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Tertullian puts this Question. W as any Thing conse al'd from Peter , who was calld the Rock of the Foun. dation of the Church? L. de Præscrip. C. 32.
St Cyprian Epist. 71. Peter , whom our Lord Choje ibe forf, and on whom he built his Church. He re. peats the same Expression L. de bono patientia. And L. de Disciplina, o habitu Virginum he writes thus. Peter to whom our Lord recommends the Care of his Sheep, and UPON WHO M he built and founded his Church.
Bue St Jerom's Words (in Cap. 16. Math. Tom. 6. Edit, Paris, Vet. pag. 73. ) are very remarkable. To Simon (says he) who believed in Christ the Rock, he gave the Name of Peter, and according to the Metaphor of the Rock, IT IS PROPERLY SAID TO HIM , ON, THEE I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.
St Austin likewise , who is the very first of the Fathers you refer'd me to speaks as plainly as the former for St Peter's Person. Count į says he) the Priests even in St Peter's See : observe the Succession in that Rank of Fathers, that is the Rock, which the proud Gates of Hell do not overcome. Aug. in Psal. contra partem Donari. And again in Psal. 69. 6. 4. he writes thus. Peter, the Chief of the Apostles, Door-keeper of Heaven; Peter, who for his Confession was named the Rock, on WHOM the Church was to be built.
Me thinks , Sc , the Current of Antiquiry begins to run somewhat favourably for St Peter's Perjon. But, since one good Turn deserves another, as you sent me to rummage amongst old Books, I shall return your favour with interest, and defire
li. kewise to consult at your Leisure the Fathers quoied by the Author of the Church of Christ shew'd, C. 3. Part. Chap. 2. 5. 3. where, besides those already quoced, you will find above double the Number of those, you referr'd me to, who all apply the Text
of St Mathew to St Peter's Perfon. For the Question between you and me is not, whether some of them have applied that Text to St Peter's Faith, which no Body denies į but whether they positively exclude his Perfon? And the Passages you will be referr'd to by the foremention’d Author , will convince you, they have not.
G. I hope your Lordship will not deny, that St Cyril of Alex. positively excludes his Person.
L. Sr, I shall make bold to deny it. 6. Do’s he not say expressly Dial. 4. de Trin, that Christ gave the Name of the Rock to nothing else bue the
constant and unshaken Faith of the Disciple? L He do's so. But unless you will make him contradict himself, his Meaning can be no other, than that St Peter merited that Title by nothing else but his Faith. Pray, Sr, do's not St Jerom, Epilt. 61. ad Pammachium. Tom. 2. p. 254. say as expressly, that it was not St Peter's Body, but his Faith, that walk'd upon the Water. Super aquas non Corpus Petri ambulaffe fed fidem. And will you conclude from then-, ce," that it was St ferom's Opinion , that St Peter's Body or Person did not walk upon the Waters ?
But nothing can be fairer than to let St Cyril speak for himself : For surely he understood his own Meaning best. His Words (L. 2. in Joh. Ed. Par.an. 1638. Tom. 4. p. 131.) are these. He (Christ) foretold he should no more be callid Simon , buc Peter. Signifying by that word most Properly , that he intended 10 build kis' Church UPON HIM, as upon a most firm and solid Rock. Now, Sr, you cannot save him from manifestly contradicting himself, unless you join with me in Saying, that St Peter, according to this Father , merited the Title ( which Christ bestow'd upon him) by his Faish alone, and received it in his BerSon.
G. But, My Lord, take it now for granted, thar the Texe of St Mathew is meant of St Peter's Pere fon, what Advantage can you make of it for the Proof of his Supremacy? For you can infer no more from it than that the Church was to be built upon St Peter. And so it was to be built upon the rest of the Apoftles according to St Paul Eph. 2. N. 20. Te are built upon
the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. Jesus-Christ himself being the Chief Corner-Stone. 'This plainly puts them all upon the Level. Vind.
L. How industrious are Men to deceive themsel. ves when Interest and Passion inclines them to it! You argue thus. St Paul says, the Church is built upon all the other Apostles jointly with St Peter, therefore they are all upon the Level
. But I deny your Consequence. For, tho she be built upon them all, it do's not follow, that she is built upon them all in the fame Manner : But she may be built upon one in a more eminent Manner than the rest. The Frame of the English Government is built upon king and Par. liament. But do's that pur them upon the Level? or hinder the king from being the supreme Head of all ?
But let us hear S: Paul, Eph. 4. v. 11. 12. And he gave fome Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelifts, and some Pastors and Teachers for the Perfecting of the Saints, for the Work of the Ministry, for the EpiFYING of the Body of Christ. Here ordinary Pastors and Teachers are join'd with Apostles , Prophers, and Evangelifts. And it is equally said of them all, that Chriß gave them for the EDIFYING of his Mystical Body : that is, the Building of his Church. And will you infer from thence, that the Church is built in the same Degree upon ordinary Pastors and Teachers as upon the Apostles themselves? Or that she is not built in a more eminent Manner upon Bishops , than the Inferiour Clergy ? Will you conclude 'from it,
that the Apostles had no Jurisdiction over those, whom St Paul calls Pastors and Teachers, but that they were all upon the Level ? If not, neither can you conclude that St Peter had no furisdi&tion over the rest of the Apostles from St Paul's Saying, that the Church is built upon the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets.
G. My Lord, tho I maintain, that the other A. postles were the Foundation-Stones in the Ecclefiaftical Building jointly with St Peter, I do not deny but he was more remarkably so, than the rest of them. For it may casily be granted, that a peculiar Privilege was design'd him in these Words, and that by him after our Blessed Saviour the Foundation of the Church should be laid for she orber Apostles to build upon amongst both Jews and Gentiles : and if this were what our Lord intended, it was accordingly verified , as we read in the Alts of the Apostles. For he converted 3000 Jews by his first Sermon. Act. 2. ¥. 41. So that here was now a Church, and this Church in an especial Manner buile upon
St Pe. ser according 10 our Saviour's Promise. But then be was so lay the Foundation of the Gentile Church too as well as the Jewish. For he admitted Cornelius a Roman Centa rion into the Number of Christians, Act, 10. . 19. and preach'd the Gospel at Cæsarea. So that here was a perfeet Completion of our Saviour's Promise to St Peter Go far as it contain'd any Prerogative peculiar to himself
. And therefore Christ s Promise that he would build bis Church upon him, means no more, than that St Peter should first after Christ, build his Church, which implies no Superiority over the other Apostles. Vind, P. 19. 20.
L. This , Sr, looks like the last Effort of a Person resolved to persist in the Wrong in Spite of the Itrongest Conviction. However I am glad to hear you own, that St Peter was more remarkably the Fourdasien. Ssone in the Building of the Church than the other
Apoftles, and that it was built upon him in a special Manner. But I deny that our Saviour's Promise to St Peter implies no more than that he should lay the first Foundation of his Church,
1. Because Christ promised to St Peter Math. the 16. what he confer'd upon him fohn the 21. after his Refurrection. But the Commission he then deliver'd to him was not barely to lay the first Foundation of the Church, but to take care of, and govern his whole Flock; therefore his Laying the Foundation of the Church amongst-both Jews and Gentiles was not a full and adequate Accomplishment of Christ's Pro. mise,
2ly. There appears a manifest Difference between these two Propositions , thou shalle built my Church and, my Church shall be built upon thee, tho both may, be verified of one and the same Person. The for mer imports no more than a transient Action, but the latter a continual Dependence. Because every Building, nay every part of it has a continual Dependence upon it's Foundation. Whence it follows that our Saviour's Promise of Building his Church upon St Peter (and that in a special Manner ) imported nothing less, than that every Part of his Church should have a continual Dependence upon him during his Life, and upon his Succeffors after his Death : because the Church-governs ment once established by Christ can never be alter'd without a special Order and Commission from him.
St Peter's Supremacy proved from St John. C.21. 8.15. &c. I
Come now to the Text of St Fohn. For , tho the Sun
premacy was promised to St Peter before our Sam viour's Passion, his Commission was not given him till after his Death and Refurrection.