts xv. 41; xvi. 4; 2 Cor. x. 6; 1
Tim. v. 20; Tit. i. 13; ii. 15.

[73] Jude 18; 2 Pet. iii. 2, 3.

[74] Augustin. in Euchirid. c. 63.

[75] Aug. In Tract de Symb. c. 11.

[76] Aug. De Baptismo Cont. Donat. Lib. 3, c. 16.

[77] Aug. Cont. Litt. Petiliani, Lib. 1, c. 21-2, Lib. 2, c. 13-23.
Lib. 3, c. 52.

[78] Optat. Lib. 1.

[79] Ambros. de Obitu Satyri fratris, Lib. 1, n. 47.

[80] Idem. de Poenit. Lib. 2, 4.

[81] Lactant. Div. Institut. Lib. 3, c. 30.

[82] Le vrai Systême de l'Eglise.

[83] Answer to Cardinal Perron.

[84] Defense de la Reforme, p. 200.

[85] Traité de l'Eglise, p. 286.

[86] Bossuet, writings against Jurien.

[87] The brothers Walemburg, Treatise on Necessary and Fundamental

[88] Nicole, de l'Unité de l'Eglise.

[89] See the recognition of this law, Mark xvi. 16; Matt xxviii.
18-20; Luke xii. 8, 9; Rom. x. 10.

[90] Such the Fathers call Faith, terming it, "the beginning and
foundation," "the greatest mother of virtues," "the principle of
salvation," "the prelude of immortality," "the clear eye of Divine
knowledge," "the foundation of all wisdom." See Suicer, art.

[91] After having gone through this search for ten long years, it
may be allowed to express how great its danger, and how great too
the blessedness of those who are not exposed to it. It is worth the
experience of half a life to receive the truth, without personal
enquiry, from a competent authority. Protestantism begins its
existence by casting away one of the greatest blessings which man
can have.

[92] De Symbolo, Diss. 1, 39, and Hist. Symb. Apostol. cap. 6. 16.

[93] Pacian, Ep. 1, n. 4. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 18, n. 23.
Eusebius on Isai. xxxii. 18. Chrysostome on Colos. hom. 1, n. 2, on
1 Cor. hom. 32, n. 1, Jerome on Matt. xxiv. 26.

[94] Augustine on Ps. 41, n. 7; Epist. 49, n. 3-52, n. 1, and

[95] Council of Antioch, quoted by Euseb. Hist. Lib. 7, c. 30.
Origen on Romans, Lib. 8, n. 1; Cyprian, Epist. 52; Acts of S.
Fructuosus, n. 3, and of S. Pionius. n. 9.

[96] Irenæus, Lib. 3, c. 17, and Epistle on martyrdom of S.
Polycarp, n. 19.

[97] Epis. to Smyrneans, n. 8.

[98] Augustine, Ep. 52. n. 1, Serm. 238, n. 3.

[99] As Optatus, Lib. 2, Aug. de Unitate Ecc. c. 2. &c.; cont.
Cresconium, L. 2, c. 63, Contr. Petilian. L. 2, c. 12-55-58-73; on
Ps. 21, 47, 147, and on 1 Ep. John, Tract, 1, 2.

[100] Pacian, Ep. 3, Jerome cont. Luciferianos.

[101] Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. 18.

[102] Irenæus, Lib. 1, c. 10; Lib. 4, c. 19, Tertullian adv. Judæos,
c. 7, Bernard in Cantica, serm. 65.

[103] Clement, Stromat. L. 7, § 15-17.

[104] Tertullian de præsc. c. 30.

[105] Alexander, apud Theodoret. H. E. Lib. 1, c. 4.

[106] Coelestinus, homil. in laud. eccles.

[107] Leander, Cont. Origenistas in Actis Synodi V.

[108] Justinianus, epist. ad Mennam Constantinopolitanum.

[109] Council of Nice, in the Creed, and Canon 8.

[110] Sardica in letter to all bishops, quoted by Athanasius, Apol.

[111] 22nd Canon of Codex Africanus.

[112] The Nestorian profession of faith, in fifth act of Council of

[113] Pacian, Ep. 1.

[114] Cyril, Catech. 18.

[115] Aug. de vera relig. c .6, de utilit. credendi, c. 7.

[116] Pacian, Ep. 3, "The Church is a full and solid body, diffused
already through the whole world. As a city, I say, whose parts are
in unity. Not as you Novatians, an insolent particle, or a gathered
wen, separated from the rest of the body."

[117] Such as are grammata koinônika, Euseb. H. E. lib. 7, c. 30.
epistolai koinônikai, Basil. Ep. 190, or kanônikai, Ep. 224,
letters of peace commendatory, ecclesiastical, &c.

[118] See especially Chrys. Hom. 30 on 1 Cor.

[119] Irenæus, Lib. 3, c. 3.

[120] Compare Jerome's often-quoted passage, Ep. 15, to Pope
Damasus, "Whoso gathereth not with thee, scattereth; that is, whoso
is not of Christ is of antichrist."

[121] For the meaning of "come together," see farther on, c. 40.
"God hath placed in the Church Apostles, Prophets, Doctors, and all
the rest of the operation of the Spirit, of which all those are not
partakers who do not _run together to the Church_, but defraud
themselves of life by an evil intention and a very bad conduct. For
where the Church is, there is the Spirit; and where is the Spirit of
God, there is the Church and all grace."

[122] See S. Cyprian's letters, 69, 55, 45, 70, 73. 40. Consider the
force of the words, "Peter, upon whom the Church had been built by
the Lord, speaking one for all, and _answering with the voice of the
Church_, says, Lord, to whom shall we go?" Ep. 55, on which Fenelon
(de sum. Pontif. auct. c. 12) remarks, "What wonder, then, if Pope
Hormisdas and other ancient fathers says, "the Roman, that is, the
Catholic Church," since Peter was wont to answer _with the voice of
the Church_? What wonder if the body of the Church speaks by mouth
of its head?"

[123] De Pudicitia, c. 21.

[124] This Montanist corruption (into which Ambrose on Ps. 38, n.
37, and Pacian in his three letters to Sempronian, state that the
Novatians also fell,) induced some fathers, and especially
Augustine, (Enarrat. on Ps. 108. n. 1, Tract 118 on John, n. 4, and
last Tract n. 7) to teach that the keys were bestowed on Peter so
far forth as he represented the person of the Church in right of his
Primacy. By which mode of speaking they meant this one thing, that
the power of the keys, as being necessary to the Church, and
instituted for her good, began indeed in Peter, and was communicated
to him in a peculiar manner but by no means dropt, or could possibly
drop, with him.

[125] Tertull. De Præsc. c. 32.

[126] Pacian, ad Sempronium, Epis. 3, § 11.

[127] Ambrose, de Poenit. Lib. 1, c. 7, n. 33.

[128] Synodical Epistle, among the letters of Ambrose.

[129] Optatus, de Schism. Donat. Lib. 2, c. 2, and Lib. 7, c. 3.

[130] Gregory, de vita sua, Tom. 2, p. 9.

[131] Jerome, adv. Jovin. Lib. 1, n. 14.

[132] Augustine, in Ps. Cont. partem Donati, cont. Epist. Fundam. c.
4, de utilitate credendi, c. 17, and Epist. 43.

[133] Gelasius, Epis. 14.

[134] Hormisdas, Mansi, Tom. 8, 451, in the conditions on which he
readmitted the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Eastern bishops
to communion.

[135] Agatho, in a letter to the sixth council, read and accepted at
its fourth sitting.

[136] Maximus, Bibl. Patr. Tom. 11, p. 76.

[137] Leo, Epist. 10, c. 1.

[138] Ep. 358, to Pope Celestine.

[139] The above chapter is translated from Passaglia, Pp. 298-336.



[1]As the natural end of all proof is to give assurance, every kind
of it must be considered a mean to persuade and determine the mind.
Not but that there are different kinds, and that in great variety. If
we refer these to their respective topics, some are _internal_ and
_artificial_, others _external_ and _inartificial_; some belong to
the philosopher, others to the theologian, the former having their
source in nature, the latter in revelation; another sort, again, rests
on _witnesses_, and another on _documents_. But if we consider
their persuasive force, they may be conveniently ranged under the
two classes of _probable_, and _certain_ or _demonstrative_.

But if it be asked what sort of proof we have hitherto used, and
drawn out to the best of our ability, we must distinguish between
the _principal_ and prevailing proof, and this in form is
inartificial, theological, and drawn from the inspired documents;
and the proofs _occasionally inserted_ and confirmatory of the
principal: these, it will be evident, are sometimes artificial and
internal, such as those drawn from analogy, and the harmonious
coherence of doctrines, from the unity and Catholicity of the
Church, and the institution of bishops to rule particular flocks;
and sometimes derived from witnesses, for such we may deem the
ancient Fathers, whose importance and force, as testimonies, no
prudent mind will reject. To embrace, then, the full extent of our
proof, it ranges over all forms and modes, is artificial and
inartificial, and rests not only on documents, but on witnesses. Now
two things follow from this mixed and manifold character of our
proof, of too great importance to be passed over in silence.

The first of these is, the standard and criterion of resistance
which our proof presents to opponents. For consisting, as it does,
of so many elements, confirmed, as it is, by the absolute harmony of
so many various parts, that only can be a satisfactory answer, which
meets at once every particular proof, and the whole sum of it. For
it would be to small purpose to give another sense, with some
speciousness, to one or two points, if the great mass of matter and
argument remain untouched. The only valid answer would be _to reject
and deny the Primacy of supreme authority, presenting at the same
time a sufficient cause for all those results of which the proof
consists_. For so long as the institution of the Primacy is
necessary to supply a sufficient cause for these results, so long
the force of our proof remains untouched, and the institution of the
Primacy unquestionable. We can therefore demand of our opponents
this alternative, either to acquiesce in our proof, or, rejecting
the Primacy, to find, and when they have found to establish, an
hypothesis equal to the explanation of all that is contained in our
arguments artificial and inartificial, in our documents and our

The second point is one which all will admit. The proof we have
given is such that _unless_ it be deceptive, the institution of the
Primacy is demonstrated to be not only _true_, but also _revealed_,
not only _tenable_, but matter of _faith_. For although we have
interwoven testimonies and artificial arguments, this was to
confirm what was already demonstrated, and to shed fresh light on
what was already clear; but the _proper_ source from which we have
drawn our proofs, was the documents of the Holy Scriptures
themselves. Now what is thence drawn is [2]revealed, and enters into
the number of things which, being revealed, are matter of _faith_.

These two points are clear, but a third may be somewhat less so.
Many will ask, what _is_ the force of the proof, its power to
persuade, and whether it carry complete certitude, or be defective.
Now to this we shall reply, that the proof which we have presented
is not only probable, but altogether decisive. It wants nothing to
produce the fullest assurance. This is a subject which I have judged
fit for special and separate investigation, as due both to myself,
my readers, and the cause which I am defending. For it is not a
happiness of our nature to catch the whole and the pure truth at a
single glance. This requires repeated acts of the mind; we have to
make the effort again and again, and only terminate our examination
when we have submitted our supposed discovery to reiterated
reflection. Thus it is that truth comes out in full light,
imposition is detected, the line drawn between doubt and certainty,
and every point located in its due place. This enquiry, then, into
the proof itself I consider due not only to myself and my readers,
but to a cause, which requires the utmost attention as being of the
highest importance, and the source of the deepest dissensions; for
it is not too much to say that the origin of all those divisions
which we see and lament in the Christian name, may be referred to
the reception or the denial of this doctrine concerning the Primacy.

Now we shall best reach the subject by first considering the
inherent force of the proof _in itself_, and _absolutely_, and then
_comparatively_ with those arguments to which the most distinguished
Protestant sects ascribe a full and complete demonstrative power.

I. First, then, as to the force of proof _absolutely_. We must
reflect that two conditions complete a proof derived from documents;
_first_, the authenticity of the document; _secondly_, either the
immediate and unquestionable evidence of the testimonies quoted from
it, or their meaning being rendered certain by argument. If these
two conspire, nothing is wanting to produce assurance. Now, as to
the documents, whence our proof is derived, no Christian doubts
their authenticity; and as to the testimonies drawn from them,
part[3] belong to a class of such evidence as to admit of no doubt;
and part,[4] being equally clear, and marked in themselves, have had
to be defended from false interpretations. Accordingly, our proof is
peremptory in both particulars.

Moreover, our proof was not restricted to one or two passages of
holy Scripture, but extended over a great series, all tending to
support and consolidate the argument. We have set forth, not a naked
institution of the Primacy, but multifold foreshadowings and
promises of it, its daily operation and notoriety. From its first
anticipation we went on to its progressively clearer expression, its
promise, its institution, its exercise, and the everywhere diffused
knowledge of it in the primitive Church. So far, then, as I see,
nothing more can, with reason, be asked, to remove all doubt as to
Peter's prerogative of Primacy; for, when the bestowal of certain
privileges can be proved by documents, all question as to their
existence is terminated. But here we find in documents, not their
bestowal merely, but antecedents and consequences, a beginning, a
progress, and a manifold explanation, which stand to the Primacy as
signs to the thing signified.

Accordingly, the demonstration which we have given of the Primacy,
considered _in itself_, and _absolutely_, needs nothing to challenge

For, suppose it disputed whether Cæsar surpassed the other Roman
Senators in honour and power. Could it be proved by undoubted
records, that he so conducted himself as gradually to smooth his
path to the supreme power; that he next gained from the senate and
Roman people, the title of Emperor and Prince; that he exercised
these powers at home and abroad, and received universal testimony to
the dignity he had acquired; in such case the judgment would be
unanimous that he was emperor, and head of the Roman Senators. Now,
substitute Peter for Cæsar, the Apostles for the Senators; Christ,
the Evangelists, Luke and Paul, for the senate and people; and you
will see all the proofs enumerated for Cæsar, to square exactly with
Peter. For we learn from Scripture _the steps_ by which he rose to
the Primacy, _the time_ when he received it, _how_ he exercised it,
and the lucid testimonies to it which he received from Christ, the
Evangelists, the Apostolic Church, and Paul. Accordingly, his
Primacy and supreme authority among the Apostles rests on a proof
which gives complete assurance, and challenges assent. It is a
consequence deduced, not from a single, but from manifold
inference; not merely drawn from results, but foreseen in its
causes; declared not merely in the words of institution, but in the
very acts of its exercise; supported not only by sundry texts, but
by a cloud of conspiring witnesses; proved by an interpretation, not
obscure, and far-fetched, but clear and obvious. A thing of such a
nature it is folly to deny and temerity to doubt.

But, further, reflect on the other arguments which come in
collaterally to support that from the Holy Scriptures. Then it will
be found that our proof consists in the harmonious concurrence of
these four sources, 1. _the authentic scriptural documents_
distinctly setting forth the promises, the bestowal, the exercise,
and the everywhere diffused knowledge of the Primacy: 2. _witnesses_
the most ancient, well nigh coeval with the Apostles, of great
number, renowned for their holiness, or their martyrdom, excellent
in learning, far removed from each other in situation, faithful
maintainers of the Apostolic teaching, who, with one mouth,
acknowledge the Primacy: 3. _the analogy of doctrines_, for the
Church, which we profess to be one, and Catholic, can neither exist,
nor even be conceived as such, without the Primacy: 4. _the facts of
Christian history_, which are so entwined with the institution of
the Primacy, that they cannot be even contemplated without it. For
there are no less than fourteen distinct classes of facts in
Christian history, all of which bear witness to the Primacy, and
which cannot be studied without coming across that power. Such are,
1. _the history of heresies_, where, in ancient times alone,
consider the acts and statutes of Pope Dionysius, in the causes of
Paul of Samosata, and Dionysius of Alexandria; of Popes Sylvester
and Julius, in the cause of Arius; of Pope Damasus in that of
Apollinarius; of Popes Innocent and Zosimus in that of Pelagius; of
Pope Celestine in that of Nestorius; and of Pope Leo in that of
Eutyches; so that Ferrandus[5] of Carthage wrote in the sixth
century, "If you desire to hear aught of truth, ask in the first
place the prelate of the Apostolic See, whose sound doctrine is
known by the judgment of truth, and grounded on the weight of
authority." 2. _The history of schisms_, which have arisen in the
Church, when we consider the unquestionable facts about Novatian,
Fortunatus and Felicissimus, the Donatists, and Acacius of
Constantinople, so that Bede, in our own country, wrote in the
seventh century, commenting on Matt. xvi. 10, "All believers in the
world understand, that whosoever, in any way separate themselves
from the unity of the faith, or from the society of Peter, such can
neither be absolved from the bonds of their sins, nor enter the
threshold of the heavenly kingdom." 3. _The history of the liturgy_,
as the contests about the paschal time, and what Eusebius, in the
fifth book of his history, c. 22-5, says about Pope Victor. 4. _The
history_ of the _summoning_, the _holding_, and the _confirming
general councils_, wherein the Acts of Synods, the letters of the
supreme Pontiffs, and the writings of the Fathers, show the entire
truth of what is stated by the ancient Greek historians, Socrates
and Sozomen,[6] that an ecclesiastical Canon had always been in
force, "that the Churches should not pass Canons contrary to the
decision of the bishop of Rome," which Pope Pelagius,[7] in the
sixth century thus expressed, "the right of calling councils is
entrusted by a special power to the Apostolic See, nor do we read
that a general council has been valid, which was not assembled or
supported by its authority. This is attested by the authority of
canons, corroborated by ecclesiastical history, and confirmed by the
holy Fathers." And Ferrandus says, "Universal councils, more
especially those to which the authority of the Roman Church has been
given, hold the place of second authority after the canonical
books."[8] 5. _The history of ecclesiastical laws_, for the
regulation of discipline, a summary of which, enacted by the
successors of Peter from Victor I. to Gregory II., may be found in
Zaccaria's Antifebronius, Tom. ii., p. 425, and his Antifebronius
Vindicatus, Diss. vi., c. 1. 6. _The history of judgments_,
specially the most remarkable in the Church, of which, if we are to
believe history, we can only repeat what Pope Gelasius wrote at the
end of the fifth century, to the Bishops of Dardania, "We must not
omit that the Apostolic See has frequently, to use our Roman phrase,
more majorum, even without any council preceding, had the power to
absolve those whom a council had unjustly condemned, or to condemn,
without any council, those who required condemnation:" and as he
wrote to the Greek emperor, Anastasius, "that the authority of the
Apostolic See has in all Christian ages been set over the Church
universal, is established by the series of the canons of the
Fathers, and by manifold tradition."[9] 7. _The history of
references_, which were wont to be made to the chair of Peter, in
the greater causes of faith, and in those respecting Catholic unity.
Thus, Avitus, bishop of Vienne, A.D. 500, said, "It is a rule of
synodical laws, that, in matters relating to the state of the
Church, if any doubt arises, we, as obedient members, recur to the
priest of the Roman Church, who is the greatest, as to our
head."[10] To the same effect is the letter of Pope Innocent I., to
S. Victrice, of Rouen, at the beginning of the fifth century, and
again, the African Fathers to Pope Theodore; or again, S. Bernard,
writing to Pope Innocent II., against the errors of Abelard, "All
dangers and scandals emerging in the kingdom of God, specially those
which concern faith, must be referred to your Apostolate: for I
esteem it fitting that the injuries done to faith should be repaired
there in particular, where faith cannot fail. That is the
prerogative of this See." 8. _The history of appeals_, of which a
vast number of remarkable instances exist. Take, as the key, the
words of Pope Gelasius once more: "It is the canons themselves which
have ordered the appeals of the whole Church to be carried to the
examination of this See. But from it they have allowed of no appeal
in any case; and, therefore, they enjoin that it should judge of the
whole Church, but go itself before the judgment of none: nor do they
allow of appeal from its sentence, but rather require obedience to
its decrees."[11] And Pope Agatho, in the Roman Council, pronouncing
on the appeal of our own S. Wilfrid, of York, the contemporary of
Bede, A.D. 688, declares that "Wilfrid the bishop, beloved of God,
knowing himself unjustly deposed from his bishopric, did not
_contumaciously resist by means of the secular power_, but with
humility of mind sought the canonical aid of our founder, blessed
Peter, prince of the Apostles, and declared in his supplication that
he would accept what by our mouth, blessed Peter, our founder, whose
office we discharge, should determine."[12] 9. _The history of the
ecclesiastical hierarchy_,[13] and of the _rights possessed by
certain episcopal Sees over others_, of which we may take an
instance in the grants of Pope Gregory the Great, and his
successors, to the See of Canterbury, which alone made it a Primacy.
For the bishops of Canterbury had no power whatever over the other
bishops of this country, save what they derived from S. Peter's See.
And the documents, and original letters conferring these powers
still exist, giving the fullest proof that Pope Pius only did in
1850, what Pope Gregory did in 596. 10. _The history of the
universal propagation of the Christian religion._[14] 11. _The
history of those tokens and pledges_,[15] such as letters of
communion, whereby Catholic unity was exhibited and maintained. 12.
_The history of Christian archæology_,[16] inscriptions, paintings,
and other monuments of this kind. 13. _The history of the emperors_,
as, for instance, what Ammianus Marcellinus[17] says of Constantius;
the letter of the Emperor Marcian to Pope Leo, entreating him to
confirm the council of Chalcedon; that of Galla Placidia, the 130th
novel of Justinian, and the remarkable constitution of Valentinian
III., A.D. 445. "Since the merit of S. Peter, who is the chief of
the episcopal coronet, and the dignity of the Roman city, moreover,
the authority of a sacred synod" (that of Sardica, A.D. 347) "have
confirmed the Primacy of the Apostolic See, let presumption not
endeavour to attempt anything unlawful, contrary to the authority of
that See: for, then, at length, the peace of the Church will
everywhere be preserved, if the whole (universitas) acknowledge its
ruler." And, 14. lastly, _the history of codes_, in which is
contained the legislation of Christian kingdoms, wherein we may
refer to the capitulars of the Franks, and the laws of the Lombards.

Now from these concordant proofs thus slightly sketched, it follows
that the institution of the Primacy belongs to that class of facts
which is most certain, and which is absolutely demonstrated. For
would it be possible to find a concurrence of proofs so various in
case it had never been instituted? Is it possible to imagine so many
various results of a cause which never existed? So many various
tokens of reality in a fiction? What are the chances for letters
thrown at random forming themselves into an eloquent speech? Or a
beautiful portrait coming out from a mere assemblage of colours? Or
a whole discourse in an unknown tongue being elegantly rendered by a
guess? If these be sheer absurdities, although a few letters have
sometimes tumbled at random into a word, or a single clause been
decyphered, though in ignorance of the alphabet, then we may be sure
that the Primacy, attested by so vast a variety of convergent
results, can no more be untrue, than effects can exist without a
cause, splendour without light, or vocal harmony without sound.
Accordingly an institution established by such a union of proof,
carries prisoner the assent. It may indeed be disregarded by a
resolution of the _will_, but can neither be passed by, nor refuted,
by a judgment of the _reason_.

And[18] having on the one hand this vast amount of _positive_
proof, from sources so various, in its behalf, so that without it
the whole Christian history of eighteen centuries, in all its
manifold blendings with secular history, becomes unintelligible, a
snarl which it is impossible to arrange, when we come on the other
hand to consider what its opponents allege of _positive_ on their
own side, we find nothing. They content themselves with objections
to this or that detached point, with historical difficulties, and
obscurations of the full proof, such, for instance, as the conduct
of S. Cyprian in one controversy, the occasional resistance of a
metropolitan, the secular instinct of an imperial government
stirring up eastern bishops to revolt, and fostering an Erastian
spirit in the Church, the ambition of thoroughly bad men, such as
Acacius or Photius, and the like. But what we may fairly ask of
opponents, and what we never find the most distant approach to in
them is, if, as they say, S. Peter's Primacy be not legitimate, and
instituted by Christ for the government of the Church, what _counter
system_ have they, which they can prove by ancient documents, and
whereby they can solve the manifold facts of history? In all their
arguments against the Primacy they are so absolutely _negative_,
that the grand result, if they were successful, would be to reduce
the Church to a heap of ruins, to show that she, who is entrusted
with the authoritative teaching of the world, has no internal
coherence either of government or doctrine, in fact, no message from
God to deliver, and no power to enforce it when delivered. In the
arguments of Greeks and Anglicans, Lutherans and Calvinists, and all
the Protestant sects, the gates of hell have long ago prevailed
against the Church, and the devil has built up at his ease a city of
confusion on the rock which Christ chose for her foundation. If we
listen to them, never has victory been more complete than that of
the evil one over the Son of God: the promised unity he has
scattered to the winds: the doctrine of truth he has utterly
corrupted: the charity wherewith Christians loved one another he has
turned into gall and wormwood. That is, the opponents of S. Peter's
Primacy are one and all simply _destructives_; they inspire despair,
and are the pioneers of infidelity, but are utterly powerless to
build up. Ask the Anglican what is the source of spiritual
jurisdiction, and the bond of the episcopate which he affects to
defend? _He makes no reply._ All he can say is, it is _not_ S.
Peter. Ask the Greek, if bishops and patriarch disagree, and come to
opposite judgments on the faith, or to schisms in communion, which
party make the Church? _He has no solution to offer_, save that it
is _not_ the party which sides with S. Peter's successor. Ask the
pure Protestant, who maintains the sole authority of the written
word, if you disagree about the meaning of Scripture in points which
you admit to touch salvation, who is to determine what is the true
meaning of the word of God? _He has nothing to reply_, save that he
is sure it is _not_ the Pope. Contrast, then, on the one side, a
complete coherent system, fully delineated and set forth in the
Bible, attested by the Fathers, corroborated by analogy, and
harmonising the history of eighteen hundred years in its infinitely
numerous relations, with, on the other side, a mere heap of
objections and denials, with shreds of truths held without cohesion,
with analogy violated, history thrown into hopeless confusion, and
to crown the whole, Holy Scripture incessantly appealed to, yet its
plainest declarations recklessly disregarded, and its most
consoling promises utterly evacuated. Choose, upon this, between
_within_ and _without_.

II. But such being the argument for the Primacy _of itself_ and
_absolutely_, look at it now in a _comparative_ point of view with
other doctrines. Let us ask Anglicans, Lutherans, and Calvinists,
respectively, to compare it in order with the proofs with which
they, each in behalf of his own sect, defend either the authority of
bishops, and their distinction from presbyters, as instituted by
Christ, or the real presence of the Lord's body in the Eucharist, or
the divine nature of Christ, and His consubstantiality with the
Father. Can they state, upon a comparison of these, that there are
_more_ testimonies of Holy Scripture in behalf of these latter
doctrines than for the Primacy of Peter? As for the articles of the
real presence, and the superiority of bishops, this cannot be
asserted with any show of truth, since in behalf of both there are
undoubtedly fewer. Certainly there are a great number for the
divinity of Christ, yet not much less are those which the same
Scriptures contain in support of Peter's Primacy. So that if the
force of proof is to be judged of by the _number of texts_, that in
behalf of the Primacy will either be preferred to the rest, or at
least yield to none.

But I anticipate the answer that it is not the number of texts which
will decide the question, but their perspicuity and evidence, which
constitute their force. To meet which objection I shall merely set
these several parties against each other. What, then, do Lutherans
think of the perspicuity of those texts by which Anglicans maintain
the superiority of bishops over presbyters? They are unanimous in
thinking them not merely most obscure, but absolutely foreign to the
purpose for which they are cited. Just the same is the Calvinist
opinion of the Lutheran proofs for the real presence, and the
Socinian view of the texts alleged by Calvinists in behalf of
Christ's divinity. Both obstinately refuse to admit that their
opponents urge anything decisive. It would be easy to quote
instances of this, if it was not notorious. It is, then, no unfair
inference that Protestants have no particular reason to boast
triumphantly of the perspicuity and evidence of the texts on which
they severally rely.

But who, they retort, cannot see that the cause of the Primacy,
which we defend, is far inferior? For our exposition is opposed not
by one or two parties, but by them all in a mass, Anglicans,
Lutherans, Calvinists, and _all who are not Catholics_. The addition
is significant, _all who are not Catholics_, for indeed all these,
and these alone, are our opponents. Yet their very name creates the
gravest prejudice against them, and shows them to be unworthy of
attention. As S. Augustine said, "The Catholic Church is one, to
which different heresies give various names, they themselves each
possessing their own name, which they dare not refuse. Whence judges
unaffected by partiality can form an opinion to whom the name of
Catholic, which all aim at, ought to be given."[19] If, then, the
name of Catholic is a note of truth, the negation of that name is a
test of error and heresy. But no one will imagine that heretics,
that is, the enemies of Christ and the Apostles, have a right to be
followed in what concerns the doctrine of Christ, and the Apostolic
institutions. Thus what Tertullian said is to the point, "Though we
had to search still and for ever, yet _where_ are we to search? Is
it among heretics, where all is foreign and opposed to our own
truth, whom we are not allowed to approach?[20] What servant expects
food from a stranger, not to say an enemy of his lord? What soldier
takes donative or pay from confederate, not to say from hostile
kings, except he be an open deserter and rebel? Even the woman in
the Gospel searched for her piece of silver within her own house.
Even he who knocked, struck the door of a friend.[21] Even the widow
solicited a judge, who was hard indeed, but not her enemy. No one
can be built up by the person who destroys him. No one be
enlightened by one who shuts him up in darkness. Let us search then
in our own, and from our own, and about our own, and only that which
can be questioned without harm to the rule of faith."[22]

But if we look closer into the matter, we shall find that even in
the interpretation of our texts Protestants are not so agreed with
each other as uniformly to oppose us. Some of the greatest names
amongst them, such as Camero, Grotius, Hammond, Leclerc, Dodwell,
Michaelis, Rosenmüller, and Kuinoel, differ from the rest and agree
with us in interpreting, "upon this rock I will build My Church,"
words of great importance in the controversy about the Primacy. So
that we were not wrong in stating that Protestants do not entirely
agree among each other in their interpretation, nor disagree with

But grant that they were one and all opposed to it, it would not
prove much. For, _first_, it could hardly happen otherwise, since
the whole Protestant cause is so contained in this matter of the
Primacy, that, were they to confess themselves wrong in it, they
would pronounce themselves guilty of the most groundless schism.
Therefore it is a matter of life and death with them to resist us.
_Secondly_, as they dissent from us, so do they desert that doctrine
which the whole Christian body solemnly professed and defined before
the sixteenth century in ecumenical councils, that of Florence held
in 1439, the second of Lyons in 1274, and the fourth Lateran in
1215. We, then, follow antiquity, and they take up novelty. And so
it follows that while we have Protestants against us, we have the
earlier Christians for us, whilst Protestants are opposed not only
to the present race of Catholics, but to those whose children these
are, and whose doctrines they have preserved. For as to the ancient
interpretation of these texts take the following proof, contained in
a letter of Pope Agatho to the Greek emperor Heraclius, read and
approved in the sixth general council, A.D. 680. "The true
confession of Peter was revealed by the Father from heaven, for
which Peter was pronounced to be blessed by the Lord of all, who
likewise by a triple commendation was entrusted with the feeding of
the spiritual sheep of the Church by the Redeemer of all Himself; in
virtue of whose assistance this his apostolical church hath never
turned aside from the path of truth to any error whatsoever; whose
authority, as of the Prince of all the Apostles, the whole Catholic
Church at all times and the universal councils faithfully embracing,
have in all respects followed, and all the venerable Fathers have
entertained its apostolic doctrine; through which there have shone
the most approved lights of the Church; which while the holy
orthodox Fathers have venerated and followed, _heretics have pursued
with false accusations, and calumnies inspired by hatred. This is
the living tradition of Christ's Apostles, which His Church
everywhere holds._"[23] We might imagine that Sir Thomas More had
these words before his eyes when he answered Luther, "not only all
that learned and holy men have collected to the point moves me to
give willing obedience to that See, but especially what we have so
often witnessed, that not only there never was an enemy to the
Christian faith who did not at the same time declare war against
that See, but also that there never has been one who professed
himself an enemy of that See without shortly after declaring himself
signally a capital foe and traitor of Christ and our religion.
Another thing, too, has great weight with me, that if, in this
manner, the faults of individuals are laid to the charge of their
office, all authority will collapse, and the people will be without
ruler, law, or order. And if this ever happens, as it seems likely
to happen in parts of Germany, at length they will learn to their
cost how much more it is to the interest of society to have even bad
rulers rather than none."[24]

Protestants, then, have many more opponents than we; to which we may
add, _thirdly_, that we assert and maintain a doctrine which for
several ages had no opponents worth mentioning, and which received a
general belief and assent. Protestants, on the contrary, no sooner
brought their doctrine to light than they roused the whole Catholic
Church against them; that very Church, _fourthly_, from which they
had rebelled, in which they had been washed in the laver of
regeneration, whose motherly care had enrolled them as Christians,
from which they had received the Bible and all other Christian
blessings, which, before that fatal schism, alone presented the
appearance of the true Church, and was invested with attributes
which inspired belief and fostered obedience. For such were
antiquity, the hierarchy, unity, the agreement of its members,
universality; such, again, the splendour of sanctity and learning;
zeal in the guardianship of primeval tradition, hatred of profane
novelties; and, lastly, the renown of those heavenly gifts, which
cannot fail the true Church of Christ, and were ascribed to no other

But _fifthly_, it would be very apposite to compare the Catholic
Church with herself, and contrast her state and condition in the
nineteenth century with that same state and condition in the fourth,
the fifth, and the sixth. Now who, in the fourth century, professed
the consubstantiality of the Trinity? Well nigh Catholics alone,
while innumerable sects of heretics opposed this doctrine. War to
the knife was waged against it by Praxeans, Noetians, Sabellians,
Paulianists, Arians, and their worst portion, the Anomæans,
Macedonians, and those who then made their appearance, Tritheists.
Again, in the fifth and the sixth centuries, who were they who
retained the true faith in Christ the God-Man, and His dispensation
in taking flesh? Once more the true faith was hardly found outside
the Catholics, while the followers of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and
Diodorus of Tarsus, Nestorius and the Nestorians, Eutyches, and the
Eutychean sects at daggers drawn with each other, and in fine, the
Monothelites and their sects, who hated one another and the
Catholics with equal bitterness, clubbed all their forces together
to oppose it. Now do any Protestants venture to infer that in the
fourth and following centuries the cause of the Catholic Church was
less certain, on account of this mob of hostile sects? I should
consider such an insinuation an insult to them. They must
accordingly allow my parallel inference, that it is fair to pass the
same judgment on the cause of the Primacy now for some centuries
defended by the Catholics against the Protestants.

_Lastly_, to address specially Lutherans and Anglicans. They are
well aware that almost all sects are not more opposed to the
supremacy of Peter than to the superiority of bishops, and the
verity of the Lord's body in the Eucharist. But are they therefore
deterred by the number of their enemies, or do they distrust the
goodness of their cause, or doubt the perspicuity of those documents
on which they rely for the victory? They can afford to disdain the
tricks of their opponents, as well as repulse their attacks. They
must, accordingly, agree with us that the assertions or denials of
contesting parties ought not to be, and cannot be, the test of a
cause's goodness, and of documentary evidence.

But, then, by what standard are we to go? I reply, by those criteria
which are not subject to just exception, and which must be approved
by all who seek the truth, and obey the dictate of reason. Now four
such criteria in chief I think may be assigned, the two former of
which are _immediate_ and _internal_, the third _internal_, but
somewhat more remote; the fourth, _external_, but of great weight,
and not to be overlooked. To speak of the former first; one of these
is _verbal_, and belongs to the words and phrases of which the text
consists; the other _real_, and regards the meaning of the sentence.
Indeed, no other sources of obscurity or of clearness can be
imagined than either the _words_ which express the _matter_, or the
_matter_ intended by the _words_. If both words and matter are
plain, and perspicuous, the discourse will be clear, and the
language distinct; but if either the matter exceed the power of
reason, or the words do not run clear, or both these conspire, the
evidence of the meaning will be more or less impaired.

I. Now, to begin with _words_, I shall not be severe, but allow to
Anglicans, Lutherans, and Calvinists, that the texts alleged by each
of them in behalf of his own cause consist of words which are either
immediately perspicuous, or become mediately clear upon definite
principles. But in turn I should ask them repeatedly to consider
whether such a perspicuity can be denied to the words of which the
texts cited for the Primacy of Peter consist. These words are in
general and vulgar use, continually repeated in the Bible, but so
connected together that their certain meaning is either immediately
evident, or fixed with very little trouble. But are not most of them
metaphorical, such as _rock_, _building_, _keys_, _binding_,
_loosing_, _lambs_, _sheep_, _feeding_? Undoubtedly some are such,
yet not that words used in their _proper_ sense are wanting, as when
Peter is called _the first_, _the greater_, the _superior_; also
when he is charged _to confirm his brethren_; and what we collect
from the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of S. Paul, and the
evangelists' mode of writing. Not, _secondly_, that it is not
evident, from the connection of the discourse, what fixed and
established meaning must be given to those metaphorical expressions.
Not, thirdly, that the meaning of those formulas is not shown by the
exercise of the powers conferred in them. Not, fourthly, that there
is any inability, if you remove the metaphor, to express in _proper_
words what the metaphor shadows out. Not, fifthly, as if the literal
and immediate sense were therefore wanting; for it is very plain
that the metaphorical[25] sense likewise is literal and immediate.
And sixthly, not that _metaphorical_ can be considered equivalent to
_obscure_, for obscurity is most opposed to the very genius of
metaphor, and such a canon would destroy the perspicuity of human
language. For there is no language, ancient or modern, rude or
polished, semitic, chamitic, or japhetic, whose _metaphorical_ is
not much more copious than its _proper_ vocabulary.

Metaphor, then, and obscurity are very far removed from each other,
and there is nothing to prevent a metaphorical expression bearing
the plainest sense. For such the sense will be, whenever what is
called the _foundation_ of the metaphor is clear, and the series of
the discourse indicates _the point of likeness_, and usage of speech
unfolds _the force_ of the metaphor. Now all these conditions, which
ensure perspicuity in the metaphor, are found in interpreting the
metaphors which contain the singular prerogatives of Peter. For as
it is perfectly plain whence the metaphors of _foundation_,
_building_, _keys_, _binding_, _loosing_, _sheep_, _lambs_,
_shepherd_, are drawn, so the context defines the point of
similitude, and usage of speech does not allow ignorance of the
force of such metaphors. And thus the texts on Peter's Primacy have
a verbal perspicuity which will bear a favourable comparison with
those texts, on which Anglicans, Lutherans, and Calvinists rely. For
indeed all the difficulties, in the invention of which Protestants
have shown their ingenuity, are introduced, put upon the words, not
drawn from them. So on the contrary, the haters of the Primacy
evidently wince at their clearness.

2. _Verbal_ perspicuity is followed by _real_, or that which concerns
the _subject matter_. And this, I assert, is far inferior, far more
slender, in the above named Protestant controversies, than in this
of the Catholics. Indeed, both the controversies, on the real
presence and on the divinity of Christ, have a super-intelligible
object, so far exceeding the natural power of reason, as to admit
of the mind's conceiving it by analogy, but not by a _distinct_ and
 _proper_ knowledge. For this is the nature of mysteries, whence it
follows in them that neither single words have distinct notions,
nor a whole proposition distinct sense. Whereas in the controversy
about the Primacy, there is nothing which is not commensurate with
reason, and which has not the advantage of proper and distinct
notions. For, of revealed truths, some being _rational_, some
_beyond_ reason, and some _above_ reason, the proper character of
those which are called _beyond_ reason is, that, _if_ revealed, they
are cognizable by reason. Now to such an order of truths the
institution of the Primacy belongs. Thus its _real_ evidence, that
namely which concerns its _subject matter_, is much superior to that
which the others admit of. But should we grant as much to the
controversy in which Anglicans defend the superiority of bishops
over presbyters? Grant this, yet still it remains that in this
species of _real_ evidence the cause of the Primacy is far superior
to that of the real presence, or that of the divinity of Christ.
But, in truth, the Anglican doctrine on bishops may be considered
from two points of view, either as severed from the Catholic dogma
on Peter's Primacy, or as in connexion and coherence with it. From
the latter point of view I should admit it to be so agreeable to
reason, that this power calls for it, and rests in it, when once
illuminated by faith, so as to know, that is, the purpose of Christ
that each particular Church should present the aspect of an united
family. But sever this superiority of bishops over presbyters from
the dogma of the Primacy, and inveigh as keenly against Peter's
supremacy as you defend their presidency, which is what Anglicans
do, and then I could only conclude that this doctrine is plainly
contrary to reason instead of agreeing with it.

For whence do Anglicans deduce its agreement with reason? Hammond,
Pearson, Beveridge, Bingham, and their other greater theologians,
tell us that it follows very plainly, because we know that Christ
carefully provided for the unity of particular Churches, which, they
say, it seems impossible to obtain without the superior power of
bishops. It is a good inference; but did Christ show less care for
the unity of the whole Church than for that of particular Churches?
Who can seriously maintain this? For what is the unity recommended
by Christ and so earnestly urged by the Apostles, save that of the
whole Church? And when we acknowledge in the creed _one_ Church, do
we mean a particular or the universal Church? We mean that which we
also acknowledge to be Catholic, and therefore the unity is that of
the Catholic Church. And therefore it was Christ's intention, and
His certain will, that not only particular Churches, but the
universal body of the Church, should possess the test and the dower
of unity. And this Anglican notion, which denies of the universal
Church, what it affirms of particular Churches, may suit very well
an island, holding itself aloof from the rest of the world, but it
is quite incompatible with the radical idea of the kingdom of

Moreover, if it was necessary for the production and maintenance of
unity in particular Churches to set bishops over them, with
authority superior to that of presbyters; if reason demands that it
being Christ's will for particular Churches to live in unity, He
should likewise have instituted the power which distinguishes
bishops from presbyters; can we suppose either that it was not
necessary for the production and maintenance of unity in the
Catholic Church, to commit its government to an universal superior,
or that reason does not _equally_ require, that Christ, who enjoined
the Catholic Church to maintain unity, should have instituted the
universal Pastor? Nay, as the necessity is not equal on the two
sides, but so much stronger on the side of unity in the _Catholic_
Church, as it is more difficult to hold together in one an
innumerable than a limited number, men scattered over the globe than
men within a narrow region, nations differing in genius, habits, and
laws, than those who resemble each other in these; so reason, which
for particular Churches requires their respective bishops, _much
more_ requires the institution of a _universal_ superior, lest the
end should appear to have been devised without the means, and the
divine work of Christ be deficient in wisdom. What, then, are
Anglicans about in dividing these two doctrines, and contending for
the institution of bishops, while they obstinately deny the
institution of the Primacy? They strip of its authority the very
truth which they defend, and by severing doctrines which derive
their consistency from their cohesion, put weapons in the hands of
presbyterians to assault and even overthrow the very dogma from
which they take their name of episcopalians. Accordingly the
evidence derived from the _subject matter_ is much clearer in those
texts which are alleged for Peter's Primacy, than in those by which
the superiority of bishops over presbyters, the real presence, and
the divine person of Christ, are proved.

Now the force of demonstration derived from documents corresponds to
the sum of _verbal_ and _real_ evidence in the texts, being greater
or less as this is stronger or weaker. In other words, the force of
demonstration belongs to that class of evidence which mathematicians
call _direct_. But both these sorts of evidence exist in the same,
or even in a fuller degree, in those texts which concern the
Primacy, and set forth its divine institution. Accordingly the force
of demonstration for the Primacy is equal or superior to that
belonging to the arguments which prove the superiority of bishops,
the real presence, and Christ's divine person. Yet these arguments
have such force, that the articles which they prove cannot, in the
opinion of Anglicans, Lutherans, and Calvinists, be questioned
without incurring the deepest guilt of heresy. We have, then, the
same or even a stronger reason to affirm that the Primacy of Peter,
resting on the same, or even a stronger, evidence, as _revealed_,
cannot be denied without heresy.

And this is a corollary which I would entreat Anglicans, Lutherans,
and Calvinists, carefully to consider, and then say whether they are
consistent; for then I feel assured they would become discontented
with themselves, by reflecting that, in the choice of the articles
which they hold, they are not following the clearness of revelation,
but party spirit and factious prejudices. What satisfactory answer
can they ever return to the Catholic who asks why they, who on equal
or less evidence defend the superiority of bishops, deny the Primacy
which rests on similar or greater proof? Or why they attack the
Primacy, while they defend the real presence, or the divinity of
Christ, which are supported by no more evident arguments? And how
will they satisfy their own conscience, should this thought ever
cross them, "Why do I at one time obey, at another time resist, the
same evidence of revelation?" That same faith with which they
severally believe the divine appointment of bishops, the real
presence, and the consubstantiality of Christ, compels them, if
they would maintain consistency, and not repel conviction, to
confess the Primacy of Peter.

And this argument might be carried much further, if they would
reflect how great is the brilliancy of evidence in behalf of the
Primacy, compared with sundry other capital Christian doctrines,
some or all of which they hold without question: such are the
consubstantiality of the Trinity, the unity of Christ's Person, the
propagation of original sin, the eternity of punishment,
regeneration in baptism, and gratuitous justification. They will
find, on reflection, that they hold these doctrines not because they
are proved by stronger scriptural evidence than the Primacy, for
quite the reverse is the truth, nor because they are encompassed
with less obscurity in their own character, for the subject matter
of the Primacy is clear and distinct in comparison with them all,
but because the doctrines do not oppose the particular tradition
which they have received, and so their minds are not set against
them. Let them once come to compare the whole evidence for the
Primacy, scriptural, traditional, analogical, and historical, which
last alone comprehends the fourteen heads above enumerated, with the
same evidence in behalf of any or all of those, and they cannot but
admit its great superiority.

3. But we must proceed to the _third_ criterion, which increases not
a little the evidence from revelation for the Primacy. For Catholics
and Protestants are agreed in considering _analogy_ as one of the
best helps in interpretation, and in assigning to it the force of a
real parallelism, a proceeding which rests on the necessity of the
Scripture presenting one whole and harmonious body of doctrine in
its several parts. And in order not to deprive this help of its
efficacy, both parties give two conditions for its exercise, the
first, _that no sense be put upon passages of Scripture contrary to
analogy_; the second, _that no violence be used to the language of
Scripture to conform it with analogy, which would be imposing on
holy writ the sense wanted from it_. These two faults carefully
avoided, analogy is of great service, and throws much light upon

But, now, is there such a sum of doctrine, so remarkable, and so
diffused through all the books of the New Testament, that the texts
expressing the gifts and prerogatives of Peter, can be tried by the
touchstone of this analogy? Such, indeed, there is, very remarkable,
and threefold in character. The first point is found in the
texts[26] which regard the divine institution of bishops: the other
two in those which show the unity,[27] and the Catholicity[28] of
the Church. For what can stand in closer connection with these
articles of doctrine, than the appointment of a supreme ruler to
discharge over the universal Church the office which every bishop
exercises over his own particular Church, and his own portion of the
flock? What, again, can be more opposed to them, than the
supposition that provision was made, by the institution of bishops,
for _the parts_, but none, by the institution of a supreme pastor,
for _the whole body_, which is to be one and Catholic? Therefore,
that exposition of the texts concerning Peter, which exhibits him as
ruler of the Church universal, and as made to be the visible cause
of that same Catholic unity, so admirably agrees with analogy, that
it must be considered unquestionable, unless texts contradictory to
it can be produced. But so far is it from the case that texts
_considered in themselves_ contradict it, that, on the contrary,
they _immediately_ express it _of themselves_, and can be distorted
from it only by violating all the laws of interpretation. Accordingly,
that view of the texts about Peter, which establishes his Primacy,
is wonderfully confirmed by analogy, and by its harmony with what
the Scriptures tell us of the Church, as instituted by Christ.

4. And nothing will be wanting to give full assurance to this
confirmation, if we add the _fourth or external_ criterion, that
derived from consent of witnesses. I am not going to urge here the
divine force and infallible authority of Christian tradition: I
shall merely allege what no person of discretion can deny or
question. The first point is, that in the actual controversy the
testimony of the most ancient witnesses cannot be disregarded: and
the second, that it carries the very strongest prejudice in favour
of whichever interpretation it supports.

Now here we have to do first, with the interpretation of a series of
dogmatic texts; and, secondly, with a point of doctrine, which,
being of the utmost moment, could not be unknown to any one. But are
these matters on which ancient witnesses, such as the Christian
Fathers, and ecclesiastical writers, can be safely past by unheard?
If it were a matter of geography, chronology, or archæology, one
might allow it, though with regret: but this is out of the question,
in a matter of dogmatic texts, and those relating to a most
important doctrine. For notorious is the zeal with which the ancient
Fathers laboured to preserve and interpret the dogmatic texts of
Scripture. We know their care to prevent the introduction of new and
false interpretations, and new and false doctrines thence arising.
And we know that, together with the Scriptures, they received from
the Apostolic teaching the kindred power of interpreting them. For,
as Origen remarked, "Since there are many who think that they
believe what is of Christ, and some of them believe what is
different from those before them, yet, since the preaching of the
Church is preserved, as handed down by the order of succession from
the Apostles, and to the present day abiding in the Church, that
verity alone is to be believed, which in nothing is discordant from
the ecclesiastical and Apostolical tradition."[29]

Moreover, can it seem safe to enter upon a track most divergent from
that which the Apostles marked out, and the Christian people
constantly followed? S. Paul[30] taught us to listen to witnesses,
and Christendom, whether assembled in council, or everywhere
diffused, was content to depend on them. Most clear is what is said
on this point about the Fathers at Nicea[31] and Ephesus,[32] and no
less so the words of Leontius[33] of Byzantium, John Cassian,[34]
Theodoret,[35] Augustine,[36] Jerome,[37] Epiphanius,[38] Basil,[39]
Origen,[40] Tertullian,[41] Clement[42] of Alexandria, and the
oldest of all, Irenæus,[43] who says, "The true knowledge is
the doctrine of the Apostles, and the ancient state of the Church
in the whole world, and the character of the body of Christ,
according to the succession of bishops, by which they handed down
the Church, which is in every place, which hath reached even to us,
being guarded without fiction, _with a most full interpretation of
the Scriptures_, admitting neither addition nor subtraction, and the
reading without falsification, and legitimate and diligent
exposition according to the Scriptures, without danger, and without
blasphemy, and the chief gift of charity, which is more precious
than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, more eminent than all
graces." For, as he says elsewhere, "We ought to learn the truth,
where the gifts of the Lord are placed; among whom is that
succession of the Church, which is from the Apostles, sound and
irreproachable conversation, and discourse unadulterated and
incorrupt. For these maintain that faith of ours in one God, who
made all things: these increase that love towards the Son of God,
who has made for our sake so great dispositions: _these explain to
us the Scriptures without peril_."

And, besides, where is the Protestant who does not praise the Hebrew
illustrations of Lightfoot, Schoettgen, and Meuschen? or who does
not at least make much of the commentaries of Aben Ezra, Kimchi,
Jarchi, and others, in the interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures?
They all see the advantage of approaching such sources of
information, and using them for their own purpose. But are we to
refuse to the Fathers, and ancient doctors of the Church the
deference which we allow to Rabbins and Thalmudists? This is at
least a reason for hearing the testimony of the Fathers.

And if it be concordant, constant, and universal, it most
powerfully recommends that scriptural interpretation, which agrees
with it. In this, all Catholics without exception, and the most
judicious and learned Protestants, are agreed. In good truth, it
would be incredible that an interpretation could be false, which was
adopted unanimously by the Fathers of every age and country. And it
ought to be as incredible to find any one so conceited, as not to be
greatly moved by the witness and consent of Christian antiquity.

One point of enquiry remains, whether the Fathers have given their
opinion, and that unanimously, on Peter and the texts, which relate
to him. But their words[44] inserted in the foregoing pages entirely
terminate this controversy, and show that they were all of the mind
expressed by Gregory the Great, in these words, which, it is well to
remember, were directed to the supreme civil authority of those
days, for he tells the emperor:

"To all who know the Gospel, it is manifest that the charge of the
whole Church was entrusted by the voice of the Lord to the holy
Apostle Peter, Prince of all the Apostles. For to him it is said,
'Peter, lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep.' To him is said, 'Behold,
Satan hath desired to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee,
Peter, that thy faith fail not; and do thou, one day, in turn,
confirm thy brethren.' To him is said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon
this rock I will build My Church,' &c. Lo, he hath received the keys
of the kingdom of heaven, the power of binding and loosing is given
to him, the care and the chiefship of the whole Church is committed
to him."[45]


[1] The following chapter is translated from Passaglia, Pp. 339-360.

[2] This is not said as _limiting_ revelation to such points, but to
exhibit the scope of the present work, which uses testimony merely
as a human, though very important, support of the cause.

[3] The texts relating to the primacy, the Evangelists' mode of
writing, that of S. Luke in the first twelve chapters of the Acts,
and that of S. Paul.

[4] The Apostles' contest about "the greater," the distinction
between the founder, and the visible head of the Church, and for
false interpretations, the primacy of mere precedency, the
perversion of John xxi. 15-20, the assertion of Apostolic equality,
and Gal. i 18-20.

[5] Interroga igitur, si quid veritatis cupis audire, principaliter
sedis Apostolicæ antistitem, cujus sana doctrina constat judicio
veritatis, et fulcitur munimine auctoritatis. Ferrandus in Epist. ad

[6] Socrates, Hist. L. 2, c. 8-17. Sozomen, hist. L. 3, c. 10.

[7] In fragm. epist. apud Baluzium, Miscell. Lib. 5, p. 467.

[8] Ferrandus in litteris ad Pelagium.

[9] Mansi. Tom. 8, 54, 34.

[10] Avitus, Epist. 36.

[11] Gelasius, Epist. 4, ad Faustum. Mansi. 8, 17.

[12] Mansi. Tom. xi. 184.

[13] See Peter Ballerini, de potestate ecclesiastica, cap. 1, § 1-6.

[14] See Mamachi, origines et antiquitates Christianæ, Tom 2.

[15] See Muzzarelli, de auctoritate Rom. Pontificis in Conciliis
generalibus, c. v. § 9.

[16] See Mamachi, as above, Tom. v part. 1, c. 2.

[17] Amm. Marcellinus, Lib. 15, c. 7.

[18] The following paragraph, down to "within and without," I have
introduced here. It is not in F. Passaglia.

[19] Aug. de utilitate credendi, c. 7, n. 19.

[20] Tit. iii. 10.

[21] Luke xv. 9; xi. 5; xviii. 2.

[22] Tertullian, de Præsc. c. 21.

[23] Mansi, concilia, Tom. 11, 239.

[24] Responsis ad Lutheram, c. x.

[25] Sense, says John, is the connection or mutual relation of
notions intended by the author in his words, or, according to
others, which is the same thing, the conception of the mind which
the author has expressed in words, and wishes to raise in his
readers. This sense, whether it springs from the proper or whether
from the improper and metaphorical meaning of words, or from
allegorical language, is immediate, grammatical, and literal.

[26] Acts xiv. 22; xx. 28; 1 Tim. v. 19-22; 2 Tim. iv. 2-5; Tit. i.
5; 1 Pet. v. 2, 3.

[27] Matt. xvi. 18; xviii. 18; John x. 16; Eph. v. 25; 1 Cor. xii;
John xvii. 20-26.

[28] Luke xxiv. 47; Acts i. 8; ix. 15; Coloss. i. 8.; 1 Cor. i. 23;
ix. 20; Rom. x. 18.

[29] Origen. preface kezi azchôn, n. 2.

[30] 2 Tim. ii. 2.

[31] See Athanas. de decritis Nic. Synodi, and also Hist. tripartit.
Lib. 2, 2-3.

[32] See Vincent of Lerins. Commonit. c. 32, 3.

[33] Leontius, Contr. Nestorium. Lib. 1.

[34] Cassian, De Incarn. Lib. 1.

[35] Theodoret, in the three dialogues.

[36] Augustine, cont. Cresconium, 1, c. 32-3.

[37] Jerome, Ep. 126, and dialog. adv. Luciferianos.

[38] Epiphanius. bæres. 61, 75, 78.

[39] Basil, cont. Eunomium, Lib. 1; de Spiritu S. c. 29.

[40] Origen in Matt. Tract. 29.

[41] Tertullian, throughout the book De Prescriptionibus.

[42] Clement, Stromatum, Lib. 7.

[43] Irenæus, Lib. 4, c. 63 and 45.

[44] It may be allowable also to refer to the fifth section of the
work mentioned in the preface, "The See of S. Peter," &c.

[45] S. Greg. Ep. Lib. 5, 20.



_Abraham_, parallel between, and Peter, 17-25, 206, 213-4

_Acts_, division of, 114
  state the accomplishment of Christ's promises, 114, 116
  history of the mystical body, as the Gospels of the Head, 115
  elucidate the institution of the Primacy by showing its
    execution, 116 and following.

_Africa_, Church of, its terms addressing Pope Theodore, 110, 254.

_Agatho_, Pope, A.D., 678-682, referred to, 254
  states his Primacy in the case of S. Wilfrid, 254
  to the Emperor Heraclius and the 6th Council 262.

_Alexander_, of Alexandria, referred to, 238.

_Ambrose_, St., interprets the name of Peter, 10
  terms Peter "the Rock of the Church," 15
  "the Apostle in whom is the Church's support," 15
  affirms and describes his Primacy, 60
  declares, "where Peter is, there is the Church," 62
  interprets John xxi. 15-17, of Peter's Primacy, 79
  says, "the rights of venerable communion flow from St. Peter's chair
    as from a fountain head," 216
  describes schism as rendering Christ's passion of no effect, 231
  and as the unforgiven sin, 231
  mentions a Novatian error of restricting the keys to Peter
    personally, 241, n.
  assigns the origin of unity to Peter, 242.

  makes Paul's visit an acknowledgment of Peter's Primacy, 164
  ranges James and John under Peter, as Barnabas under Paul, 167
  sees in Paul's censure of Peter a proof of Peter's Primacy, 171.

_Ammianus Marcellinus_, referred to, 255.

_Analogy_, between universal and particular churches and the
  Primate and all bishops, 217
  of the body, house, kingdom, city, and fold, with the Church, 2-5, 217
  its force as a proof for the Primacy. 251
  as a criterion of interpretation, 272.

_Anglicanism_, the peculiar inconsistency of, 222-5.

_Anglicans_, _Lutherans_, and _Calvinists_,
  comparative proof for their doctrines and for the Primacy, 259, 274.

_Apostles_, their relation to Peter, 28, 70, 75-7, 97-9, 102, 104, 108
  their commission as given in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 68
  exercise of their powers, 69, 149
  how they _sent_ Peter and John, 137
  are teachers and judges in controversy, 149
  the spirit of truth promised to them and to their successors, 184-189
  inequality in the college of, 200
  twelve proofs of it, 204-9.

_Aquileia_, Fathers of, ascribe the origin of unity to Peter, 242.

_Archimandrites of Syria_,
  call Pope Hormisdas das "Patriarch of the whole world," 216.

_Arnobius_, calls Peter, the Bishop of Bishops, 146, 216.

_Athanasius St._, states the object of the Incarnation, 27, 180
  referred to, on behalf of the principle of tradition, 275.

_Augustine St._, terms Peter
  "the rock which the proud gates of hell prevail not against," 15
  "the figure of the Church," 61
  "made another self by Christ, and one with Himself," 110
  states the object of the Incarnation, 27, 179
  explains the banquet in John, ch. xxi, 72
  says the order in which the Apostles were called is uncertain, 88
  mentions Peter's holy humility in being censured by Paul, 176
  says there is no remission of sins outside the Church, 231
  that those who are out of the Church have not charity, 231
  terms schism a horrible crime and sacrilege, 231
  distinguishes the Church as Catholic, 236
  referred to as explaining the term Catholic, 237, 238
  and quoted, 260
  why he teaches that the keys were bestowed on Peter
    as representing the person of the Church, 241, n. 124
  referred to, 242
  and on tradition, 295.

_Avitus, St._, attests the Popes Primacy, 253.


_Ballerini_, Peter, his works referred to, 255.

_Baronius_, explains St. Peter being sent to the circumcision, 167
  remarks on the distortion of Paul's censure against Peter, 172.

_Basil St._ calls Peter underlying the building of the Church, 15
  interprets John, xxi. 15-17, as a grant of all pastoral authority to
    the Church in the person of Peter her shepherd, 81
  referred to, on principle of tradition, 275.

_Bede St._, interprets, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat," 140
  condemns all separation from the society of Peter, 252.

_Bernard St._
  appeals to Pope Innocent II, as holding the Primacy of faith, 60, 254
  calls the Pope universal Bishop, 216
  referred to, as explaining the term Catholic, 237
  speaks of the solicitude of all churches resting on the
    Apostolic See 244.

_Bhoskein_, its meaning, contrasted with _poimahinein_, 103 note.

_Bishops_, divine institution, of texts for, 273, n. 26
  proof for, compared with that for the Primacy, 268, 270.

  explains the relation between Peter and the Apostles, 75, 78, 103
  his writings against Jurien referred to, 233.


_Coelestinus_, referred to, 238.

_Calvinists_, their proofs for the divinity of Christ compared with
  those of Catholics for the Primacy, 259.

_Canons_, the 22nd of the Apostolic, quoted, 136.

_Cartwright_, the Puritan, observes the inconsistency of
  Anglicanism, 225, n. 59.

_Casaubon_, referred to, 232.

_Cassian John_,
  states the Primacy of St. Peter as continuing in the Church, 111
  referred to 275.

_Catholicity_, texts on the Church's referred to, 220, 273, n. 28
  in what it consists, material and formal parts, 236
  the formal part as negative and as affirmative, 237-241.

_Cesar_, Julius, parallel between proof for his having been emperor,
  and for Peter's Primacy, 250.

_Christ_, at His passion commends the Church as His "finished work"
    to God the Father, 1
  stands in two relations to the Church while on earth, as Founder
    and as Ruler, 6, 43
  selects from His disciples first twelve and then one 7, 89
  explains the name of Peter, 12
  communicates to Peter the gift of being the Foundation, 24
  educates him for the office of chief ruler, 29
  associates him in a peculiar manner with Himself, 35
  designates a chief ruler in His Church, 38, 43
  and that one to be Peter, 48
  makes a further disposition of power after His resurrection, 65
  makes Peter the one Shepherd over his fold, 72, 83
  fulfils His promises to the Twelve, 68
    and to Peter, 70
  foretels Peter's crucifixion, 82
  paraphrase of His promises to Peter in Matt. xvi, 17-20, 95
  the mystical Head of the Church, 157
  the incarnate Word the principle of Unity and Headship in
    the Church, 178-182
  His headship does not dispense with a visible hierarchy, 185
  and cannot be expressed by the unity of a college, 193
  bestows all spiritual gift, 186, 188.

_Chrysostome_, St., interprets the name Peter, 9, 27
  terms Peter "the support of the faith," 15
  "the mouth-piece of the Apostles and teacher of the world," 61, 119
  the Teacher, 143, 145
  the Father, 152
  the greater and elder, 163
  interprets "the keys" to mean power over all things in heaven, 14
  interprets, "give it to them for me and for thee," 36, 37
  interprets John xxi, 15-17, as the charge of the whole
    Church given to Peter, 79, 80
  witnesses to St. Peter's Primacy, 86, 93, 124, 126, 127
  describes the subject of the Acts, 114
  says that in Christ the race God and man is become one, 115
  describes Peter as the first on every occasion, 121
  says the Acts are those of St. Peter and St. Paul, 121
  interprets "confirm thy brethren" of St. Peter's supreme authority. 124
  makes St. John subordinate to St. Peter, 128
  interprets Acts x, 47, 141
  likens Peter to the commander of an army, 147
  says that he anticipates St. Paul's doctrine to the Romans, 148
  makes St. Paul prefer Peter to himself, 161
  and to the other Apostles, 162
  considers St. Paul's visit to him a proof of his Primacy, 164
  explains Gal. ii. 7-9, 166
  speaks of the dignity of St. Peter's person, 171
  denies it to have been St. Peter who censured by St. Paul, 174
  remarks on St. Paul's prudence in the manner of giving this
    censure, 177
  his remark on the Incarnation, 180
  describes the unity of the Church all over the world, 218
  distinguishes the Church as Catholic, 236
  referred to on necessity of communion between the Church's
    members, 239.

_Church_, establishment of,
  the "finished work" of God the Word incarnate, 1, 4
  unity and visibility part of its primary idea, 3
  and a visible headship, 5
  unchangeable, like her Lord, 44
  had one ruler from the beginning, 45
  unity or, fourfold, 182
  of mystical influx, 182
  of charity, 183
  of faith, 183-189
  of visible headship, 190-196
  its identity, 220
  its unity, and texts proving it, 220
  its Catholicity, 236
    these three viewed as reasons for the Primacy, 236-241
  means the whole society of believers, 223
  texts which so define it, 223, n. 46
  as set forth in Scripture, 230.

_Claude_, the Calvinist, referred to, 232.

_Clement_ of Alexandria referred to
  as defining the Church, 223
  on the term Catholic, 237
  on the principle of tradition, 275.

_Clement_, the Pseudo, his epistle St. James quoted, 137.

_Confirming_, meaning of the term in Luke xxii. 32, 53.

_Cornelius_, conversion of, 138.

_Council_ of Nicea, referred to, 238, 275.

  ---- of Sardica, referred to, 238.

  ---- of Ephesus, referred to, 238.

  ---- of Chalcedon, terms Peter, "the rock and foundation of the
       Catholic Church, and the basis of the orthodox faith," 16.

  ---- third of Carthage, referred to, 224, 238.

  ---- second of Constantinople, referred to, 224.

  ---- of Laodicea, referred to, 224.

  ---- second Nicene, referred to, 224.

_Creed_, how it contains St. Peter's Primacy, 243.

_Criteria_ of interpretation, four chief ones, 265
  verbal, 266
  real, 267
  analogical, 271
  consent of witnesses, 274.

_Cyprian_ St.,
  terms Peter the Rock of the Church that was to be built, 15
  quotes the confessors out of Novatian's schism, 45
  says that perfidy cannot approach the Roman faith, 55
  says that the Church is built on Peter, 62, 175
  says that the Apostles, as such, are equal, 69
  but adds the Primacy of St. Peter, 81
  solution of his phrase, "the episcopate is one, of which apart is
    held by each without division of the whole," 100
  how his statements on the unity of the Catholic episcopate cohere
    with the Primacy, 240
  makes St. Peter's See the fountain in the Church, 110
  says the Church is in the bishop, 135
  compares the unity in the Church to that of the Holy Trinity, 196
  defines a particular church as a people united to its priest,
    and a flock adhering to its pastor, 218
  describes the one Church and its prerogatives, 228
  distinguishes it by the name Catholic, 236.

_Cyril_, St., of Alexandria, says the Church is founded on Peter, 9
  describes the presence of the Holy Spirit in Christians, 115
  remarks on the Incarnation, 180.

_Cyril_, St., of Jerusalem, affirms St. Peter's Primacy, 61
  calls the Church Catholic, 236
  explains the term, 237.


_Dante_, his words on fortune, 199.

_Dionysius_, the so-called Areopagite, states that the office of the
  Holy Spirit is the deification of man, 115.


_Ephrem_, of Antioch, on the unity produced by the Incarnation, 181.

_Ephrem_, St. Syrus, calls Peter the candle and tongue of the
  disciples and the voice of preachers, 61.

_Epiphanius_, St. terms Peter the immovable rock of the Church, 15
  and says that the charge of bringing the Gentiles into the Church
    is laid on him, 141
  referred to, on tradition. 275.

_Eucherius_, St., of Lyons, calls Peter the Pastor of pastors, 216.

_Eusebius_, states that St. John visited the Churches of Asia, 146
  calls the Church by the name of Catholic, 236
  referred to, 252.

_Euthalius_, his summary of the Acts, 120.

_Evidence_, moral, how far intended to be convincing, 89.


_Faith_, how called by the Fathers, 234 note.

_Fathers_, the Greek, on Gal. ii. 11
  unanimously set forth St. Peter's Primacy, 174-5.

_Ferrandus_, refers enquirers to the Apostolic See, 252
  states the authority of Councils confirmed by it, 253.

_First_, force of the term, 87.

_Fructuosus_, St., the church in his Acts called Catholic, 236.


_Gelasius_, Pope, A.D., 492-6, referred to, 242
  states the power of the Apostolic See, 253, 254.

_Gnostics_ and Marcionites, distort Paul's censure of Peter, 171.

_Gregory_, Thaumaturgus, St. his remark on the Incarnation, 179.

_Gregory_, Nazianzene, St., terms Peter the rock of the Church, 15
  remarks on the Incarnation, 180
  calls the Church the tunic without seam, &c., 218,
  referred to, 242.

_Gregory_, of Nyssa, St., his remark on the unity produced by
  the Incarnation, 181.

_Gregory_, the Great, St. A.D., 590-603,
  remarks Peter's humility in defending himself, 143
  founds the Primacy on the three great texts, 277.

_Gregory_ II, Pope, A.D., 715-731, describes the reverence felt to
  Peter in the eighth century, 113.


_Heresy_, why it has lost its foulness in the minds of Protestants, 234.

_Hierarchy_, the visible, why constituted, 185-190
  a head of it necessary, 190-6.

_Hilary_, of Poitiers, St. terms Peter the rock of the Church, 15
  his remarks on the effect of the Incarnation, 180
  speaks of the unity produced by the Incarnation and the Eucharist, 181
  sets forth the Church's unity, 220 note
  referred to as defining the Church, 223.

_Hippolytus_, St., his remark on the fruit of the Incarnation, 179.

_History_, Christian, fourteen distinct classes of facts in it
  attest the Primacy, 251-6.

_Hormisdas_, Pope, A.D. 514-523
  referred to, 242.


_Ignatius_, St., uses the word Catholic of the Church, 236.

_Incarnation_, the order and gifts of,
  lost sight of by those without the Church, 27
  the object of, 27, 178-181.

_Innocent_ I., Pope, A.D., 401-417
  makes the Apostolic See the fountain in the Church, 110
  his letters to S. Victrice, 254.

_Irenæus_, St., his remarks on the Incarnation, 179
  referred to as defining the Church, 223
  describes the Church's unity, 224
  and terms it Catholic, 236
  and explains the term, 237
  sets forth tradition and the chiefship of the Roman Church, 239
  states the principle of tradition as guarding the faith, 276.

_Isidore_, St., declares that whoever does not obey Peter is a
  schismatic, 113.


_James_, St., the martyrdom of, how mentioned by S. Luke, 151.

_Jerome_, St., puts the safety of the Church in the bishop, 45
  makes the Primacy to be instituted against schism, 78
  says, it is not a church which has no priest, 135
  ascribes the decision of the Council of Jerusalem to St. Peter, 150
  and makes St. Paul's visit to Peter a token of his
  Primacy, 165, 171
  gives the reasons of those who denied it to be St. Peter who was
    censured, 173
  describes the necessity of adhering to Peter's See, 218, 239, note 120
  referred to as defining the Church, 223
  distinguishes it as Catholic, 236
  referred to, 242
  referred to on principle of tradition, 275.

_John_, St., his sphere distinguished from that of Peter, 91
  how often mentioned in the New Testament. 93
  with his brother called Boanerges, 8, note, 86
  makes himself subordinate to Peter, 128, 135, 137.

_Judah_, among his brethren,
  a type of Peter among the Apostles, 206, 214-5.

_Julian_, the apostate, distorts Paul's censure of Peter, 172.

_Jurisdiction_, spiritual, derived from the person of Christ to
    St. Peter, 99, 107, 109
  creation of, precedes the formation of the Church, 105, 107.

_Jurien_, referred to, 232.

_Justinian_, the Emperor, referred to, 238.


_King_, on the Creed, referred to, 236.


_Lactantius_, describes necessity of belonging to the Church, 231.

_Leander_, referred to, 238.

_Leo St._, Pope 440-461
  paraphrases the name of Peter, 11
  states his Primacy and association with Christ, 14
  explains why our Lord prays specially for Peter, 50
  says that Peter, rules all by immediate commission, 80, 168
  that Christ gave to the rest through Peter, 100
  that he assumed Peter into the participation of His indivisible
    unity, 110
  remarks on the unity produced by the Incarnation, 180
  describes the unity of the Catholic Episcopate as knitted up
    in the See of St. Peter, 242.

_Leontius_, referred to, 275.

_Luke_, St., his purpose in writing the Acts, 114
  part which he assigns to Peter, in general, 117-122
  in particulars, 122-153
  slightly mentions the other Apostles, 120
  exhibits Peter's miracles as John does those of Christ, 131
  makes him the main figure in the Apostolic college, 133.

_Lutherans_, their proofs for the real presence compared with those
  of Catholics for the Primacy, 259.


_Mamachi_, his works referred to, 255.

_Maximus_, St., of Turin,
  says that Christ gave to Peter His own title, the Rock, 15
  sets forth Peter's Primacy, 112.

_Maximus_, martyr, referred to, 242.

_Marius Victorinus_, makes Paul's visit an acknowledgment of
  Peter's Primacy, 164.

_Mastrezat_, referred to, 232.

_Metaphor_, tests of clearness in, 267.

_More_, Sir Thomas, his statement to Luther of reasons for maintaining
  the Primacy, 263.

_Mosheim_, his admission that the early Fathers set forth a unity which
  terminates in the Papal See, as the hand does in the fingers, 197-8, note.

_Muzzarelli_, his works referred to, 255.


_Names_, classes of, given in Scripture, 16.

_Nicole_, referred to, 232.


_Oecumenius_, on the fruit of the Incarnation, 179.

_Optatus_, St., calls St. Peter's the single chair in which unity
    was to be observed by all, 110
  calls schism the greatest of evils, 231
  referred to, as explaining the term Catholic, 237
  ascribes the origin and maintenance of unity to Peter, 242.

_Origen_, says that Peter is so called from Christ the Rock, 10
  calls Peter the great foundation of the Church, 15
  describes the great honour given by Christ to Peter in the matter
    of the didrachmna, 36
  makes Peter the first, as Judas the last, of the Apostles, 89
  referred to, as defining the Church, 223
  distinguishes the Church as Catholic, 236
  states the principle of tradition, 275
  referred to, on same, 275.


_Pacian_, St., calls the Church Catholic, 236
  explains the term, 237, 238
  describes the Church's unity, 239, note
  ascribes the origin of unity to Peter, 242.

_Paul_, St., distinguishes St. Peter among the Apostles, 67
  why so much said of him in the Acts, 121
  his visitatorial power contrasted with St. Peter's, 146
  his epistles incidentally confirm St. Peter's Primacy, 160
  recognises St. Peter's Primacy, 161
  by going to visit him, 162-165
  and in his second visit, 166-169
  what is involved in his censure of St. Peter, 169-171
  its real amount, 177
  force of his terming the Church "one body," 193
  how emphatic he is in setting forth visible unity, 197.

_Pelagius_ II., Pope, 578-590
  states privileges of the Apostolic See, 253.

_Petavius_, shows that spiritual jurisdiction springs from the direct
  gift of Christ, 107.

_Peter_, St., first mention of him in the Gospel, 8
  meaning of his name, 9
  a special title of our Lord, 9
  name first promised, 8
  conferred, 11
  explained and promises attached, 12, 97-99
  titles of, betokening his association with Christ, 15
  parallel between, and Abraham, 17-25, 206, 213-4
  his name explained by St. Chrysostome, 27
  his relation to the Apostles, 28, 98-9, 102, 104, 108
  his instruction in the theology and economy, 30
  witness of the transfiguration, 30
  of the Lord's prayer in His agony, 32
  of raising the daughter of Jairus, 33
  associated with Christ in paying of the didrachma, 34
  designated to be chief ruler of the Church, 48
  charged to confirm his brethren, 49-63
  is distinguished in having the resurrection proved to him, 66
  all our Lord's promises fulfilled to him, 70, and following
  mentioned by the Evangelists differently from the other Apostles., 84
  named first in every catalogue, 86
  his sphere distinguished from that of John, 91
  his predominance in the sacred history, 92
  how often mentioned in the Gospels, 93
  and in the Acts, 118
  the type, the origin, and the efficient cause of unity, 100, 108
  looked up to, as a God upon earth, by the West, 113
  prominence given to him in the Acts 116-122
  directs the election of a new Apostle, 122
  defends the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, 125
  speaks for them the third and fourth time, 128
  proves his supreme authority by special miracles, 129
  cures Oeneas and raises Dorcas, 132
  heals with his shadow, 133
  receives the Samaritans into the Church, 133-7
  and the Gentiles, 138-42
  exercises supreme judicial power, 144
  visits all churches, 145
  is the first to pronounce decision in the council of Jerusalem, 147-151
  his imprisonment and that of St. James and St. Paul, 151
  summary of his conduct in the Acts, 153-6
  his visible headship quite other than the headship of mystical
    influx, 157
  set with James and John parallel to Paul with Barnabas and Titus, 166
  the head, centre, fountain, root, and principle of unity, 195
  is in the episcopate what God the Father is in the divine monarchy, 195
  his office in the Church acknowledged by friend and foe, 198
  typified in Judith, 206, 214-5.

_Peter_, St. Chrysologus,
  says of Peter that he founds the Church by his firmness, 15
  advises Eutyches to obey the Pope, 61.

_Philip_, St., perhaps the first-called Apostle, 88

_Pionius_, St., his acts call the Church Catholic, 236.

_Polycarp_, St., the epistle on his death calls the Church Catholic, 236.

_Porphyry_, distorts Paul's censure of Peter, 171.

_Primacy_, the nature of, defined in the three palmary texts, 104-110
  shown to consist in superiority of jurisdiction, 209-212
  compared to the law of gravitation, 109, 209
  institution and exercise of, compared, 155
  the controversy on, reduced to one point, 205
  summary of, as set forth in the Acts, 153
  and generally, 200-203
  the end and purpose of, 212
  to which end three classes of reasons guide us,
    i. the typical, 213
    ii. the analogical, 217
    iii. the real, 219
  bound up in the visibility and unity of the Church, 235
  what is required of those who deny it, 247
  its denial the origin of all actual divisions among Christians, 248
  its proof as considered _absolutely_, 249
  _comparatively_ with that for the divine institution of bishops, the
    real presence, and the divinity of Christ, 259-274
  multiplicity of proof for it, 251-6
  the opposition of Greeks, Anglicans, and Protestants to it, merely
    negative, 257
  parallel between the opposition to it by sects now, and that to the
    doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation in the fourth, fifth,
    and sixth centuries, 264.

_Primacy_ and _Apostolate_,
  their relation to each other, 78, 98-9, 102, 104.

_Proclus_, Patriarch of Constantinople,
  calls Peter first prelate of the Apostles, 216.

_Proofs_, the different sort of, and their whole sum, to be considered, 8
  different sorts of, and the principal here used, 246
  multiplicity of, for the Primacy, 247
  as considered _absolutely_, 249
  _comparatively_, 259
  concurrence of four great proofs for the Primacy, 250.

_Prudentius_, calls Peter the first disciple of God, 61.


_Reformers_, distort Paul's censure of Peter, 172
  opposition between them and the Fathers as to Peter's Primacy, 176
  as to Church principles 227, note
  denied the visibility of the Church, 222, note.


_Sacraments_ and _Symbols_ lead from the visible to the invisible, 192.

_Sense_, in writing, definition of, 266, note.

_Socrates_ and _Sozomen_, their canon respecting the bishop of Rome, 252.

_Stephen_, bishop of Dora, describes Peter's Primacy, 56, 83.

_Stephen_, bishop of Larissa,
  makes all the Churches of the world to rest in Peter's confession, 62.

_Symmachus_, Pope A.D. 498-514
  likens the unity of the Apostolic See to that of the Trinity, 196.


  why our Lord gave Peter a name drawn from figures of Himself, 11
  says the Church is built on Peter, 15
  expresses Peter's supreme power, and distinguishes his sphere from
    that of John, 91
  ascribes the decision in the council of Jerusalem to St. Peter, 150, 164
  referred to, as defining the Church, 223
  and as explaining the term Catholic, 237, 238
  sets forth Church unity, 224
  denies that Peter's doctrine was censured, 175
  calls the Catholic Church _near to Peter_, 241
  says the Lord left the keys to Peter, and through him to the Church, 241
  his rule not to search for the truth among heretics, 261
  referred to, on the principle of tradition, 275.

_Theodore_, Abbot of the Stadium at Constantinople, addresses Pope
    Pascal I. as Peter, and beseeches him to exert his Primacy, 56
  calls Pope Leo III. father of fathers, &c., 216.

_Theodoret_, says _stone_ a title of our Lord, 10
  terms Peter the most solid rock, 15
  ascribes the decision in the Council of
  Jerusalem to St. Peter, 151
  recognises Peter's Primacy, 161 and 163.

_Theophylact_, says that Peter confirms not only the Apostles, but
    all the faithful to the end of the world, 52
  interprets John xxi. 15-17, of supreme power over the Church given
    to Peter, 80.

_Thomas_, St., of Canterbury, sees in Paul's visit to Peter a proof
  of his Primacy, 165.


  that of the Father and the Son the archetype of the Church's unity, 195
  fourfold in the Church, of mystical influx, charity, faith,
    visible headship, 181-196
  texts on the Church's unity, referred to 220, 273, n. 27
  Protestant notions of the Church's unity, 222
  that of Anglicans, 222
  that of distinguishing between internal and external unity, 225
  that of agreement in fundamentals, 232.


_Valentinian_ III., his constitution on the Primacy quoted, 255.

_Vincent_ of Lerins, referred to, on principle of tradition, 275.

_Vitringa_, sets forth a Protestant notion of unity, 225-8.

_Voss_, on the Creed, referred to, 236.


_Walemburg_, the brothers, referred to, 233.


_Zaccharia_, his works, referred to, 253.

_Zeno_, St., quoted, 15.



  v. 29                         17
  x. 25                         16
  xii. 1                        18
  -- 4                          18
  xvii. 5                       18
  -- 15                         17
  -- 19                         16
  xviii. 17                     21
  xxii. 1                       19
  -- 10                         19
  xxv. 25                       16
  -- 26                         16
  -- 30                         16
  xxvii. 36                     16
  xxx. 18                       16
  xxxii. 28                     17
  xl. 51-2                      16
  xlix. 10                     215


  ii. 10                        16


  ii. 3-9                      215
  x. 14                        215
  xii. 2                       156
  xiii. 17                      17
  xvi. 3                       155


  i. 1-3                       215
  xx. 18                       215


  xxvii. 33                     87


  xxvi. 20                      87


  xii. 45                       87


  ii. 9                         75
  xlvii. 2                       3
  lxix. 26                     123
  lxxxii. 6                     25
  cviii. 8                     123
  cxvii. 22                      9
  cxxxi. 13, 14                  4


  viii. 1                      136


  vii. 3                        16
  ix. 6                        103
  xxviii. 16                  9, 24
  xl. 9-11                      72


  xxiv. 33                      72


  ii. 35                         9
  ix. 26                         5


  i. 4-6-9                      16


  v. 2                       42, 72


  iii. 9                         9


  l. 11                        138

1. MACC.

  ii. 2-4                       16


  i. 1                          23
  ii. 6                         42
  iii. 1                        17
  v. 14                       3, 230
  x. 1                       11, 65
  -- 2                       87, 89
  -- 5                         134
  -- 7                         130
  xii. 3                     84, 90
  xv. 24                       134
  -- 30                        133
  xvi. 13-19                    12
  -- 15                      19, 93
  -- 16                 19, 64, 93, 94, 112
  -- 17-20                      95
  -- 18          2, 94, 98, 103, 139, 163, 219, 221
  -- 19                     102, 103
  xvii. 1                       87
  -- 23                         34
  -- 24                      34, 90
  -- 27                      35, 90
  xviii. 1                     100
  -- 2                          38
  -- 17                        221
  -- 18                    65, 102, 221
  -- 21                         92
  xix. 23                       93
  -- 27                         93
  -- 28                        215
  xx. 20                       100
  -- 27                         87
  xxiii. 8                      44
  -- 9                          26
  xxvi. 36                      34
  -- 40                         90
  -- 69                         85
  xxviii. 18                 68, 102
  -- 19                         74
  -- 19, 20                   3, 221


  i. 16                         70
  -- 16, 17                  18, 28
  -- 18                         18
  -- 36                       85, 90
  ii. 25                     84, 90
  iii. 11                       84
  -- 13                       5, 65
  -- 14                         11
  -- 17                         16
  -- 16-19                      86
  iv. 38                        71
  v. 35                         33
  -- 37                         87
  xiii. 3                       87
  xiv. 33                       87
  xvi. 6                        66
  -- 7                          85
  -- 10                      84, 90
  -- 15                  68, 74, 102, 138
  -- 15-17                     130


  iv. 40, 41                   133
  v. 3                          71
  -- 10                         18
  vi. 4                         84
  -- 12, 13                     65
  -- 14                         11
  -- 14-17                      86
  viii. 24                      71
  -- 45                      85, 90
  -- 51                         88
  ix. 32                     85, 90
  xi. 5                        261
  xii. 41, 42                   93
  xv. 9                        261
  -- 22                         87
  xviii. 2                     261
  -- 34                         38
  xx. 20-23                     40
  xxii. 8                       88
  -- 22                         57
  -- 24                        100
  -- 24-30              39, 41, 57, 58, 59
  -- 26           6, 141, 193, 194, 206, 210, 219, 221
  -- 29                        215
  -- 32       21, 49, 51, 54, 55, 101, 104, 141, 219, 221
  xxiv. 29                   68, 102


  i. 14                        178
  -- 35-42                       8
  -- 42                         18
  -- 43                      89, 94
  -- 44                         88
  iv. 23                       138
  v. 5-9                       131
  vi. 21                        71
  -- 67, 68                     93
  x. 11-14-16                   72
  -- 11-16                       4
  -- 16                     104, 139
  -- 34                         25
  xi. 16                        92
  -- 52                        191
  xiii. 6                       92
  -- 13                         43
  --  34-36                    183
  xiv. 8                        92
  -- 12                         26
  -- 16                      26, 188
  -- 16-18                     183
  -- 16, 26                 184, 230
  -- 20                        182
  -- 26                        184
  xv. 1-2, 5-7                182
  -- 9, 15                      26
  -- 12, 13, 17                183
  -- 22-24                     129
  -- 26                        221
  -- 27                        126
  xvi. 7, 13-15                184
  -- 13                         43
  xvii.                          1
  -- 11, 21                    195
  -- 12, 13              57, 65, 190, 194
  -- 17                        221
  -- 21                   129, 180, 221
  xx. 21                    122, 139
  -- 21-23                     102
  -- 23                         26
  xxi. 1-14                     71
  -- 2                          88
  -- 15               19, 73, 104, 139, 219, 221
  -- 16, 22                 157, 158
  -- 18                         82
  -- 21-22                      91


  i. 4-8                   69, 102, 221
  -- 8                         126
  -- 15                        119
  -- 15, 16, 20, 21, 22        123
  ii. 13                       119
  -- 14                         85
  -- 13-16                     125
  -- 14, 27                    119
  -- 32                        126
  -- 36                        126
  -- 37                         85
  -- 37, 38                    119
  -- 37, 38, 40, 41            127
  -- 44                        129
  iii. 2-8                     131
  -- 4                         119
  -- 11, 12                    119
  iv. 3                         85
  -- 4                         128
  -- 7, 8                      128
  -- 32                        129
  v. 2                         145
  -- 8, 3, 9                   144
  -- 12-14                     133
  -- 15-16                     133
  -- 29                      85, 119
  viii. 14                     137
  -- 14-22                     135
  ix. 32                    138, 168
  -- 31-32                     145
  -- 39-41                     132
  x. 1-6                       138
  x. 10                         21
  -- 10-16                     139
  -- 19                        141
  -- 28                        140
  -- 33, 43-47                 141
  xi. 1-4                      142
  -- 3, 17, 18                 173
  -- 18                        156
  xii. 1-5                     152
  xv. 6-11                   69, 147
  -- 7                          21
  -- 12                        148
  -- 28                        149
  -- 36                        146
  xvi. 4                     69, 149
  xvii. 28                     115
  xx. 28                     69, 74, 75


  i. 11                         54
  -- 25                        221
  v. 5                         183
  viii. 15                      26
  -- 17                         26
  ix. 4-5                      167
  xii. 5                       178
  xv. 8                        167
  -- 9                         168
  xvi. 7                       161
  -- 25                         51


  i. 7                          51
  -- 12                     160, 161
  iii. 11                       25
  -- 22                     160, 161
  v. 1-5                        69
  ix. 5                     160, 161
  x. 4                         112
  -- 17                        192
  -- 18                        214
  xii. 7-13                    186
  -- 11                     185, 188
  -- 12                     191, 194
  -- 13                        192
  -- 27                        115
  xiii. 12                      26
  xiv. 33                      221
  xv. 1-9                       67
  -- 5                         160


  i. 21                         51
  iv. 17                       230
  viii. 23                     161
  x. 6                          70


  i. 16-19                     162
  -- 18                     171, 174
  ii. 1-2                   165, 171
  -- 7-9                    166, 168
  -- 8-9                       168
  -- 11-14                     169
  iii. 7                        22
  -- 16                         23
  v. 19, 20                    221
  vi. 16                       214


  i. 9, 22                     178
  -- 10                         29
  -- 22                     157, 197
  ii. 20                         9
  -- 21                         24
  iii. 5                       137
  -- 6                          51
  -- 10                        198
  iv. 4                   194, 197, 221
  -- 7-16                      186
  -- 8, 11                     197
  -- 11                 59, 105, 188, 193
  -- 12                     187, 193
  -- 12-13                     106
  -- 13                     185, 187
  -- 14                        187
  -- 15                     157, 230
  -- 25                        181
  v. 23                   191, 197, 230
  -- 23, 27                    157
  -- 27                        221
  -- 30, 32                      4


  i. 17                        104
  -- 18                     157, 194
  ii. 6                         51
  -- 9                         188


  ii. 16                        51


  i. 15                         87
  iii. 15                     4, 221


  ii. 2                        275


  i. 5                         146
  ii. 11                       221
  -- 14                        221
  iii. 10                      261


  i. 3                         104
  xiii. 8                       44
  -- 20                        104


  ii. 25                       221
  v. 3                         153
  -- 10                  51, 53, 74, 75


  i. 4                         197
  -- 14                         31
  iii. 2, 3                    230
  -- 16                        171


  i. 17                        204


  i. 1                           6
  v. 6, 7                       32


  18                           230


  ii. 27                        76
  iii. 2                      53, 54
  -- 7                       13, 103
  vii. 9                       140
  xvii. 14                     103
  xix. 15                       76
  xxii. 16                      13


       *       *       *       *       *

Archaic spelling has been retained.
Punctuation errors corrected without comment.
Footnote markers in original book are inconsistent. Some come before
 the reference cited, some after, some in the middle.
oe ligature not in latin-1 character set, replaced with oe
Apparent typesetting errors corrected as noted below:
Pg 18 begun changed to began (in the last days He began)
Pg 43 ensample changed to example (given you an example)

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