« ПретходнаНастави »
their mind, is that he was the only Apostle amongst the eleven who had forfeited his rank and authority, and that we have in this place his restoration to the position which they had held without interruption. And here, consequently, another maxim of the Canon Law applies exactly :
"The renewal of a privilege confers no new right, nor does it even confirm an old one [so as to be a fresh grant], but merely maintains whatever held good at first.'— Decretal. Greg. IX. lib. ii. tit. XXX. 4. Accordingly, S. Peter is merely reinstated in whatever position he had acquired in right of the grant in S. Matt. xvi. 9, 18.
It remains to say a few words on one clause of this grant, which has been hitherto passed over in this inquiry. The assumption made up to this point is that the words, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,' are fully glossed by the succeeding words, 'Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth,' &c., and denote the same power of remitting and retaining sins which all the other Apostles received, but no more. And this is the general opinion of the more eminent Fathers. A few examples will suffice in evidence:
ORIGEN.—'What, are the keys of the kingdom of heaven given by the Lord to Peter only? And shall no other of the blessed receive them? But if this promise, “I will give Thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven” be common to others also, so likewise are all the things that are recorded before and after this as spoken to Peter.'Comm. in S. Matt. xvi.
S. CYPRIAN, Doctor.--'Our Lord, Whose precepts and commands we are bound to observe, when settling the honour of a bishop and the constitution of His Church, speaketh the Gospel, and saith to Peter, “And I say unto thee . . . . And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” &c. Thence, through the changes of times and successions, the ordination of bishops and the constitution of the Church is carried down, so that the Church is set up on the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same superiors.'- Epist. xxvii.
S. AMBROSE, Doctor.—' Therefore the Lord gave the Apostles that which previously was part of His own judicial authority. .... Hear Him saying: “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” &c. What is said to Peter is said to the Apostles.'- Comm, in Psalm. xxxviii. 37.
S. Hilary, Doctor.— Ye holy and blessed ones [Apostles), who through the merit of your faith received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and obtained the right of binding and loosing in heaven and in earth.'—De Trinitate vi. 33.
S. GAUDENTIUS OF BRESCIA.—'All the Apostles, when Christ rises, receive the keys in Peter ; nay, rather, they receive the keys of
the kingdom of heaven with Peter, when He saith to them, “Receive the Holy Ghost, &c.”!-Serm, xvi.
S. AUGUSTINE, Doctor.—“The Lord Jesus, as you know, chose before His Passion His disciples, whom He named Apostles. Amongst them Peter, almost always alone, was permitted to be the representative person of the whole Church. Because of that personification of the whole Church, which he alone supported, it was his to hear, “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” It was not one man who received these, but the unity of the Church .... when it was said to him, “I will give thee” that which was given to all.' — Serm. ccxcv. 2, in Nat. SS. Pet. et Paul.
S. LEO THE GREAT, Pope and Doctor.— Because of that which is said to most blessed Peter, “I will give thee the keys,” &c., the right of this power has passed to all the other Apostles also, and the appointment of this decree has descended to all the princes of the Church ; but it is not without reason that what is intimated to all is intrusted to one. For it is assigned to Peter singly, because the person of Peter represents all rulers of the Church.'—Serm. iii. cap. 3.
Nevertheless, some very few (as S. Cyril of Jerusalem) note the absence of this particular clause from the two cognate grants made to the Apostles collectively (S. Matt. xviii. 18, S. John xx. 23), and urge that some special distinction must be intended, some peculiar privilege belonging to Peter alone. And though Roman Catholics are barred from advocating this view, because the general consent of the Fathers is against it, no such restriction binds non-Romans, who are at liberty to take that which is the more devout and reverent line, that no saying of our Lord is mere surplusage, and without a special force of its own. But when we look for an early interpretation which gives to S. Peter more than the common power of binding and loosing, none is to be found save that of Tertullian, namely, that S. Peter first put the key into the lock, and opened the door of faith to both Jews and Gentiles.
Thus, an examination of the glosses of the Fathers on the three texts alleged for the Petrine privilege results in one of two issues. Either there was no such privilege, as distinguished from the joint powers of the Apostolate, conferred on S. Peter at all; or else--and this is the better way—his special privilege was limited to preaching the first Pentecostal sermon, and afterwards converting Cornelius-events which are absolutely incapable of repetition: even God Himself (if it be lawful to say so) not being able to recall the past, so that no one else, after S. Peter had once done these two things, could be the first to teach Jews or Gentiles. No other distinction is named by the ancient Fathers, is claimed by S. Peter himself (Acts xv. 7), or is discoverable in Holy Writ. And,
consequently, if this be the privilege of Peter, it did not merely die with him, but was possible for even himself to exercise not more than twice in his lifetime, so that it is absolutely incommunicable and intransmissible, and incapable of serving as a precedent for any claim whatsoever based on alleged succession to his authority and primacy. If it could be strained to mean anything, it would be that each Pope should start as a missionary pioneer to some country or nation which had not yet received the Gospel. But no Pope has ever done so. With this collapse of the alleged evidence, the whole case for the divine character of the Roman privilege is really gone, and no mind trained in the investigation of testimony, and free from overpowering bias, can do other than dismiss it. But there are various other pleas adduced in its support, one of which, as foremost among them, must now be considered. It is the fact that several titles of honour, dignity, and priority are bestowed on S. Peter in many ancient Christian writings, which are said to imply his unapproachable and pre-eminent authority over the other Apostles. Such epithets are 'first of the leaders’ (TT PWTokopúbalos); 'first in place' (TTPWTOOTátns); ‘chief ruler' (postápxwv); “president' ( póedpos); captain' (åpxnyós); 'prince," "head,' and many similar ones.
Now, what these epithets (none of which, by-the-by, is found till the fourth century) prove, is the high estimation in which the ancient Church held S. Peter, and the fact that it believed him to enjoy some priority amongst the Apostles.
They would be important evidence against any attempt to maintain that, owing to S. Peter's fall and denial, he had, in the belief of early Christians, forfeited his office irreparably (as a strict Novatian might have taught) and had been looked on with a suspicion extending not merely to his rank, but to his teaching, such as we know to have existed against S. Paul.
What they do not prove, nor even seem to prove, is the divine grant of supreme jurisdiction. For they are not authoritative titles, either found in Holy Scripture, or conferred by conciliar decree. The fact that nothing in the smallest degree resembling even the least exalted of them is discoverable in the New Testament deprives them of the mark of revelation ; the fact that they are not common to the whole Church, leaves them without that of universal consent. They bestow nothing, and they define nothing. But what we are in search of is an express bestowal of exceptional privilege, as divinely revealed and clearly defined. The matter may be illustrated thus. The title "Great or Grand Duke' in modern Europe means one of two things, either sovereign authority, as in the case of the Grand Dukes of Baden, Saxe-Weimar, Oldenburg, Hesse, and the two Mecklenburgs, or else membership of the Russian Imperial family.
But the celebrated Duke of Wellington was and is known as the 'Great Duke,' and is frequently so described in English literature, notably in the Laureate's funeral ode. Let us suppose the case of a remote successor of his in the duchy claiming this epithet as hereditary, and as conferring sovereign power, imperial rank, or even precedence over all other English dukes. How would it be treated ? Not by a denial of the fact that the epithet was applied to the first Duke of Wellington, nor yet by an attempt to explain away the epithet itself as a mere piece of rhetoric—rather admitting its entire fitness—but by examining the original patent of the dukedom, in order to ascertain if a clause embodying this particular distinction were part of it. And on its absence being certified, it would be at once ruled that however deserved the epithet might be, it was not conferred by any authority capable of bestowing either civil power or social, precedence, and must therefore be regarded as a mere personal token of popular admiration, conferring no rights whatever on its subject. Nor would the case for the claim to sovereign rank be mended by advancing proof that the first Duke of Wellington was Prime Minister of the Crown for part of his life, and Commander-in-Chief for a much longer period. For it would have to be shown, in the first place, that these posts connoted irresponsibility to any superior ; and in the next, that the patents which bestowed them made them hereditary, and not merely personal. But in S. Peter's case we have the original divine patent, in which no clause of superiority or transmissibility occurs, and no expressions of individual human respect can read an additional title, article, or section into it.
In the second place, the great majority of these epithets occur in documents of the Eastern Church, which has never at any time admitted the Roman claims of supremacy, and which therefore obviously puts no such interpretation on its own language. The Western titles of S. Peter are fewer and far less imposing. And thirdly, not only are equally strong phrases used concerning S. John, and yet more forcible ones concerning S. James, but nearly every one of these special ones is applied to S. Paul as well as to S. Peter; so that even in the modern Roman Church they are grouped together as
VOL. VII.—NO. XIII.
* Princes of the Apostles.'' So too, when the full heraldic titles of an English Duke are set forth, he is described as “the High, Puissant, and most Noble Prince,' --words which scarcely seem to allow of rivalry, but which are common to every Peer of the same grade : while all of them have to yield precedence to a mere Baron who happens to be Lord Chancellor, President of the Council, or Lord Privy Seal.
The investigation of the · Privilege of Peter,' so far as the three most ancient and important sources of testimony, Holy Scripture, early Liturgies, and the comments of the Fathers on the Petrine texts in the Gospels, are concerned, thus results, to say the very least, in failure to establish it. What remains now is rather to find if absolutely conclusive disproof be discoverable ; but that part of the inquiry belongs to the domain of Church history, notably as regards the Councils, which is too extensive to be entered on at present, and must needs be postponed.
ART. II.—THE HISTORY AND DOCTRINES
OF IRVINGISM. 1. The History and Doctrines of Irvingism ; or, the so-called
Catholic Apostolic Church. By EDWARD MILLER, M.A.,
Oxford. Two Vols. (Kegan Paul & Co.) 2. Records of the Council of the Churches.—MSS. It is now nearly half-a-century since London was startled by the announcement that there had been a revival of the miraculous gifts of Pentecost, and that men and women speaking in unknown tongues, and prophesying, were to be heard in the National Scotch Church, in Regent Square, of
1 S. John is described by S. Chrysostom as the 'pillar of all the Churches throughout the world, who hath the keys of the kingdom of heaven' (Hom. in S. Fohann.), while S. Paul is called 'the type of the world, the light of the Churches,' the basis of the faith,''the pillar and ground of the truth.' S. James, yet more strongly, is called by the Clementines, 'bishop of bishops ;' by the Recognitions, i. 68, prince of bishops ;' by Ruffinus, Hist. Eccl. i. I, bishop of the Apostles ;' and by Hesychius, a priest of Jerusalem, quoted by Photius, chief captain of the New Jerusalem, leader of the priests,' 'prince [exarch) of the Apostles,' summit of the heights,' &c.