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founded yet another Episcopal chair-the chair of Antioch,-aye, and that he occupied it seven years before he ever set his foot in Rome. Surely, then, the Bishops of Antioch, who were as much the successors of St. Peter to his Episcopal Chair as those of Rome were, would have had the first right to the vicarage, claimed by the latter; and if between the two chairs it had not at once fallen to the ground, it would have been a miracle indeed. For this reason, too, the Church of Rome is yet, for her own sake, compelled to urge her pretensions to divine power, by virtue of this power having descended from St. Peter, through the persons of her Popes. In fact, had St. Peter never been Bishop of Rome, yet the Bishops of Rome being his appointed successors to the vicarage of Christ, would be entitled to divine authority all the same. But Rome having no means whatever of proving this, her only resource is to insist on the Roman Episcopacy of St. Peter, as a kind of historical testimony to his vicarial power having descended from him to his successors ; not because they are Bishops of Rome, but because St. Peter, who was Bishop of Rome, appointed them to the vicarage of Christ.
We need not direct the attention of our readers to the utter flagrancy of such a proof; yet, for argument's sake, we will, for one moment, here admit it-admit that every assertion of the Church of Rome is true—that Christ named St. Peter to be his Vicar-General on earth—that St. Peter was Bishop of Rome —that he appointed (for we will even overlook the embarrassing contradictions of the Romish tradition) St. Linus to be his successor, both to his Episcopal Chair and to his vicarial authoritythat the latter appointed, in the same quality, St. Anacletus, and St. Anacletus again St. Clement. But here we must pause. It is a fact of history, which admits of no contradiction, that, already in the very earliest times of the Church, the Popes of Roine were elected, AFTER THE DEATH OF THE PRECEDING POPE,* by the provincial bishops and the whole community. In all probability, the immediate successor of Clement was so elected; of one of his next successors we know it for certain.
* The meaning of “Pope" is identical with that of our “papa,” used by children, and as a term of endearment for “father.” This is testified by Hesychius, who says, sub τοce, παπάξειν : πάππα του πατρός υποκόρισμα πεποίηται δε η λέξις από των παιδίων, και λέγει τους πατράσι, πάππα. All bishops were originally styled by the common title of “ Pope.” 'Most of the letters addressed to Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, bear the superscription “ Cypriano Papae," and by the Roman clergy (Ep. xxx.) he is saluted “Beatissimus ac Gloriosissimus Papa. The Alexandrian Presbyter Dionysius calls his bishop Tòv parágrov rátav, (Euseb. H. E. vii. 7.) St. Augustine and others are so styled by Hieronymus (Ep. xxxix. 68, 72, 75, &c.) It was not till the days of Gregory VII. that the title became the exclusive property of the Bishops of Rome. (Th. Ruinart. not. ad Gregor. Turon. Hist. iv. 26.)
Alleged Scriptural Authorities.
Under any circumstances, the incontrovertible conclusion to be drawn from the fact is this :- The Bishops of Rome, if ever they were, ceased again to be the Vicars of Christ on earth, when the last bishop, in whose PERSON that authority was vested, died without having appointed his successor; for the next bishop being elected by the provincial bishops and the community at large, who had only the power to elect a Bishop of Rome, but could not possibly endow him with the divine authority of a Vicar of Christ
, thereby became a simple bishop of Christendom. In whatever way the Church of Rome may turn the question, in whatever manner she may shift her ground, she will, on all sides, encounter the same insurmountable difficulty; and with the benefit of all her fundamental assertions, and the fullest latitude of her tradition granted to her, she will yet be unable, by a consistent argument, to show that the divine authority of Christ continued to descend by the Popes beyond the commencement of the second century of our era.
We will now proceed to examine the real claims to universal authority advanced by the Church of Rome. For the first part of her assertion she points to the testimony of Holy Scripture, St. Matthew xvi. 18, 19, and St. John xxi. 15. The latter passage has the words addressed by our Lord to St. Peter: “Feed my lambs;" (Booke tà ápvía uov; pasce agnos meos ;) which Rome construes into Christ having appointed St. Peter to be his Vicar-General on earth, contending that the meaning of BookeLv, pascere, is “to rule,” “imperium aut dominatum exercere." We need not say that she is unable to refer to one single passage, from either profane or sacred writers, in which the word has been used in that sense ; and the utter inadmissibility of her interpretation is therefore candidly admitted, even by some of her most zealous adherents, (Steph. Babuzius in notis ad Servatum Lupum, p. 425, seq: ;) nay, it is acknowledged by the enlightened Pope, Silvester II., that the charge of feeding the flock of Christ was not given to St. Peter alone, but to all other bishops of the Church, (De Episcoporum et Sacerdotum officiis in Jo. Mabillan. Analectorum, tom. ii. p. 217.) But, above all, we have St. Peter's own comment upon the words of his Divine Master, when he thus exhorts the elders of the Churches of Asia Minor : “ Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof,
not as ruling over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”—(1 Pet. v. In the second passage quoted, St. Matthew xvi.18, 19, the words " And I
say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, [a rock,] and upon this rock I will build my Church.” It is our Lord again who thus speaks to his disciple. Among the old Fathers there is a great diversity of opinion as to the interpretation of
“rock” (Trérpa, petra) in this place. For our own part, we as freely admit its reference to St. Peter,* as the learned Roman Catholic Du Pin admits that the priınacy of the Popes cannot be proved by the sentence, (De antiq. eccles. discipl. diss. iv. cap. i. i. p. 305.). Indeed, all it shows is, that Christ called his first-chosen disciple the foundation of his Church; certainly not, however, to the exclusion of his other disciples, as clearly appears from St. Matthew xviii. 18; St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephes. ii. 20; and Rev. xxi. 14. But what does the whole passage, in reference to the pretensions of Rome, really prove ? The words of our Lord are truth: will she deny it? Or will she assert that the history of the last sixteen centuries is but a tissue of fictions and of lies? If not, let her read that history; and on every page she will find it inscribed in indelible characters of pride and ostentation of hatred and malice-of
superstition and idolatry—of crimes of every kind and every huethe Church of Rome is not the Church of Christ, and the tottering chair of the Popes not the rock on which it was built.
That St. Peter, owing to his individual character, and to the distinction shown to him on more than one occasion by his Divine Master, was possessed of high authority among the other Apostles, no one will deny ; but it is equally undeniable that such authority rested only on a voluntary deference yielded to him by his fellow-apostles, and not on a constituted power conferred on him by Christ. He exercised it by virtue of his personal influence, not by virtue of any office. In his character as one of the chosen disciples of Christ, he was superior to no other disciple. He calls himself outpéoßútepos, co-elder, (1 Pet. v. 1;) and surely, if he had been what the Church of Rome asserts, the very representative of Christ on earth—nay, if he had even held a higher authority of any kind than the other A postles—it would have been his duty to claim, instead of silently disclaiming it, when he writes thus to the Churches of Asia Minor :-“ This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you,
* It is more than probable that the language in which our Lord habitually conversed with his disciples was the Syro-Chaldaic. The meaning of the Syriac word Keepho, as well as of the Chaldaic Xb') (Kepha,) is “ rock,” equivalent to the Hebrew 93, which latter is so translated in our version of the Old Testament, (Jeremiah iv. 29 ; Job xxx. 6.). Thence the Greek Knçãs, corresponding to the sound, and nicpos, corresponding to the sense, of the original. Had our first translators herein followed the example of the Evangelists, and of the Latin translators, the Latin word Petrus would be unknown in our language as the surname given by Christ to the Apostle Simon (St. John, i. 42.) and the English “ Rock” as familiar to us as now Petrus is, however strange this may appear. Knpãs cannot correctly be rendered “a stone," as has been done in our version of the passage just alluded to..
Antiochian and Roman Episcopacy of St. Peter.
in which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance : that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour.” We have, therefore, St. Peter's own words for it, that the first part of the assertion of the Romish Church is utterly groundless; and this is moreover attested by the whole of the New Testament. The reason is simple: Rome did not derive her power from Christ; she usurped it by fraud and deception, and then turned to Holy Scripture for supportbut in vain : the Word of God bears witness to no lie.
For the second-the strictly historical part of the assertion of Rome regarding the Antiochian and Roman Episcopacy of St. Peter, she refers exclusively to the testimony of her tradition; although numerous and most important data bearing upon the question may be collected from the gospel of St. John, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles of St. Paul and of St. Peter himself. We will, therefore, first, and distinctly from the tradition, examine the sacred text.
From St. John xxi. 17-19, we have reason to infer that St. Peter died a martyr for the sake of Christ; but where and when, it is not stated. It must have been, however, before St. John added the last chapter to his gospel. This was written certainly after the destruction of Jerusalem, and in all probability between the years 80 and 90. In the early part of St. Luke's account, the apostolic labours of St. Peter form the prominent feature; and it is undeniable, that, having his fixed residence at Jerusalem, (Gal. i. 18; ii. 9,) he had not left Judea previously to his imprisonment by order of Agrippa the Great, shortly before the death of the latter, and after the martyrdom of St. Jamies. This was at Easter, (Acts xii. 3,) undoubtedly in the year 44, (Joseph. Antiq. xix. c. 8, sect. 2; compare xviii
. c. 6, sect. 10.)* God having delivered St. Peter from the hands of the king, he thereupon “ departed and went into another place.” (Acts xii. 17.) From this time to the holding of the Council of the Apostles, St. Luke makes no mention of his name; but we know, from Gal. ii. 11, that he was at Antioch, in all probability at the beginning of the year 46.† At the Council of the Apostles,
* Dr. Scheler (p. 33, seq.) erroneously places these events in the year 45.
+ With the majority of expositors, Dr. Scheler (p. 52) assumes this visit of St. Peter to Antioch to have taken place subsequently to the Council of the Apostles ; but the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians appears to us to bear such positive marks of having been written before the period mentioned, that nothing but blind attachment to a theory intended to remove the difficulties in which the chronology of this portion of the Holy Scriptures is enveloped, can, in our judgment, cause their testimony to be overlooked. A necessary consequence of that assumption is the even still more untenable supposition (Dr. Scheler, p. 51) of the voyage of St.
which was held at the commencement of 49,* St. Peter is again at Jerusalem. (Acts xv. 7.) After this his name appears no further in the Acts.
St. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, i. 11, writes thus : “ I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may be established,” and i. 15, 16, “ I am ready to preach the gospel to you also, for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” He further says, xv. 20, seg.: “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation : but . ...; and having a great desire these many years to come to you, whenever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you . . .; and I am sure, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the gospel of Christ.” To every Christian who believes in the truth of the Apostle's words; nay, to every unprejudiced and well-constituted mind, it must appear indubitable, that, when St. Paul addressed those passages to the adherents of the Christian faith at Rome, there had not then as yet been an Apostle among the latter to receive them as living members into the congregation of Christ's flock, or, to use the expression of St. Paul, “to establish them.” The epistle was doubtless written towards the latter end of 58, or at the beginning of 59. At this period, consequently, St. Peter had not as yet been in Rome; nor was he, nor had he been there on the arrival of St. Paul in the spring of 62, as is clearly proved by the account of St. Luke, Acts xxviii. 24 ; for when the Apostle of the Gentiles called the chief of the Jews together, (ver. 17,) they knew no more of that sect,” (the Christian,) except that it was everywhere spoken against.” (ver. 22.)
The first epistle of St. Peter was written from Babylon. (v. 13.) During the early period of our era, the Asiatic province of Babylon, with its capital of the same name, belonged to the extensive and powerful kingdom of the Parthians, comprising the whole of the Persian empire. The river Euphrates
Paul to Jerusalem, to which he alludes, Gal. ii. 1, being identical with the voyage related by St. Luke, Acts xv. 2 ; for there can be no reasonable doubt but that the journey mentioned Acts xi. 30, (comp. xii. 25,) is meant; and without the difficulty attaching to the “fourteen years” (Gal. ii. 1) there would probably not be a dissenting voice on the subject.
* According to Dr. Scheler, (p. 52,) the Council was not held till the year 52 or 53; and he is supported in this opinion by Ussher, Spanheim, and others. But as it is certain that the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans was written towards or at the beginning of 59, consequently only from five to six years afterwards ; and as his second and third missionary journeys, during which he made a stay of upwards of four years at Corinth and Ephesus alone, fall in the interval, the incorrectness of the above date will, from a perusal of the Acts, become evident. In favour of the year 49 are also Pearson, Petavius, Baronius, and others.