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withstanding the rebuke, Peter remained one of the twelve, and was commissioned and sent forth as an inspired Apostle, and, it seems to me, that if his reasoning is good against the Primacy, it is equally good against the Apostleship of Peter. Peter denied his Lord thrice, and even cursed and swore. In that he proved himself as unworthy of being an Apostle even as of being the prince of the Apostles. Yet our Lord did not exclude him from the Apostolic college. The learned jurist forgets that our Lord in the promise spoke in the future, and that it was not till converted that Peter was to confirm his brethren. It was possible for Peter, through divine grace, to repent, and I have never heard it maintained that our Lord chose Peter because he was naturally a perfect character. “ Ye have not chosen me,” said our Lord to all his Apostles, “but I have chosen you." Their Apostleship stood not in human virtue, but in divine appointment, divine grace, and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. So also the Primacy of Peter, and whatever the natural imperfections of Peter's character, we suppose it lay in our Lord's power to qualify him for the office to which he designated him, whether that office was the Primacy or some other.

There is something hard-hearted and unchristian in our Protestant Jurist. We fear he has never learned to temper justice with mercy, and is very far from duly appreciating the infinite tenderness of the Gospel, or from sounding the depth of the riches of divine grace. He sees in our Lord's severe language only an evidence of his anger to Peter, and concludes that our Lord could not have rebuked him without withdrawing the blessing he had pronounced upon him. He cannot understand that our. Lord may rebuke in love, and chastise without anger. He will allow no space for repentance, no scope for mercy and forgiveness. He would have been greatly scandalized had he been present when our Lord dined with the Pharisee, and had seen him permit, while he sat at table, Mary Magdalen, the woman who had been a sinner, to wash his feet with her tears and wipe them with her hair. He most likely would have called for the police to transport her to the House of Correction. Alas! the smile of innocence can no longer light up any of our faces, but the tears of penitence may stream from the eyes of us all, and dear are

these tears to our Lord, who came to call not the just, but sinners to repentance, and who while we were yet sinners died for us, and opens his arms and his heart to the very chiefest of sinners, if he repents. He did not spurn the penitent Magdalen, but received her homage, bestowed on her the riches of his grace, and made her as conspicuous for her burning charity as she had been for her disorderly love. Mr. Derby, ourselves, and thousands of others need this example of the Magdalen, this assurance that the tears of the penitent sinner can cleanse, through grace, the soul from its pollutions, and open to us the doors of Paradise, to save us from despair, and to permit us to feel that, if, like her, we repent and bedew the feet of our Lord with our tears, he will not spurn us, but enrich us with his love.

It is true, our Lord reproved Peter after he had blessed him and given him the promise; but not angrily, as if Peter had done something to forfeit his love.

When our Lord said to his disciples that he “ must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and the scribes and the chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again,” Peter rebuked him, and said, Lord, be it far from thee; this shall not be unto thee. But Peter said this, no doubt, as not understanding, at that time, that Christ must needs suffer, and from a tender love and respect to his Master. The reply of our Lord need not be taken in a harsh sense, and necessarily means no more than, Nay, Peter, in wishing these things not to befall me, thou savorest the things that be of men, not the things that be of God, and art opposed to me. These things

, must be, and instead of wishing to avert them, prepare to follow me, and suffer after my example. But be this as it may, why may it not be that our Lord chose Peter to be the prince of the Apostles, and the rock on which he would build his Church, because he was not free from human weakness, because he needed at times repentance and pardon, so that his elevation should not seem to be awarded to his natural virtues, so that he should find in it no temptation against humility, and so that it should be seen that his Church does not stand in human sagacity, wisdom, strength, or virtue, but in Divine grace, and the supernatural assistance of the Holy Ghost ?

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Again, the Romish Church adverts to the gift of keys and relies on the nineteenth verse of the same chapter, but the aucient fathers attached little importance to this verse which so closely precedes the rebuke. Tertullian, of Carthage, who flourished in the next century after the apostles, says, “Clavem interpretationem legis.' Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, says, “ Clavis est scientia scripturarum per quam aperitur janua veritatis.' Chrysostom lived in 393. Eusebius, who lived in 290, born in Palestine in 265, an able and voluminous writer, calls the keys “the word of God.” These seem to be the earliest and most authentic of ancient expositors, and I can refer you to these passages and all others I may

cite. What becomes, then, of the express delegation to St. Peter, claimed by the Romanists, of the exclusive custody of the gates of heaven.”—pp. 11, 12.

Suppose this were so, what then? Tertullian and Eusebius were no saints; the former lapsed into the Montanist heresy, and the latter was affected by Arianism. Whether they say what Mr. Derby alleges, we are unable to say, as he gives no reference, and we have not deemed it worth our while to search through their voluminous works to see if we could find the alleged passages. According to Mr. Derby, or rather the Anglican divine from whom he cites him, Tertullian says, the “key is the interpretation of the Law.” This, if it means any thing, must mean that the key is that which unlocks, or discloses the sense or true meaning of the law. If then Tertullian refers to the keys which our Lord said he would give to Peter, he must mean that our Lord gave to Peter the power to interpret and declare the true sense of the Law, that is, constituted him the judge of the law, as all Catholics hold. If Tertullian says what is alleged, he says nothing against the Catholic interpretation of the power of the keys. Eusebius, we are told, calls the keys the word of God.” This hardly agrees with what Tertullian says, for the interpretation of the word, and the word of God itself, are not precisely the same; but, suppose Eusebius does so call the keys, and that the keys are the word of God, it follows that as they were given to Peter, Peter received the word of God, and is constituted its keeper and interpreter. I see nothing in this inconsistent with the Catholic interpretation of the text.

I have not been able to verify the alleged citation from St. Chrysostom, and therefore know not, if he says it, whether he is speaking of the keys given to Peter, or of some other key. He might very well say what is alleged, for the science of the Scriptures must have been included in the gift of the keys; but St. Chrysostom repeatedly calls St. Peter the "Mouth of the Disciples,” the “Prince of the Apostles,” the “Foundation of the Church,” and distinctly asserts his primacy. In his third Homily on Penance, he says, “Petrus ille apostolorum princeps, in Ecclesia primus, amicus Christi, qui revelationem ab hominibus non accepit, sed a Patre .... hic Petrus (Petrum cum dico, Petram nomino infragilem, crepidinem immobilem, apostolum magnum, primum discipulorum, primum vocatum, et primum obedientem): ille non parvum facinus admisit, sed maximum, qui Dominum negavit : hoc dico, non justum accusans, sed tibi pænitentiæ præbens occasionem, &c.”* St. Chrysostom says, also, what is very much to our purpose, in his seventh Oration, Adversus Judæos, “Petrus itaque post gravem illam negationem, quoniam celeriter suum ipsius peccatum recordatus est. Nulloque accusante dixit peccatum, flevitque amare; sic abluit illam abnegationem, ut etiam primus apostolorum fuerit factus, eique totus terrarum orbis commissus fuerit.+ Again, arguing against the Anomeans and Arians, the holy doctor says,

Nam Pater revelationem Filii Petro dedit. Filius vero et Patris et suam revelationem per totum orbem disseminavit, ac mortali homini omnem in ccelo potestatem dedit, dum claves illi dedit." He

to mortal man all power in heaven, when he delivered to him (Peter) the keys.” I This is sufficient to show how St. Chrysostom understood the keys, and the primacy of Peter, and as Mr. Derby concedes his authority, we hope he will be satisfied. It is a good thing to go to the "fountain heads,” and perhaps had Mr. Derby gone there, he would not have written his Letters. But there was no need of citing the Fathers on this question. Every body knows that to deliver to one the keys, is symbolical of conferring power,


* Tom. 11. p. 353. C. D. I cite the Latin, after Mr. Derby's example, and not the Greek.

7. Tom. 1, pp. 828, 829. C. D. I cite the edition of Gaume Fratres. Paris, 1839.

| In Matthæum, Homil. Liv al. lv, Tom. VII. p. 617. D. See, also, p. 616. A. et seq.

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and what power our Lord conferred on Peter under the emblem of the keys is manifest from His own words : "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” This needs no comment. It is the unlimited power of binding and loosing, and that is all that I have ever understood the Church to mean by the power of the keys.

The assertion of Mr. Derby that the Fathers do not seem to attach much importance to the text in question, may go for what it is worth. A gratuitous assertion requires no refutation. In the early ages of the Church, it was not necessary to defend the primacy of Peter, or of the Apostolic See, for it was not disputed, and hence St. Augustine says, “Rome has spoken, sentence is pronounced, the cause is finished." The tradition was too fresh in men’s minds to be questioned, and we should naturally expect to find little in the early Fathers in defence of it. The Church teaches orally, and her doctors do not ordinarily write in defence of her doctrines unless they are misapprehended or controverted. But the primacy of Peter never rested on this text alone, and the Fathers may

have found other arguments more to their purpose, and even though they understood this as the Church now understands it, they may, without meaning to question or to obscure that understanding, have, as they have so many other texts, accommodated it to other senses.

" Again, the Romish Church relies on the words spoken to St. Peter, feed my sheep, feed my lambs,' the words of our Saviour. But our Saviour said to all his apostles, indifferently, 'feed ye,' 'go into the whole world,' “teach ye the gospel. Whatever power was given to St. Peter was not delegated to his successors by any words I find in the gospel. The Romish Church look principally to St. Peter, but it appears by holy writ that St. Paul was the great apostle to the Gentiles, and the principal if not the sole founder of the Church of Rome.”—p. 12,

Suppose Mr. Derby is not able to find any words in the Gospel,-he means the Gospels,—which prove that the power, whatever it was, given to Peter was delegated



* St. Matt. xvi. 19. NEW YORK SERIES. – VOL. II. NO. I.


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