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care to keep shy of it. I also quoted "feed my lambs,—feed my sheep"—" To thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven,"— "Blessed art thou, Simon,"—and "when thou art anointed confirm thy brethren," &c. All these texts, and more, did I quote, and the gentleman has had my authority before him. I shall now strengthen my quotation from the fathers, adducing overwhelming facts to prove that Peter was bishop of Rome and that the bishops of that see have Ever been regarded in the Catholic church as his successors. Many of my hearers may suppose that this matter is buried in the night of time— that history is either silent, or not sufficiently clear upon it. But when they hear the splendid testimonies I am going to adduce, they will change their minds on this subject, and confess that, from time immemorial, in the very earliest ages, the church was precisely the same, in its faith, its sacraments, its hierarchy, its clergy, &c. &c. that the Catholic church is at the present day. (Here bishop Purcell held up the map of the succession of popes from the first, Peter himself, down to the present pontiff, Gregory XVI.; the names of all the most eminent men in the church; the date of the establishment of the gospel in the various countries of the world, the origin and authors of the various heresies and schisms, their condemnation by general councils, or synods, &c. &c.) let any other exhibit such an array!
Christ Jesus said to his disciples "go, teach all nations." They went! they preached every where, and the world believed! before their death they ordained others whose names are here faithfully recorded. Here is the ecclesiastical history of Eusebius, and according to the pun upon his name (you see by us) you will see by him what a flood of light irradiates this subject. Eusebius wrote in the 4th century, and to remove all suspicion I bring before you the translation of his history by a Protestant minister, C. F. Cruse, A. M. Assistant Professor of the university of Pennsylvania, 2d. edition, revised and corrected by the author. [The reading was interrupted by the half hour's expiring.*]
Four o'clock, P. M. Mr. Camprell rises— . ,
Is the original Greek of Irenaeus extant? [The bishop intimates, 'JVo.'] Of what authority, then, is the version from which he reads t I have never read in Irenaeus nor seen quoted from him a warrant for the assumption that Peter was ever bishop of Rome 1 But of this again—
After raising such a dust as the gentleman has about Phocas and Gregory, it has become necessary for me to re-state my argument.
Gregory the great wrote to Mauritius, requesting him to induce John, bishop of Constantinople, to give up his claim to the title of universal father. Mauritius would not do it. Gregory the great, is supposed by all antiquity to have harbored a grudge, or bad feeling towards Mauritius, because of this; and therefore his exultation at his death, and his easy recognition of the pretensions of his murderer, which acquiescence, on his part, secured the compliance of Phocas with the wishes of Gregory, and secured to his successors the title of universal patriarch, or pope—
[Bishop Purcell here observed, that Phocas was not the murderer of Mauritius.]
* The extract referred to will be found in a subsequent speech. Very well, I have the authority of Gibbon for my assertion—not for saying that he killed him by his own hands: but by his authority, as he lays to Phocas the blood of Mauritius and his seven children, on the principle, qui facit per alterum, facit per se. He does himself what he does by an other. The said Phocas did afterwards, Barronius being a faithful witness, give the title of universal bishop to Boniface, Gregory's successor, and who can infer any thing else from all the circumstances, than I have done?!
I thought the gentleman was about to produce authority to prove that Sylvester did call the council of Nice. This, I again assert he cannot do. If he think he can, let him attempt it, and we will show he cannot. We, however, do assert on the authority of Eusebius, and all ancient history, that Constantine the great did call the council of Nice ; and we affirm on equal authority, that the pope's legate did not preside in that council. Whether Hosios did is problematical. It is inferred from the fact of his being present: but there is no historic authority for it. But all this is very subordinate and of little value. The whole question rests upon the inquiry, What office had Peter? What was his ecclesiastical power and patronage? Was Peter the prince of the apostles? Was he made the vicar of Christ? Ay, this is the question! It requires explicit—nay, positive scripture authority—where is it?
The gentleman offers several passages to this point. I shall examine the prominent texts, and begin with the 16th chapter of Matthew.—I read from Griesbach's Greek Testament. In this chapter, Christ asks his disciples the question, " Who do men say that I am?" and afterwards asks them, "But who say ye that I am?" and Peter answered: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God;" "and Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed are you, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father, who is in heaven: and I say also to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my congregation and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it." Matth. xvi. 13—18.
"Upon this rock:" was Peter this rock? The words sound much alike, (Petros and Petra). Let us examine the passage. One of the internal evidences of the truth of the apostolic writings is, that each writer has something peculiar to himself. So has every speaker and teacher, that hasappeared amongst men. Jesus Christ himself had his peculiar characteristics. One of his peculiarities most clearly marked by the four evangelists is, that he consecrated every scene and circumstance and topic of conversation to religion or morality. A few examples, out of many that might be given, must suffice. When standing by the sea of Galilee, he says to the fishermen, who were casting their nets into the sea: "follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." At the well of Samaria, he says to a Samaritan woman, from whom he asked a drink—" Whoever shall drink of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst: but it shall be in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." While with his disciples in the temple, and seeing the sheep going up to be sacrificed, he says: "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me ;" and he speaks of himself as the true shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep. His disciples having forgotten to take bread, when embarking on the lake, and when talking about it, he took occasion to say: "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees." When on Mount Olivet, among the vines and olives, he says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser." And when looking at the temple, he says: "Destroy this temple, and 1 will build it in three days."—So in the passage before us. He asks his disciples an all important question, in reply to which, one of them who happens to be named Peter, utters the great truth, upon which he is to found his church forever: "Thou Art The Christ, (the Messiah), The Son Of The Living God." Jesus turns to him and says: "Thou art stone, and upon this rock (on this great truth which flesh and blood has not revealed to thee), I will build my church."
Ei ov riirjot, x-xi tri turn rn vert*—" ei su Petros, kai epi taute te petra" —' You are Peter and upon this petra,' strikes the ear of a Grecian as 'thou art stone and upon this rock,' strikes the ear of an English man; and as we have seen is a part of the Savior's peculiarity. The construction of language requires that the word "this" should refer to something antecedent different from thou, or you. They are different in person and in case. But not only does the Savior's peculiar characteristics, and the change of person from "thou" the personal, to this the demonstrative, fix the sense: but other considerations of great moment, forbid any other interpretation. For let me ask, why did Jesus propound the question to his apostles—why did he elicit from them so great a truth, if in the solemn declaration which immediately follows, he meant to pass by that truth and allude to Peter alone. This would be a solecism unprecedented—a case unparalleled. The whole authority of the christian religion and all its excellency is embraced in the radical ideas which had been for the first time pronounced by the lips of man. There are, indeed, but three cardinal ideas in all christian doctrine: for there can be but three cardinal ideas about any being. Two of these are distinctly embodied in Peter's confession of faith. The whole three are, 1st the person, 2nd the office, and 3rd the character of Christ. Beyond these—person office and character, what conception can mortals have of our Redeemer? Peter mouthed of these, the two which gave value to the third—The person and the mission of Jesus. He was the first mortal who, distinctly and intelligibly avowed the faith, in the person and mission of Jesus the Nazarene, upon which the empire of the ransomed race shall stand forever. This is the good confession spoken by Jesus himself at the hazard of his life, before Pontius Pilate, of which Paul speaks in terms of the highest admiration.
This great truth deservedly stands forward under the bold metaphor of the Rock. But still more creditable to this truth,—not" flesh and blood," but the Heavenly Father first uttered it from Heaven. On the banks of the Jordan, when Jesus had honored his Father in his baptism, his Father honored him; and was it not worthy to be honored by proclaiming it from the opening sky, "This is my Son, the beloved in whom I delight," while the descending Dove marked him out? A Pagan poet said,
"Never introduce a God unless upon an occasion worthy of him;"*
And who feels not the propriety of such an introduction here; for when first spoken, no angel in heaven, nor man on earth, could introduce the Messiah, in his proper person, but his own Father. Now,
* Nec Deus iutertit nisi dignus vindice nodus—Inciderit.—Hor.
because Peter was the first to utter it, Jesus says to him: "I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
What a controversy there has been about these keys. Jesus gave them to Peter alone—not to him, his heirs, and successors forever! I was denoted as heterodox a few years since, because I alleged that the opening of the reign or kingdom of heaven, by Peter to Jews and Gentiles, was the true exposition of the keys. But I am glad to see this view promulged now from various reputable sources, even from Trinity College, Dublin. Peter opened the kingdom of heaven on the day of Pentecost, and by divulging a secret never told to that day, viz. "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made that Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." This annunciation of the coronation, or Christing, that is anointing of Jesus king and governor of the universe, was a new revelation made on the Pentecostian morn by Peter. He declared remission on that day to 3000 souls, and introduced them into the kingdom of the Messiah. Again, when it pleased God to visit the Gentiles in the family of Cornelius, a Roman centurion; an angel sentfrom heaven,commanded him to send for Peter to Joppa to come and tell him and his relations "words by which himself and his friends might be saved." He did so. He sent, and Peter came. Why thus call upon Peter? Because Christ's gifts are without repentance. He had given him the keys. He therefore must open the two-leaved gate, and introduce both Jews and Gentiles into the kingdom. This being once done, needs not to be repeated. The gates of heaven have not since been locked. There is no more use for the keys. Peter has them yet. He took them to heaven with him. He did not will them to any heir or successor. The popes are fighting for shadows. Heaven never trusted such gentry with the keys. They might take into their heads to lock the heretics out. I thank God that he gave them to Peter, that Peter opened the gates of the kingdom of heaven to us all, and that as the popes cannot shut them, we do not need them a second time. Peter will guard them, till he who has the key of David, who opens and none can shut, will appear a second time. Thus we dispose rationally, and I think scripturally, of this grand text.
The next text upon which confidence is placed by my opponent, is where Christ says to Peter, "Feed my sheep, feed my lambs." Language has no meaning but from the context. Every word serves to fix the meaning of its contextural associates. We must read the 21st chapter of John's Testimony, from the beginning, if we would correctly understand this passage. The facts are: Peter and some of his brethren had returned to Galilee, disconcerted and overwhelmed with the events of the day. They felt themselves destitute, forsaken, and in need. While their master was with them he provided for them in some way. He could say, when I sent you without scrip or staff or money, did you lack any thing? They answered, no. But he was gone, and they knew not what to do. In this distress, Peter says " I am going a fishing," and the rest accompany him: but they toiled all night and caught nothing. In the morning they see the Savior walking on the shore; they know him not. He says to thorn, "Children, have you any meat?" They answer,"no." He tells them to cast on the other side of the bark. They do so and take a large
number of fish. Peter, when he knew it was the Lord, girt his fisherman's garment around him, leaped into the lake, and swam ashore. They dine together, and after they had eaten to satiety, Jesus says to Peter, "Do you love me more than these?"
My construction of these words is, "Do you love me more than these fish, or these victuals." He then says to Peter, "Feed my lambs:" and the fact before him and all the circumstances say, I will feed you.
The bishop's construction is, "Do you love me more than these disciples love me V But how could Peter answer such a question? Was he omniscient to know how much his companions loved his master. In that case he would have said, "Lord I love thee, but I do not know how much my brethren love thee; they also love thee, but I know not whether I love thee more than they do." But suppose he could have known, then I ask, was it comely to ask so invidious a question? Would not they have felt themselves disparaged, if Peter had said, "Yes Lord, I love thee more than all my fellow apostles love thee!!!"
Peter had erred. He had become discontented—had forgotten his duty to his master, and had betaken himself to his former occupation of fishing, and induced the rest to join him. Christ asks him solemnly, "Do you love me more than these fish, these boats, nets, apparatus, or these victuals, this worldly employment 1 if so, cease to spend your time in providing food for yourself; but feed my sheep and lambs, and I will provide for you." Besides, he having caught nothing till the Master appeared, was a very striking lesson, which I presume Peter never forgot. I confess, I think the gentleman's interpretation of sheep as bishops, and lambs as laity, most singularly arbitrary and fantastic, and needs not a grave reply. So we dispose of the second grand text on which the church of Rome has leaned with so much confidence for so many ages.
My learned opponent has not yet afforded us evidence for his assumption of official supremacy for Peter. These texts reach not the case. They do not institute a new office bestowed on Peter but are tokens of esteem, for reasons personal. Every privilege he received was on account of some personal pre-eminence, not because of an office which he held. The canon law has decreed that a personal privilege doth follow the person and is extinguished with the person. Now as all the honors vouchsafed Peter were in consequence of his promptness, courage, penitence, zeal, &c. they never can become the reasons of an hereditary office. His supremacy, or rather superiority, or primacy, most naturally arose from his being one of the first, if not the first convert—the oldest of Christ's disciples; because he was prompt, decided, courageous, zealous, ardent, and above all, he was a married man, had a wife and family. And although this fact might not comport with his being the fountain of papal authority, it obtained him an honor above John the bachelor, and all the bachelors of that age!!
Once more on this subject—let me ask, who made a more voluntary surrender of himself to his master—who more promptly forsook all that he had, than he—who, when his Lord asked, will ye also leave me, with more ardor said; "Lord, to whom shall we go but to thee; for thou hast the words of eternal life V Who more courageously in the time of peril, drew his sword to defend his Master? who, when