Asserted By the Ancient Fathers.

And whereunto all the moderne Divines of the Protestant side doe fully assent, without contradiction of any one man.

By SAMUEL DANIEL Master of Arts.

I KING. 7. 21. And he set up the Pillars in the Porch of the Temple: And hee set up the right Pillar, and called the name thereof Jachim: And he set up the left Pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz,

GAL. 2. 7, 8. But contrariwise, when they saw that the Gospell of the Vncircumcision was committed unto me, as the Gospell of the Circumcision was unto Peter: for he that wrought effectually in Peter to the Apostleship of the Circumcision: the same was mighty in mee toward the Gentiles.

Printed Anno 1642.

To the godly and indifferent Reader.

COurteous Reader, I foresee that at the first view of the title of this Booke, you will thinke strange to heare such an assertion affirmed, never being purposely maintained in a particular theme and position by any Divine untill this time. But I pray you first reade, and then judge: I hope you shall find that it is no new broached doctrine, but asserted by many learned Divines of our owne religion, and contradicted by none; I know no Divine, that denies that Peter had a prioritie of order in the Church of the Iewes; I will say no more, I onely desire you to reade the discourse, and I hope you shall finde it a doctrine, not only assented to by all our best Divines, but maintained by all the ancient Fathers, who have written on that Subject; yea, which is most of all, delivered both to them and us, by Christ and his Apostles so plainly in the Scriptures; that in my judgement, there can be nothing more plaine. I grant all the Arguments, that are brought by me from the Scriptures, to prove Saint Peters prioritie in the Church of the Iewes, and Saint Pauls in the Church of the Gentiles, are not de­monstrative, and their conclusions necessarie: the most part are, and the Arguments so strong, that I, in my most serious meditations can­not imagine, how they can bee answered; and those Inferences [Page] that are but probable, being joyned together are strong enough.

Nam, quae non prosunt, singula, multa juvant.

As for the places of Scripture set downe in my first paralell, I grant they doe not all beare witnesse for three degress of Church Governours, the most part doe, and all the rest are plaine enough for two, even for the first two Bishops and Presbiters, which is sufficient to shew the Imparitie of Church-men, and the divine right of Episcopall Government; If ye aske me why I have not set downe the paralell places for the contrarie opinion of my oppo­nents? I answer, because I find not one place-in all the New Te­stament to prove a paritie of Church Governours, nor yet denying an Imparitie; If any Divine will produce one place, from which, so much as a probable conclusion may be inferred, for the Paritie of Church-men, I will say (as the Proverb speakes) Erit mihi magnus Apollo. Well Reader, I begge not thy favour, I hope the truth shall procure thy affection, if thou wilt be pleased but to reade diligently, and consider seriously the doctrine delivered in this discourse, and with indifferencie of judgement ponder the rea­sons on both sides, and the perspicuitie of Scripture, from the which these reasons are drawne; and I hope in the mercie of God, he will make the truth manifest to thy understanding, which the Lord grant for Christs sake:


Archiepiscopall prioritie Instituted by CHRIST.

IOsephus (de bello Iudaico) affirmes, that in the dayes of Ptolomeus, Philopater, Gabbaeus and Theodosius, two Sama­ritans, kept a disputation at Alexandria, against Adro­nicus and other Iewes, for defence of their Temple which stood upon Mount Gerizim, and undertooke to bring proofes of their assertion out of the Law: But they could not doe it, and therefore the King adjudged them to die; Now I professe before all the world, if I doe not prove from the Scriptures of the New Testament, the Order established by Christ, for the Government of his Church under the Gospell to be Hierar­chicall, I shall be content to suffer for my presumption: only, let mee have one thing granted, that if my Opponents doe not prove their Pa­ritie of the Ministers of the Word, and mixt Government, by cleere evidence of Scripture, and convincing Arguments, that they be sub­ject to the same punishment.

But oh! if that Law of the Locrians were in force in this Kingdome, that they who petition for the change and abolishing of old Lawes, and establishing of new, should come with ropes about their necks, willingly offering themselves to suffer for their attempt, if they did not prove the New better then the Old; Alas! I say, what would be­come of many of my Opponents, who are not once able to produce one cleare and plaine testimonie of Scripture for their Paritie, no not any of the three Armies of my opponents, neither those who are for the Presbiterial Government, nor these who stand for Parochial, nor that third sort, who defends the necessitie of Familie exercises, and se­parate Congregations; Nay, which is more, they are not able to prove their Assertions, by any necessarie and immediate consequence drawn from any place in Scripture. Now, this must be held for a ground: That whatsoever is not set downe in Scripture, in plaine and evident termes, nor yet can be drawne from thence by a just and immediate consequence, is only to be counted an humane ordination.

But to come to the point, I will undertake by the assistance of Gods [...] [Page] [...] [Page 1] [Page 2] Spirit, to prove in the following discourse, that our wise and provi­dent Master, and Saviour Jesus Christ, as he appointed degrees of Church officers under the Gospell, so hath he also established an or­der and a prioritie among the chiefe Governours themselves. For he who is wisdome it selfe, appointing a certaine number of chiefe Go­vernours, of equall power and authoritie, and knowing that equalitie breeds confusion, most wisely did appoint, who should be their spea­ker and prolocutor, and order all things in their meetings and assem­blies; and so in this also left us a patterne to follow, in after ages, as his Father gave unto Moses a patterne, both of his worship, and the government of his Church under the Law.

Now, because this doctrine may be subject to mistaking, and the malevolous may calumniate, I will follow the example of the Apo­stle Paul, whose wisdome it was, at all times to prevent calumnies and cavils, as in the Epistle to the Phil. 4.10. to the conclusion of the Epi­stle, being to commend them for their beneficence and liberalitie ex­ercised towards him, lest some malecontents should have suspected his sinceritie and thought, that hee had beene a man that had respected more the fleece, then the flocke, and had set before his eyes in the course of his ministerie, his owne ends and advantage, hee prevents this mistake before he insists in amplifying of their love and kindnesse towards him: I speake not this, saith he, in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever estate I am, therewith to be content, &c. Even so before I enter upon this discourse, I will premise the testimoni [...]s of some Protestant Divines, and some of the precisest straine too, who affirme all that in substance, which I maintaine in this discourse, and these testimonies I doe the rather set downe in the beginning, be­cause I have resolved, not to confirme any thing that I am to deliver in all this Treatise by the testimonie of any Divine, ancient or mo­derne, but only by the Scriptures of the New Testament, wherewith I am able to prove, that the testimonies of all the ancients doe also accord: and this course chiefly I follow, because my opponents use to brag of the Scriptures, as if all that they say were Scripture it selfe, wheras it is nothing else but a meere abusing of the word of God, and throwing of it like a nose of waxe, which way they will; and as Ter­tullian saith, a very murthering of the Scriptures for their owne pur­pose. I know it to bee true, they make the Scripture speake many times, that which neither the Penner nor the Dictator ever minded.

My chiefe purpose in this Discourse is to prove, that as Christ did [Page 3] ordaine certaine men, to be chiefe Governours of his Church: so hath he o [...]dained among these Governours a Prioritie of order, and a prima­cie of moderation: but let no man mistake, and thinke that this Asser­tion doth favour in any wayes, the Popes pretended supremacie but let him consider, that there is a great difference betweene a Primacie and a Supremacie; a dignitie and a degree; a prioritie and a superiori­tie; a primacie of moderation, and a supremacie of Jurisdiction; a dig­nitie of estimation, and a degree of exaltation; a prioritie of order, and a superioritie of power. Primacie of moderation and prioritie of Order, (which cannot be without some dignitie and estimation) may be, yea must be in all companies and incorporations, in all meetings and assemblies whatsoever. And Christ with his owne mouth did ap­point this prioritie of order, among these chiefe Governours, whom he authorized himselfe with equall power and authoritie. Yea, I know no Divine that denyes that Peter had a Prioritie of order amongst the rest of the Apostles, and how can they? for it is evident in the Scrip­tures, that he had it both de jure & de facto, but before I bring Scrip­ture for it, I will produce the testimonies of some Protestant Divines, to prevent cavils, and I will begin with Calvin.

Calvin in the fourth booke of his Institutions, cap. 6. Sect. 8. saith, that the twelve Apostles had one among them to Governe the rest, and it was no marvell, saith he, for nature requireth it, and the disposition of men will so have it, that in every company, although they be all equall in power, there be one as Governour, by whom the rest shall bee dire­cted. There is no Court without a Counsell, no Senate without a Pretor, no Colledge without a President, no Society without a Master. Yea, he saith farther, speaking of the Government of the ancient Church, that every Province had a Archbishop among their Bi­shops, and that the Councell of Nice did appoint Patriarchs, which should be in order and dignitie above Archbishops. It was done, saith he, for the preservation of Discipline, although in this discourse wee may not forget, that it was a thing very rare; For this cause therefore were these degrees especially appointed, that if any thing shall happen in any particular Church, which could not there be decided, the same might bee referred to a generall Synod, and if the greatnesse or diffi­culty of the cause required yet greater consultation, there were added Patriarchs together with the Synods, from whom there could be no appeale, but only to a generall Counsell. This kind of Government, saith he, some call an Hierarchie a name unproper, and not used in the [Page 4] Scriptures, as I thinke: for the holy Ghost would not have us to dreame of any dominion or rule; when question is made of Church-Government; but omitting the name, if we consider the thing it selfe, we shall find, that those old Bishops would not frame any other kind of Government of the Church, then that which God prescribed in his Word, so that Calvin was of opinion, that not only Archbishops are of Gods Institution, but also Patriarchs.

Piscator in his Appendix Ad Analysin Matthaei, pag. 22. grants that Peter was speaker and prolocutor for the rest of the Apostles: wee grant, saith he, that Peter answered in name of the rest of the Apo­stles as their mouth, but not as their Prince and Head, this we deny.

Bucerus de vi & usu ministerij pag. 565. speaking of Bishops and Me­tropolitans, and of their authority over the Churches and Ministers within their Diocesses, and Provinces, he saith, it was agreeable to the law of Christ.

Hemingius in Enchir, pag. 367. saith, that Paul by order and dignitie was superiour to Tim. and Tit. and Tim. in degree and order excelled all the other Presbiters of Ephesus, and that Titus was chiefe Gover­nour of the Cretians. Here this learned Divine acknowledgeth that Paul was an Archbishop, because in order and dignitie above Timothy and Titus, and that Tim. and Titus were Bishops, because both in order and degree above their inferiour Presbiters, which I thinke no man will say was done, but by the speciall ordinance of God.

Iewel in his defence against Harding, 4. Art, pag. 195. saith, that the rest of the Apostles honoured Saint Peter, as the speciall member of Christs body, with all reverence, and so by this speech acknowledg­eth his primacie of moderation, and priority of order.

Willet Synop. pagina 274. saith, that there was a priority of order a­mongst the Apostles themselves, although in respect of their Apostle­ship, they were all of one authority: much more, saith he, should there be order and degrees among the Ministers of the Church, who are in­feriour to the Apostles. And againe he saith, that Paul was ordained the chiefe Apostle of the uncircumcision, and Peter of the Circumci­sion, Gal. 2.2. and further he saith, we also grant, that Peter when hee confessed Christ for and in the name of the rest, had a Primacie of or­der and a priority at that time, who also for, and in the name of the rest, received the Keys of the Church; and thus much saith he, Cyprian ac­knowledgeth, Hoc erant caeteri Apost. quod fuit Petrus, the rest of the A­postles were the same that Peter was, having the fellowship of power [Page 5] and honour, but the beginning is from one, that the Church may ap­peare to be one, De simplicitati praelat. In these words of Cyprians quo­ted by Willet, to confirme his preceding doctrine, acknowledgeth first a prioritie of order amongst the Apostles, next that Peter had this prioritie; thirdly, that Peter was chiefe Apostle of the Circumcision, and Paul of the uncircumcision. Fourthly, hee acknowledgeth that when Peter confessed Christ in name of the rest, and received the keys in name of the rest, that then he received this Prioritie of order. And lastly, confirmes all this by the Testimonie of Cyprian.

Willet in plaine termes speakes for Peters prioritie, pag. 155. Wee de­ny not, saith he, a primacie of order to have beene in Peter, but that hee was the head and commander of the rest, that we deny.

Chemnitius in his Harmony, cap. 50. pag. 517. grants to Peter a prima­cie amongst the Apostles, but denyes that he hath any supremacie a­bove the rest: as it is, saith he, most apparent, that Peter was chiefe a­mong the Apostles, notwithstanding his dominion over the Clergie, can no wayes be proved.

Lysetus pag. 1231. Harmon saith, It is one thing to be first for orders sake among those, who are of equall authority, and another thing to have power and Authority over their brethren, the first we grant Pe­ter received of his Master, but not the second.

Marlorat upon the 1 Cor. 9.5. saith, We acknowledge Peter to have bin the first of the Apostles, as it is ever necessary in all meetings, that there be one to preside, but this primacie of Peters was not a domination, nor a cōmanding power; yea, he saith further, that he had it with the cōsent of all the Apostles, so that by this it appeares, that Marlorat is of this mind, that although the rest of the Apostles grudgedat Iames & Iohns a­spiring to this dignity, yet they were all content that Peter should have it. Dodelius on the Epistle to the Ephesians, written by Ignatius, fol. 240. confesseth that Peter was called the mouth of the Apostles, because he was Ordine princeps, that is first and chiefe in order and precedencie.

Fulk Rh. Test. Gal. 2. Anotat. Therefore it was not lawfull to Peter, to whom by God was committed the chiefe Apostleship of the Circumcision, to forsake this charge and take upon him, the chiefe Apostleship of the Gentiles; and againe he saith, though he came to Rome, and preached at Rome, and died at Rome, yet he was the chiefe Apostle of the Cir­cumcision still, and Paul the chiefe Apostle of the uncircumcision and Gentiles; therefore the Pope might more probably have con­veyed his title of Supremacie from Saint Paul then from Saint Peter.

[Page 6] Perkins on the Galat. cap. 2. The Apostle S. Paul was ordained by God to be the chiefe Apostle of the Gentiles, as St. Peter was of the Jewes; and Iames and Cephas, and Iohn, that were the chiefe Apostles, did ac­knowledge him for their Colleague and gave him the right hand of fellowship. Perkins upon the 2. Galat. ver. 9. which Text makes (saith he) against the Primacie of Peter, and so by consequence against the Supremacie of the Pope, in regard Saint Paul was chiefe Apostle of the Gentiles, who were farre more in number then the Jewes.

Cartwright on the Rhem. Test. (as I remember) on the same place of Scripture hath a very good note to the same purpose.

I could bring the testimonies of many other Divines to prove my assertion if it were needfull, and that both ancient and moderne, only I will use one of Saint Augustines; He writing upon Iohn saith, Petrus Apostolus Propter Apostolatus primatum, &c. Peter the Apostle, because of his Apostolicall prioritie, by the generalitie of a figure, he sustained the person of the Church, as concerning Peter himselfe by nature hee was but one man, by grace one and the first Apostle, but when it was said to him, Tibi dabo claves, universam significabat ecclesians, &c. Augustine here gives unto Peter a primacie and a prioritie, and this, hee saith, he had by grace, that is by the favour and benevolence of his Master, and yet when he recived the keyes he received them in the name of the whole Church, saith he, that is for the benefit of the whole Church. Now, I hope the testimonie of these godly and learned Divines, will defend me, from the aspersion of Poperie: I know all are called Pa­pists by my opponents, that in any wayes opposeth their te­nets concerning the Government of the Church: but the truth is, the Papists and my opponents are both in extremities, and none of them can endure Moderation and a middle course, wherein I am sure the vertue consists. Even as the liberall and charitable man, by the covetous niggard, who is the extreame in defectu, is called prodigall; And againe by the prodigall waster, who is the extreame in excessu is called a niggard; So the meeke, charitable, and moderate Divine by the Papist who is the extreame in excessu, is called a Puritane, and by the Puritane who is the extreame in defectu, is called a Papist.

But for any thing that I shall deliver here, by the grace of God, I shall be as free of poperie as any of the foresaid Divines, for they doe all maintaine all, that I shall say, which in any kind may bee thought to smell of poperie, and not they only, but all the Commentators that I have read upon those places, out of which I bring my arguments: [Page 7] Yea, I know no Divine that denies Peter a primacie of moderation, and a prioritie of order, and yet as I said before, I bring not in their testimonies of purpose to prove what I am to say, but to prevent the cavils and calumnies of the malevolous.

Well, if my opponents mouthes be not stopped by this meanes, I hope the cleere evidence of Scripture shall doe it, for great is truth and it prevaileth. I may here truly affirme, that the doctrine which I maintaine, is the most powerfull means to throw downe the Tower of Babel; yea, and to allay the pride of all those who will not be content with that dignity which Christ gave unto Peter, nor those degrees of Church Governours, which Christ with his own mouth appointed for the government of his Church untill his second comming to Judge­ment, but exalt themselves above all that is called God, and curse with bell and candle all those that in the sinceritie of their hearts, and meeknesse of spirit refuses to sweare and subscribe to thier tenets.

I find in the doctrine of the Evangelists, that there was a strife and contestation among the twelve Apostles who should be chiefe among them, and that which gave occasion of this strife, was Christs fami­liaritie with Peter, Iames and Iohn, he preferred them much in his re­spects to all the rest, he tooke them to an high mountaine, and suffered them to see him in his glory, at the transfiguration, and in the Garden of Gethsemanie in his greatest agonie, he suffered also those three to bee with him when he raised Iairus daughter to life, but none of the reste This respecting of them thus made the rest to murmure and grudge a little at it, but I am of opinion, that the greatest contestation was a­mong the three Disciples, whom Christ respected most: for wee see that Iames and Iohn, and their Mother, being jealous of Peters prefer­ment, hearing Christ, bid Peter pay toll for himselfe and for him, and hearing him promise to him the keys of the kingdome of heaven, and to none of the rest, they tooke occasion and their Mother to goe to Christ, and to desire of him, that one of them might sit upon his right hand, and the other upon his left hand in his kingdome (for they drea­med even as all the rest did, of a temporall kingdome) Math. 20.20. and Mark 10.35. which suit of theirs, Christ did not altogether refuse at first, but told them that they knew not what they asksd, and also asked them, if they were able to drinke of the Cup, whereof hee was to drinke, and be baptized with the Baptisme, wherewith he was to be baptized, and when it was answered yes; Then he tels them that it was his Fathers right to give that which they desired, and that it was [Page 8] prepared for others, and was to begin in them of his Father in his own time; so that by Christ his Answer to Iames and Iohn, and their Mo­ther, we may easily collect by the way, that Christ did not condemne the dignity as unlawfull in it selfe, but a proud affectation of the digni­tie: this he condemnes in his speech to the rest that tooke offence at Iames and Iohn their presumption: Christ had promised before, that they should sit upon 12. thrones, and judge the 12. Tribes of Israel, which very well might have sufficed them, but they would needs con­test, who should be chiefe among themselves, they would not commit it to their Masters arbitrement, and therefore Christ telleth them who must be this chiefe; not he that affected it most, not he that aspired to it out of a conceit of his owne worth, but hee that was humble and meeke and lowly, and therefore Christ said to them, that he that was lest among them all (to wit in conceit) he should bee greatest; yea, further saith our Saviour, hee must bee like a little child in his owne eyes; A child, although he be the sonne of a Prince, he will make him­selfe companion to the sonne of a peasant: even so they that have chiefe place among Gods Ministers, must account all the rest as bre­thren, yea as Christ saith they must be servants to the rest, even as Christ was. As he that serveth, so must they that have chiefe place un­der Christ in his Church be, as servants to the rest of their inferiour Ministers: and this made Origen to say, That he that was called to a Bishoprick, was called unto the service of the Church, Homil. 6. in E­saiam, and the Counsell of Carthage decreed, 4. Can. 34. wheresoever a Bishop sitteth, he must not suffer a simple Priest to stand before him, and that the Bishop in the Assembly of Priests ought to sit in the high­est place, but within the house let him know, that he is their fellow.

Now I will beg leave of the learned, to vent a certaine conjecture of my owne, which I hope shall give offence to none which conjecture, Iames and Iohn, and their Mothers petition to Christ, and Christs answer to them againe, has given mee occasion to apprehend. The affectionate Mother being desirous of her sonnes prefer­ment, shee comes in all humility, and falls downe before him, and earnestly intreates him on the behalfe of her sonnes, that one of them might sit on his right hand, and another on his left hand in his kingdome, she expected that at this time Christ was to restore the kingdome to Israel, and she would faine have had her two sonnes, in the most honourable roomes of Christs Court, little knew they that Christs kingdome was not of this world, and therefore hee tells her [Page 9] and her sonnes both, that they knew not what they asked, and yet he answered her according to her owne mind, as he did the Disciples af­ter his Resurrection, when they asked him, if he was to restore the kingdome to Israel at that time; he answered, that it was not for them to know the times and seasons, which the Lord had in his owne hand: Even so our Saviour Christ answered the sonnes of Zebedee and their Mother. These dignities, saith he, the bestowing of them is not in my hand, but in my Fathers, and they shall bee given of my Father to them, for whom they are prepared.

I am confident that Christ by this answer of his, doth not meane of any two, that were to be advanced to the highest degrees of glory in heaven, for first, because this were not to answer ad rem, for her meaning was of some dignities here upon earth, and therefore wee must not thinke but Christ would answer her according to her owne meaning; next we doe not reade of any right hand or left hand that Christ shall have in heaven, or of any that shall sit upon either of his hands there, wee reade of his Fathers right hand, where Christ sits for the present, and shall sit untill his second comming to Judgement, wee reade also of degrees of glory in heaven, but not in these termes; but the good woman had no such meaning, her meaning was of the grea­test dignities upon earth as Christ had to bestow, and therefore I thinke that our Saviour meanes of two, to whom his Father was to give, the two greatest dignities in his Church, the event shewes moe that Christ doth meane of these.

For he had advanced the 12. Apostles to 12. Thrones, and had given them power to tread on Serpents and Scorpions, hee had promised to give them the keyes of the kingdome of heaven, that they might shut it upon the impenitent, and open it to the penitent, greater power they could not get, greater dignity they might: it was but honour and dig­nitie that the sonnes of Zebedee craved, and that upon earth too, they desired not power and authoritie over their brethren. And this digni­tie was no more but a primacie of moderation, and a prioritie of order amongst the Governours of the Church, that Christ had to bestow upon those, for whom his Father had prepared it; Christ was not to distribute to any of his Apostles state imployment, and places of honour and dignities in the Common-wealth, he left that to bee done by worldly Monarchs.

Now I find in the Scriptures that our Saviour Christ gave this pri­oritie of order, and primacie of moderation, to two of his Apostles, [Page 10] and honoured them, as it were, the one upon his right hand, and the other upon his left hand; these two Apostles were Peter and Paul, the one to have prioritie of order in the Church of the Jewes, the other in the Churches of the Gentiles, that Christ gave the chiefe prece­dencie amongst the 12. Apostles to the Apostle Peter, it is more then evident in the Scriptures, for is it also for Pauls moderation in the Churches of the Gentiles.

The 12. Apostles were first appointed by their Master to be chiefe Governours of the Church of the Jewes, and therefore when Christ sent them out two and two to preach the Gospell, hee directed them only to the lost sheepe of the house of Israel, and therefore Peter ha­ving precedencie amongst them, it behoved to be in the Church of the Iewes only. But the Apostle Paul makes this manifest, Gal. 2. where he tels us in plaine termes, that the Gospell of the Circumcision was committed to Peter; and the Gospell of the uncircumcision was com­mitted unto him.

The Apostle Paul could not say this if there had not bin some diffe­rence betweene their ministerie, and the ministerie of the rest of the A­postles; for both the Gospell of the Circumcision, and the Gospell of the uncircumcision was committed to the rest of the Apostles, and to all others that were to be ordained by them, and advanced to the Apo­stolicall and Epis [...]opall charge, by vertue of that commandement, Goe teach all Nations, &c. but this is said because of that distinction that Christ made for order sake, that the chiefe care of the one should be in the Church of the Iewes, and the chiefe care of the other in the Churches of the Gentiles, so that it was lawfull still for the rest of the Apostles to preach to either Iewes or Gentiles, and also for Peter and Paul to preach to either, and so we see they did when oc­casion served. Now who was it that made this distinction? Without all question it was Christ himselfe as the Apostle Paul makes manifest, Gal. 2. 7. But when they saw (saith the Apostle) that the Gospel over the un­circumcision was committed to mee, as the Gospell of the Circumcision was committed to Peter: These words can have no sence, unlesse there bee some difference betweene the charge of the rest of the Apostles, and the emploiment of Peter and Paul, made by Christ him­selfe: for he saith, when the Apostles saw, to wit, the Apostles there mentioned, Peter, Iames and Iohn saw that the Gospell of the Uncir­cumcision, &c. the Apostle Paul takes it for granted, that the Gospell of the circumcision was committed unto Peter, as the relative word [Page 11] (as) doth demonstrate: for these Apostles saw as the one was commit­ted to Peter, so the other was committed to Paul. These Apostles made not this difference then, they saw that it was made, they did not com­mit this charge to Paul, they saw that it was commited by another, even by him, by whom the Gospell of circumcision was committed to Peter, their Master and Saviour Christ, which the Apostle Paul makes plaine for himselfe, Gal. 1.15. But when it pleased God, saith hee, that separated me from my mothers wombe, and called me by his grace, to reveale his Sonne in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; So that the Apostle acknowledges, that both he received the degree of Apostle­ship from Christ, and the dignity in the degree to be the chiefe Apostle of the Gentiles: This may be also collected out of the words, for in that he saith, that the Gospell of uncircumcision was committed unto him, as the Gospell of Circumcision was committed to Peter, he shew­eth cleerely that he hath a prioritie of order in the Churches of the Gentiles, as Peter had in the Church of the Jewes.

That Peter had this prioritie, beside the evident testimonies of Scripture proving it, as wee shall see by and by, by Gods grace, his priority is insinuated in the same words, for if there were not some sin­gularitie in the Apostleship of Peter, Paul would not have said, when the Apostles saw, that the Gospell of uncircumcision was committed to me, as the Gospell of circumcision was committed unto Peter, but he would have said, when the Apostle saw that the Gospell of un­circircumcision was committed unto him and Barnabas, as the Gospell of Circumcision was committed unto them: if he had spoken so then, we might have truly said, that as there was no difference in degree a­mong them all, so there was no distinction in dignitie. But I will prove first that Peter had this prioritie granted him by Christ in the Church of the Jewes, and next that hee gave it also to Paul, in the Churches of the Gentiles, and first I will lay downe my grounds out of Scripture, and then forme my Arguments out of these grounds. There is one ground for both their precedencies, and it is this, that both their names were changed, wee see cleerely that Christ gave Si­mon a new name, and called him Peter, but who changed the others name it is not revealed. I am verily of that mind, that Christ did it too, for in the 13. of the Acts, where it is recorded, that Paul and Bar­nabas by Gods direction, were separate for the Apostolicall charge, it is said there by the Holy Ghost, to the Prophets and Teachers at Antioch, Separate [...] Barnabas and Saul, for the worke whereunto I have cal­led [Page 12] them. After this time he is never any more called Saul, but once, and then his new name is related, then Saul, otherwise called Paul (saith Luke) filled with the Holy Ghost, and so as soone as he is said to be filled with the Holy Ghost, as soone is he called Paul, and never any more Saul.

Now, this changing of the two Apostles names was a speciall signe of honour and preferment, as the changing of the name of Abram to Abraham, was not only a signification of the multitude of his posteri­tie, but also a signe of his preferment, and the Lords respects to him. So the changing of Iacobs name, into the name of Israel, did not only testifie that he had prevailed with God, but it was a signe of Gods great love to him, and of his prevailing with men. Even so the chan­ging of these two Apostles names, was an argument of Gods great respects to them, and of their preferment and advancement in the Church of Christ: and also it was a signe of the great worke, that the Lord was to accomplish by their Ministerie, both among Jewes and Gentiles.

For Peters precedencie among the Apostles, we have many eviden­ces for it in Scripture, for first he was one of the three, who was most respected by Christ, and also had place of the other two, for he is al­wayes first named by all the foure Evangelists, hee gets a new name by himselfe, and the other two gets both of them but one name, Boa­narges, Sons of Thunder. Peter againe is more employed in Christs af­faires, and Christ is more familiar with him, then any of the rest: when there was toll required of Christ, he directed Peter to cast an an­gle in the Sea, and hee should get in the mouth of the first fish that came to his hand, a piece of money, Take it (saith Christ) and give it for me and thee, Math. 17.27. but no word of the rest, this notes some preheminence.

It was Peter that answered Christ, when hee asked his Disciples, Whom say yee that I am? Thou art Christ, saith Peter, the Sonne of the living God, Math. 16.16. It was Peter that drew Christ aside, and would have advised him not to goe up to Iervsalem, Math. 16.22. It was Peter that said to Christ, when he saw his glory in the Mount; It is good Master being here, let us make three Tabernacles, &c. Math. 17.4. It was Peter that answered Christ in the name of the rest, O Lord, wee have forsaken all and followed thee, Math. 19.27.

But these differences are nothing in respect of those that were made by Christ himselfe, and first as I said before his name was changed by [Page 13] Christ; yea, when Christ called him first from taking of fish, to bee a fisher of men, he promised that hee should be called Peter, Ioh. 1. but as yet his name was not changed, this was a great argument of his pre­ferment; Againe, Christ calls him Peter, in allusion to the rocke of Faith, whereupon he was to build his Church, for he is called Petrus a petra, he was called a Rocke, because his confession, (Thou art Christ the Sonne of the living God) was to be so solid and firme a Rocke, that whosoever was built upon it, the gates of Hell was not able to prevaile against him. Further Christ promised to give Peter the keyes of the kingdome of Heaven, which promise he made not to the rest: hee prayed for him in particular that his faith should not faile, but for none of the rest, and commanded Peter when hee was converted to strengthen his brethren, hee gave not this direction to the rest, Math. 22.32. After his Resurrection he appeared first to Peter alone, with whom no doubt he had privie conference, and committed to him somethings which he did not to the rest; or otherwise to what end should he have appeared unto him before any of the rest? and af­ter hee had dellvered a generall commission to all, hee gave him a particular Commission to feed his sheepe, to feed his Lambes; hee required a greater measure of love of Peter then hee did of the rest, Iohn 21.15. which was an argument, not only that Christ had forgiven him much, but also that hee had given unto him more then the rest of the Apostles: Christ forewarned Peter of his manner of death, and encouraged him to suffer to the end, Follow thou mee, saith hee, Iohn 21. this hee, did not to any of the rest. By all these particulars wee see our Saviour Christ differenced Peter from the rest of the Apostles, which evidently shewes that Christ gave him some dignitie and preheminence, that hee gave not unto the rest.

The Angell also that appeared to Mary Magdalene put a difference betweene Peter and the rest, when he directed her to goe tell Peter by name, that Christ was risen, but none of the rest.

The Evangelists also differences Peter from the rest of the Apo­stles in setting downe his name alwayes in the first place; Yea, Saint Math. who was also an Apostle, doth not only mention him first, but also calleth him Primus, the first Apostle Mathew 10. he saith not Pri­mum adverbialiter, but Primus nominaliter, the first, and this is an evident argument of his prioritie)

The Apostle Paul also beareth witnesse to this truth in that by way of Emphasis hee calleth him the Apostle of the Circumcision, [Page 14] and that Christ wrought effectually in Peter to the Apostleship of the Circumcision, this was not because hee was the only Apostle of the Circumcision, for in that same chapter, to wit Galat. 2. where hee calleth the Apostle Peter, the Apostle of the Circumcision; hee saith also, that Iames and Iohn were also Apostles of the Circumcision, for thus hee speakes: Peter, Iames, and Iohn gave mee and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that they should goe unto the Jewes, and we unto the Gentiles; Peter then is called the Apostle of the Cir­cumcision by way of Emphasis, because hee had a precedencie of the rest of the Apostles of the Circumcision. Yea, wee see that the Apo­stle Paul preferres Peter in his account, to the rest of the Apostles, for Gal. 1. he saith, that after three yeares he went up to Ierusalem to see Peter, he mentions none of the rest, not Iames who was Bishop of Ierusalem; and 1 Cor. 9.5. he gives some preheminence to Peter, Have not wee (saith he) power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as the other Apostles and the brethren of the Lord and of Cephas; In this comparison, the Apostle ascends by way of Gradation, as if he had said, may not I have a wife to accompanie mee in my travells, as well as the rest of the Apostles? yea, as well as the brethren of the Lord, yea even as Cephas, who is in dignitie before all the rest; yea, would he say, we have power as well as any of them, even as well as Peter himselfe.

All these Evidences were nothing, if he did not make proofe of his prioritie de facto, if he had not exercised it, and confirmed it by his practise, but this he did, both in his Masters owne time, as I shew­ed you before; and also much more after his ascention: This, a very novice may perceive, that will but reade the Acts of the Apostles; For immediatly after Christs ascention hee takes the place upon him, without any election, or the voyces of the rest.

Me thinkes if Christ had not given him this preheminence, and moderatorship, the first thing that they would have done, they would have chosen a speaker, and a precedent for order sake, but this they did not, because they knew Christ their Master had done it before: Christ was more carefull of the government of his Church then so: hee saw them before his death contesting for precedencie, & the first place, and foresaw also, that after his departure there would bee emulation and strife amongst them, who should be chiefe, and therefore most wisely he thought good to prevent this schisme and division: For hee knew if they had fallen out amongst themselves for this prioritie of order, [Page 15] who were to bee the first and chiefe publishers of the Gospell, and Witnesses of all that Christ did, and said, It might have beene im­puted to him by those, who hereafter tooke occasion to stop the course of the Gospell. They might have said even as the theese up­on the Crosse, and the other railers that passed by said to him, (and thou bee the Sonne of God, come downe from the Crosse) So I say, they might have said, and this man had beene such a man as they call him, hee would have prevented this misorder and contention, hee would have appointed one of the number, to be first in order among them, to moderate their assemblies, for avoiding of confusion and dissention, but blessed be the God of order, that would not leave his Church without order.

The Apostle Saint Peter then without any more Ceremonie obeys his Masters Commandements, hee commanded him when hee was converted to strengthen his brethren, hee gave him direction both to feed his sheepe and his lambes, and he like an obedient servant will not faile to doe, what he commanded with all expedition.

And first hee begins with a Sermon (ad clerum) to the rest of the Apostles, and the other Disciples, and tells them, that it was necessa­rie, that Iudas should play the Apostate, that the Scripture might be fulfilled; and that it was also necessarie to fill his roome, that the number of those might bee made up againe, whom Christ had ap­pointed to be witnesses, of all that he did and said.

His next Sermon was (ad populum) after that the Holy Ghost was de­scended, the people that heard the Apostles speak with divers tongues, wondred and marvelled at the matter; some said that they were drun­ken, but the Apostle Peter in his Sermon made it knowne to them all how the matter was, Act. 2.14. and at the hearing of this Sermon, there was three thousand converted to the Christian faith. Another Sermon also hee made to the people upon the occasion of healing of a lame Man, at the hearing of which there were five thousand con­verted to the faith of Jesus Christ, and in effect the most part of the historie of the Acts to the 13. chapter concernes the Apostle Peter, and his service in the Ministerie: and so by all these evidences it ap­peares, that Saint Peter was precedent of the Apostles.

It appeares also in this, that Peter was chiefe Apostle of the Cir­cumcision, because his chiefe stay for many yeares was at Ierusalem. Although the Apostle Iames was the peculiar Bishop of that Citie yet in regard of the generall charge that hee had over the whole Na­tion, [Page 16] his most frequent abode was there: for both the times that Paul went to Ierusalem, both the third yeare after his conversion, and fourteene yeeres there after he found Peter there; yea, that his chiefe residence was there at that time; it is manifest by the Apostle Paul his resolution, for he saith Galat. 1.18. that three yeares after his Conversion he went to Ierusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteene dayes.

The Apostle Peter also maketh manifest, that the Gospell over the Circumcision, was chiefly committed to him, by directing his Epi­stles onely to the Jewes: for his first Epistle is only written to the Jewes, whom hee calleth strangers scattered throughout Asia, Gala­ [...]ia, Pontus, Cappadocia: Now it is most certaine, that in all these Nati­ons at that time, when he writ his Epistle, there were many Gentiles converted to the Christian faith, and yet hee writes to none of them, but to the Jewish Nation only, so that we may very easily perceive, that his chiefe care was o [...] the Jewish Church: and that the second Epistle was written t [...] them only, it is manifest to any, that will reade but the third chapter of the said Epistle.

Now the question may be asked, who gave Peter this precedencie, and Prioritie of order among the Apostles? I answer, This question is without all question, for no doubt Christ his Master gave it him; Againe, it will be asked when it was, that Christ gave it him? An­swer, some thinkes that he gave him this dignitie, when he changed his name, and called him Peter; some againe that he was thus advanced, when hee promised to give him the keyes of the kingdome of Hea­ven. And indeed, both these are certaine signes of preferment: The deliverie of the Keyes to any, was ever a signe of preferment; yea, also of Power and Authoritie, for he that hath the keys he goeth tho­row all: as when the Husband giveth the keyes to his new-married wife, hee declares that he gives her power over all; even so when the Master of the family gives the keys to his steward, he gives him power over all his affaires: for this same cause it is that the keys are delivered to a Prince, when he first enters in any City of his dominions, it is a spe­ciall signe of his power and authority within that City: even so when our Saviour gave the keys of the kingdome of heaven to his Apostles he gave them power to rule and govern his house, according to his will revealed in his Word, he gave them power to open the gates of hea­ven to the penitent, and to shut them upon the impenitent, so the Apo­stle Paul, 1 Cor. 4. 1. Let a man so account of us as of the Ministers [Page 17] of Christ, and Stewards of the Mysteries of God: The proofe of this we have Esay 22.20,21,22. where the Prophet Esay at the command of God, threatens Shebna, Chamberlain to King Ezekiah, and tels him that hee shall be driven from his Station, and Civill place, Eliakim in his roome, and in signe of his preferment and authority, hee saith, and the Key of the House of David, will I lay upon his shoulders, so hee shall open, and none shall shut, and hee shall shut and none shall open, that is, hee will give unto Eliakim chiefe power in Ezekias house, and in the City of Ierusalem: whose advancement was a figure of the Kingdome of Christ. And by the spirit of God applyed to Christ, Revelat. 3.7. Which power he conferred upon his Apostles, when hee said, All power is given unto mee both in heaven and in earth: Whose sins yee remit shall be remitted, and whose sins you retain shall be re­tained, whose sins yee bind in earth, shall be bound in heaven, whose sins yee loose in earth, shall be loosed in heaven: and this the Spirit of God confirmeth. Revel. 2.26. where hee promiseth to that Minister of the Church of Thyatira, that overcommeth and keepeth his works unto the end, power over the Nations, which is not to be understood of civill power and authority (Christ meddles not with that) but of spirituall power and jurisdiction, even as I received of my Father (saith he V.27.) so then when Christ promised to Peter, that hee would give him the keys of the Kingdome of heaven, out of all question, it was a signe of his prefer­ment to some dignity, but not of his power and authority above his brethren; for that which hee promised to give to him, hee made a covenant to give it to all the rest as well as him: indeed had he not brea­thed upon all the rest, as well as Peter, and said to all, receive the holy Ghost, Whose sins yee remit, &c. I would have perswaded my selfe, that Christ had given Peter power and authority over the rest, and not only a priority of order, and a precedencie of Moderation.

Some thinks that our Saviour Christ, give not Peter this preceden­cy till after the resurrection, yea, after hee had given the generall com­mission to all the Apostles in common, when hee said to him, Feed my Sheep, feed my Lambs: but for my part, I will not dispute, when hee gave in him, sure all these are evidences that Christ, and none other did ad­vance him in that kind, and many more then these, as may be collected by the former doctrine, and which I shall make more plain hereafter.

Againe it will be asked, how long this precedencie of Peters was to continue, for a yeare or halfe a yeare, or how long? truly for any [Page 18] thing can be said in the contrary, he had it for his life time; What Christ hath joyned together, what man dare put asunder? Christ gave him prece­dencie, who could then defraud him of it? none of the rest might, yea, not all the rest had power to displace him: certainly as long as the Christian Iews were divided from the Gentiles that were Christians, by the Ceremonies of the Law of Moses, which they would needs keepe. The Apostle Peter tooke a speciall care of the Iewish Nation, so he took a speciall care of Iews in Antiochia, who were Christians, but zealous of the Law, Gal. 1. yea, it was condiscended betweene him and the Apo­stle Paul, that it should be so: but I believe that the mayn worke which was enjoin'd him by his Master, in cōmon with the rest of the Apostles, to teach all Nations, did in the end draw him of that particular charge of the Iewish Nation; yet I thinke hee ever kept that priority of order amongst the Apostles, which his Master conferred upon him, upon all occasions.

A third question wil be asked, was Peter to have successors in this pre­cedency? I answer, although perhaps he could have no Successors, in re­spect of his precedency over the eleven, whose calling was universall, and not confined to any particular Place, Congregation, Province, or King­dom; Yet his precedency in generall among the chief Governours of the Church in all severall Kingdoms and Nations was to have a succession, order was requisite among the successours of the Apostles, as well as among them, and this order was to be defined according to the division of Kingdomes and Provinces: Saint Peter was chiefe precedent in the Churches of Iews, in which respect he might have Successours, yea, and had them too, and so a chiefe precedent was requisite among the Governours of the Churches of other Kingdoms.

Again this question will be asked, since a priority of order, is necessa­ry in all Churches, must it remayne constantly in one person, or may it be changed from one to another, that every one may beare his part, and all beare equall burden? Answer. I see no reason why it should be changed, except this vicissitude can be proved by Scripture, Christ hath left us a paterne, and this paterne we ought to follow.

Further, it may be asked how this precedent should be elected? I an­swer by him who is Gods Vicegerent here upon earth, for God hath ap­pointed Kings to be pursing Fathers in his Church, and they ought to have a care, that all things be done decently and orderly, and that Gods will be done in earth as it is in heaven. If the King present the [Page 19] man, the Church ought to receive him, except they can give a reason in the contrary; but it may be replyed, that wee have no pa­terne for this in the Scripture. I answer none, except that wee finde the election of Matthias referred to God: and the King is in Gods place, and a God upon earth, I have said yee are gods, Psal. 82. and Iohn 10. Reply: but this choice was referred immediatly to God, the lots is cast into the lap.

I answer, in the election of Matthias, I finde that the Apostles had a hand in it, the seventy Disciples and other inferiour Ministers, for they made choice of Matthias and Barsabas, and prayed unto the Lord to give forth his determination by lot, but in the election of the seven Deacons, the people also, the Apostles, and all other Churchmen, all three joyned together. Upon other occasions the Apostle only made choice of inferiour Ministers, Timothy by prophesie, and so there is no certain patern left us in the Scriptures for the right of nomination. But if it were so agreed upon, it were easie to devise a way how both the people, inferiour Ministers, the Governours of the Church, and the supreame Magistrate might have their severall voices in the nomina­tion of Churchmen of the first ranke and order, and yet in end the Lord to make the choice, but it were boldnesse in me to prescribe. The Lord of his mercy, so direct those a right, who have power and au­thority in their hand, that they may doe all things according to his will, plainly revealed in his Word.

Now I will prove from the former grounds, first, that Saint Peter had a precedencie of the rest of the Apostles, in the Church of the Iews; next that this precedency was given him by Christ his Master; Thirdly, that this precedencie is not only profitable and expedient, but necessary for the Government of all Churches; and this I will do by formall arguments, whereunto I desire my opponents to answer, Categorice, without subterfugies, prevarications, or circumlocutions, for by so doing, the truth shall be the more easily found out,

The first Argument.

Hee whose name is always recorded in the first place, had place of all the rest of the Apostles.

But Peter his name is always recorded in the first place.

And therefore Peter had place of all the rest of the Apostles.

[Page 20]There can be no reason given why Saint Peter his name should be always first set down, but only, because he was first not only in gifts and graces, but also in dignity, place, and estimation. That his name is recorded at all times, sirst, is evident except onely once by the Apostle Paul, Gal. 2. who without all doubt, did it by the motion of Gods Spirit, that he might insinuate, although the Apostle Peter, was the chiefest Apostle of the Circumcision, as he had declared before, Verse 7. yet it was in order and estimation, and not in degree and exal­tation: it was a primacie but not a supremacie, a prioritie, but not a su­periority that he had of the rest of the Apostles.

But I will prove, that the Apostle Peter was not only named first, but that he was called the first, and so was first indeed.

The second Argument

He who is called by the Apostle Saint Matthew, the first of the Apostles, hee was in deed, and in truth the first;

But the Apostle Peter is called by the Apostle Saint Matthew, the first of the Apostles, Chap. 10.2.

And therefore the Apostle Peter was indeed, and in truth, the first of the Apostles.

The strength of the proposition stands in this, that hee who was an Apostle himselfe, would never have called Peter the first of the Apo­stles, and he had not been first indeed.

The third Argument.

He that was prolocutor and speaker for all the rest of the Apostles had a prio­rity and precedency of the rest of the Apostles.

But Peter was speaker and prolocutor, for all the rest of the Apostles.

And therefore Peter had a priority and precedencie of the rest of the Apostles.

The proposition I thinke will not be denied, for the Consul in the Senate; the Speaker in Parliament, the Moderator in the Assembly, hath a priority and precedency of all the rest of the Senat, Parliament, and Assembly. That Peter was speaker and prolocutor for all the rest, I prove thus

[Page 21]

He that answered Christ in name of the rest, and received the promise in name of the rest, was speaker and prolocutor for all the rest:

But Peter answered Christ in name of the rest, and received the pro­mise in name of the rest:

And therefore Saint Peter was speaker & prolocutor for all the rest.

I hope my Opponents will deny nothing that is here affirmed, and therefore by their own confession, I conclude, that Peter had a priori­ty of order and a precedencie of Moderation amongst the Apostles.

The fourth Argument.

He whom the Angell in particular commanded Mary to tell the Christ was risen from the dead, and none of the rest, had some sort of prehemi­nence before the rest.

But the Angel commanded Mary to tell Peter by name, and none of the rest, that Christ was risen again from the dead, Mark 16.7.

And therefore Peter had some preheminence before the rest.

Truly, in my judgment, this is a strong argument to prove that Peter was in place and dignity before the rest of the Apostles or other­ways, I think the Angell of God would never have mentioned Peter by himselfe, and all the rest of the Disciples in grosse.

The fift Argument.

He whom Paul preferred in his respects to all the rest of the Apostles, had some precedency of the rest of the Apostles.

But the Apostle Paul preferred Peter in his respects, to all the rest of the Apostles.

And therefore Peter had some precedencie, of the rest of the Apost.

Now why the Apostle Paul should respect and honour Saint Peter, more then the rest of the Apostles, I know no reason, except hee had had some place and preheminence of the rest. That hee respected him more then the rest, we find, Gal. 1.18. for he saith there, that hee went up to Ierusalem, three yeers after his conversion, of purpose to see Pe­ter, and remayned with him 15 days: I will only aske my opponents, for what cause he went up to see Peter, more then Iames, who was Bi­shop of Ierusalem.

The sixt Argument.

He who took precedency upon him de facto, be had it de jure.

But Saint Peter took precedency upon him, de facto.

And therefore he had it de jure.

Either the proposition must be true, or else we must say, that Saint Peter took more upon him, then he had good right to challenge, and so in this particular erred de facto, which no Divine ever said or dare say, and if any man durst be bold to say it, I durst take the boldnesse upon me to say that it were little lesse then blasphemy.

But some may say that the Apostle Peter had this right of modera­tion, de jure Apostolico: I answer, if it were so, all were one thing in ef­fect, for that which the apostles did, they did it by the motion of the spirit, and if the apostles did chuse Saint Peter to be their speaker, be­ing a man of most singular parts, why may wee not, yea, why should wee not follow their example in giving to the most worthy for gifts, and graces, the precedency of Government? I think the practice of the apostles should be a law to us: But the truth is, there is not so much as any shew or appearance in the Scriptures, that the rest of the apostles conferred this moderation upon the apostle Peter, but what probabi­lity there is, yea, what convincing arguments for his Master Christs do­nation of it, I refer to the judicious Reader.

The seventh Argument.

He that took a speciall care not only of Jewish Churches throughout the land of Judea, but of those Jews also that sojourned in other Nations, had the chief care of the circumcision, and consequently both of pastors and people.

But the Apostle Peter took a speciall care not only of the Christian Iews that lived in the land of Iudea, but also of those who dwels in other nations.

And therfore Peter had the chief charge of the Circumcision, and consequently both of the pastors and the people.

The truth of the proposition, appeares by his writing to the one, and remayning with the other. Both his Epistles are written to the disper­sed Tribes, and that he remayned in Iudea, for many yeers after the ascention of Christ is evident, Gal. 1. for Paul not only, three yeers after his conversion went up of purpose to Ierusalem, to see Peter, but 14 yeers thereafter, when he went up hee found Peter there: and that [Page 23] Peter had an oversight both of pastors and people, wee find in his first Epistle where he writes to both, and exhorts the Elders (that is) their Ministers both of the first and second order, but in speciall their chief Governours, and forbids them to exercise their power tyrannically o­ver their inferiours, 1 Pet. 5.1,2,3. and in his second Epistle 1.12. hee saith, that hee will not be negligent to put them alwayes in remem­brance of these things, though they know them, and be established in the truth, yea, I think it meet (saith he) Verse 15, as long as I am in this Tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance, and Verse 15. he saith, I will endevour, that you may be able, after my de­cease, to have these things always in remembrance, so that hereby it appeares infallibly, that Peter had the chief over-sight of the Church of the Jews, both at home and abroad, and consequently both of pa­stors and people.

By these arguments, it is manifest that the apostle Peter had a prio­rity, and a precedency in the Church of the Jews: follows to prove that his Master and Saviour Christ gave it him.

The first Argument.

He to whom Christ communicated himself most, with whom he was most fami­liar, and to whom he did commit his speciall affairs most, yea, whom he pur­posed to make one of the chief instruments of the advancement of his King­dom, to him he gave some preferment and advancement, more then he did to the rest of the Apostles.

But to Peter Christ communicated himself most, with Peter he was most familiar, and to him he did commit his speciall affairs most, yea, and him he purposed to make the chief instrument of the advancement of his Kingdom.

And therefore hee gave Peter some preferment and advancement, that he gave not to the rest of the Apostles.

The truth of the proposition appears by this similitude of Kings and princes, if they set their affection upon on man more then another, & chuse him to be their neerest minion, at lest they wil give him some title of honour, above the rest of their Court, that all others may ho­nour him the more, and will advance him to some places of dignity and preheminence, which indeed will make all others to respect him, [Page 24] and reverence him, because they see the Kings affection set upon him: when King Assuerus, resolved to honour Mordecai, hee commanded Haman to put his Robe Royall upon him, and to set him on his best horse, and to lead him through the City of Susan, and proclaime be­fore him, Thus shall it be done to him whom the King will honour: how much more, whomsoever the King of Kings desires to honour moethen others, in this life will he advance to some dignity at least, in the face of the whole world, and proclaime as it were before them, thus shall it be done to him whom the King of Kings desires to honour, and there­fore since Christ had a respect to Peter more then the rest of the Apo­stles; it cannot be questioned but hee made him president of the rest, for since a president was necessary for avoiding of strife and contenti­on, it is very likely, that Christ would give it to Peter, rather then any other. The truth of the assumption wee may see in the grounds before laid down.

The second Argument.

If the changing of names be a signe of honour and preferment, then Peter was honoured and preferred by Christ before the rest of the Apostles.

But the changing of names, is a signe of honour and preferment:

And therefore Peter was honoured and preferred by Christ before the rest of the Apostles.

The truth of the proposition is manifest, because our Saviour him­selfe changed Peters name, from Simon to Peter, and so if the changing of names be a signe of honour and preferment, then Peter was without doubt honoured and preferred by Christ.

As to the assumption, that the changing of names is a signe of ho­nour and preferment, I prove it by the changing of Abrams name, in Abraham, and Iaacobs name in Israel, when it pleased God to advance them, Gen. 32.28. and 41, 45. even so when Pharaoh preferred Ioseph, he changed his name, and called him, Zaphna Paanea. So when Daniel was advanced by Nabuchadnezzar, he was called Beltashazer, and upon the same occasion, the three children, Hanama, Misael, and Azaria, were called, Zadrach, Mesech, and Abednego, Daniel 1.7. and Assuerus changed Hesters name, when he took her to be his Queene, and called her Hadasha, Ester 2.

[Page 17]But some may reply that Christ gave Iames and Iohn a new name, and called them Bonarges, that is, Sonnes of thunder; I answer, that is rather a title then a name, and if it were a name, it is but an appellative name, and not a proper name; But Peter got a name by himselfe, and a name signifying his prioritie and precedencie, and was for the most part called by that name, at all occasions. And further some are of opinion, that Iames and Iohn received also, some prerogative from Christ their Master above the rest of the Apostles, for the which also there are some probabilities in Scripture, all which and such like, are speciall evidences, that Christ did not establish a paritie among Church officers.

The third Argument.

Hee that tooke this precedencie upon him, after his name was changed, hee re­ceived this precedencie when his name was changed;

But Peter tooke this precedencie upon him, after his name was changed.

And therefore Peter received this precedencie, when his name was changed.

The proposition cannot be but true for if Peter tooke this preceden­cie upon him, after the changing of his name, who can say otherwise, but he got it when his name was changed, since (as I said before) the changing of names is a signe of honour and preferment. As to the as­sumption, that Peter tooke this precedencie upon him, after hee recei­ved his new name; read the Gospell of Saint Mathew, and ye will find, that the Apostle Peter is the man, that for the most part at least, takes upon him to speake for all the rest, after this time.

The fourth argument.

If it was about the time that Christ changed Peters name, that the Disciples stroue who should be first, then by all appearance Christ at this time, gave un­to Peter this precedencie.

But the first is true, and therefore the second.

The strength of the Proposition stands in this, that Christ being most wise, would needs take away all occasion of falling out, and knowing that a precedent was necessarie, for avoyding of Schisme and confusion, he would sure prevent this danger.

As to the assumption that it was about this time, that the Disciples [Page 18] strove who should be chiefe. Compare Mat. 16.17. & 18. and Marke 9. and Luke 9. read these chapters, and consider the doctrine contained in them, and ye will find, that it was about the time that Christ chan­ged Peters name, that the Apostles strove who should be chiefe.

The fifth Argument.

Hee for whom Christ payed toll, and for none of the rest, he gave him a priori­tie and precedencie of the rest.

But Christ payd toll for Peter, but for none of the rest.

And therefore Christ gave to Peter, a prioritie and precedencie be­fore the rest.

The Proposition is very probable, for why should Christ have bid­den Peter pay toll for him and himselfe only, and he had not had some preheminence and precedencie of the rest, surely I cannot imagine what other cause there can be alleadged.

As to the assumtion it is evident, Math. 17.27. Take it, said Christ, and pay it for me, and for thee.

The sixth Argument.

To whom Christ promised only to give the keys of the kingdome of heaven, hee gave him a prioritie and precedencie of the rest of the Apostles.

But Christ promised only to Peter, to give him the keyes of the kingdome of heaven.

And therefore Christ gave Peter a prioritie and precedencie of the rest of the Apostles.

The reason of the Proposition is this; That Christ should promise only to Peter, to give him that, which hee made acount to give to all the rest of the Apostles, as well as to him an evident argument in my mind, of his Prioritie, for it was a speciall encouragement to Peter, and he was much comforted, with hope and assured confidence, and expe­ctation of great matters; which the rest of the Apostles had not.

But I know it will be said; that the promise was made to Peter in name of the rest. I answer, it is granted; But I beleeve the rest of the Apostles knew not so much themselves, neither I thinke could they challenge Christ of any thing was promised to them; yea, the Apostle thought verily, that the promise was only made to him, for the promise of Keys, the changing of his Name, the paying of toll for [Page 19] him, the singling out of Peter, Iames, and Iohn, to be witnesses of his transfiguration and raising of Iairus Daughter, all these respects Christ shewed to Peter about the same time, as may easily be perceived in the Harmonie of the Evangelists, which occasioned the murmuring of the rest, for the which Christ reproved them, Math. 18. and Marke 9. and Luke 9.

But I see neither danger nor absurditie to say, that the promise was only made to Peter, Christ did not give him the Keyes, before he gave them to the rest, for after his Resurrection only, he gave the Keys to them all: with one breath (as it were) he breathed upon them all at once, and said to them, Receive the holy Ghost; whose sinnes yee remit, shall be remitted; The only difference is this, Christ gave Peter some hope and assurance which he gave not the rest.

The seventh Argument.

For whom Christ prayed in particular that his faith should not faile, and did not so for any of the rest, he gave him a preheminence, and a precedencie before the rest.

But Christ prayed for Peter in particular, that his faith should not faile, and did not so for any of the rest.

And therefore Christ gave Peter some preheminence, and precedencie before the rest.

As to the Proposition, truly I see no reason why our Saviour should have prayed so earnestly for Peter his perseverance, and hee had not layd a greater charge upon him, then upon any of the rest of the Apo­stles, he gave unto all Apostolicall power and authoritie, and as ample a charge to teach all Nations, as he gave unto Peter, but forasmuch as he gave unto him a certaine oversight of the Apostles, as well as the inferiour Ministers and People; therefore did his Master pray so earnestly for him, that God would strengthen him by his Spirit to re­sist the great tentations, wherewith hee was to be besieged, and to ina­ble him with such a measure of grace, as the greatnesse of his charge required.

The assumption is manifest that Christ offered up a particular pray­er for Peter, which he did not for the rest of the Apostles, Luke 22.32. Christ saith to him, that he had prayed for him that his faith should not faile, and he tells the reason too, because he foresaw that he should be highly tempted by Sathan; at this same time hee offered up unto [...] [Page 20] [...] [Page 29] [Page 20] his Father most sweet, pithie and powerfull prayers, as yee may read, Iohn 17. the reading of which prayers will move any Christian heart, that has the least measure of grace in it; O then! how powerfull were these to pierce the stoniest heart that ever was, when they distilled from the sacred lips of our blessed Jesu: well, he prayed for all in ge­nerall then, but in that he offered up a particular prayer in behalfe of Peter, it is an Argument that his Master made a particular difference betweene him in the rest.

The eighth Argument.

Hee whom Christ commanded to strengthen his brethren when hee was conver­ted, he gave him some preheminence, and charge over the rest of his brethren.

But Christ commanded Peter to strengthen his brethren, when he was converted:

And therefore Christ gave Peter some preheminence, and charge over the rest of his brethren.

The strength of the Proposition stands in this, that he, that is com­manded to strengthen another, is commanded either to teach him, and instruct him, or to direct him, and admonish him, or to comfort him, and incourage him: which soever of these duties he was commanded to performe on behalfe of his brethren, it argues at the least this prio­ritie and precedencie, lesse preheminence it cannot portend, I am fully perswaded, that Christ would never have commanded Peter to dis­charge any of those duties towards his brethren, more then he would have directed them to doe the like duties to him, and he had not had some charge and oversight of them that none of them had of him.

As to the assumption that Christ commanded Peter to strengthen his brethren, when he was converted is evident, Luk. 22.32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, saith Christ, and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

The ninth Argument.

Hee to whom Christ appeared in particular, before he appeared to any other of the Apostles, he gave him some charge, that he gave not to the rest of the Apostles.

But Christ appeared in particular to Saint Peter, before he appeared to any other of the Apostles.

And therefore Christ gave to Peter some charge and employment, that he gave not to the rest of the Apostles.

The Proposition cannot be but true, for his appearing to him first, before he appeared to any other, is an evident argument in my mind of his prioritie and precedencie, yea, of some particular charge that he received from his Master, that was not layd upon any of the rest, joyne the consideration of Christ his appearance here to Peter, and the An­gell his direction to Mary, to tell Peter in particular of Christs Resur­rection, [Page 29] and other evidences already specified, this argument will bee strong enough to confirme all that I have said.

As to the assumption, that Christ appeared first to Peter, the Apostle Paul shewes us, 1 Cor. 15.5. for he saith that he was seen of Cephas, then of the 12. that is, first of Peter, then of the rest. And Luke 24.34. it is said that he appeared to Simon alone.

The tenth Argument.

Hee to whom our Saviour Christ gave a particular commission, after he had de­livered a generall commission to all the rest of the Apostles in common, to him he gave some priviledge before the rest of the Apostles.

But Christ gave a particular Commission to Peter, after he had delivered a ge­nerall commission to all the rest of the Apostles in common.

And therefore Christ gave Peter some priviledge above the rest of the Apostles.

The Proposition I hold it most strong, for when, after a generall commission is delivered to an whole collective body, how they shall carry themselves in the duties of their calling, a particular charge a­gaine is given to some one of the number, it argues a certaine kind of singularitie, as for example, when the Kings Majestie being Generall of his Army himselfe, gives directions to the under officers of the Ar­mie, and then in particular, tells his owne Lievtenant what should bee his care and solicitude, he plainly declares his eminence above the rest: or when the Bishop comes to visit any particular parish of his Dio­cesse, and gives Injunctions in generall to all the whole Parish, and then in particular tells the Minister his dutie, doth not the Bishop here­by declare his Eminencie above the rest? when our Saviour Christ called Peter and Andrew, Philip and Nathaniel, Iohn and Iames, he called them all at the same time to be Preachers of the Gospell, and yet hee said to Peter only, Henceforth thou shalt catch men. So to bring a particu­lar after a generall, it still argues a singularitie, and so this commission which he gives to Peter by himselfe is a mightie argument that Peter had some speciall oversight in the Church of God, which none of the rest had, and this was no other thing but a prioritie of order, and pre­cedencie of moderation, in the meetings of the Apostles; it is not an argument that he had any power over the rest, but only a precedencie, to moderate all things discreetly, to gather the voyces faithfully, and to take a speciall care that all things be done orderly, and all Schisme and confusion shunned.

As to the assumption, that Christ gave particular commission to Pe­ter, after he had given a generall commission to all in common; Wee reade Iohn 21. where Christ commands Peter to feed his sheep, to feed [Page 30] his Lambes: this commission is not only a severall commission, from that which Christ gave to all the Apostles in common, neither is it a particular commission in respect of Peter, to whom it is only given, but also particular in respect of the persons whom it concerns, it concerns not all Nations, all people and languages, but certaine particular per­sons whom Christ calleth his sheepe here and his lambes; now all those whom the Apostles in generall are commanded to teach, cannot be called Christs sheep or his lambs, for they were cōmanded to teach all in generall without exception, Goe preach the Gospel to every creature, saith Christ, Marke 16. by every creature here is meant all men, as I thinke all men will confesse: but all men are not Christs sheepe, nor Christs lambes, and therefore some particular persons must be under­stood here: now who are these?

I answer, Some thinke that by sheepe here is understood strong Christians, and by lambes weake Christians, but this cannot be: be­cause at this time I thinke there was not many strong Christians, it was hard then to discerne betweene the strong and the weake, even the A­postles themselves were but weake at this time, as we may perceive by that question which they proponed to Christ, to wit, if he was to re­store the Kingdome to Israel at that time. They minded still a tempo­rall kingdome, and as long as they expected such a kingdome, no man will say that they were strong Christians, they were but all weak un­till the Pentecost, at which time the holy Ghost strengthened them a­bundantly. Neither can be understood by sheep, antient Christians, and by lambs new converts, for all that did stick to Christ at this time, they were no doubt Christs antientest Disciples, that had beene for a long time in his companie, that had long heard his doctrine, and seene his miracles: neither can be understood Gods elect who are called his sheepe in the Scriptures, and also his lambs, for then there should be no difference between the two words Lambs and Sheep, but they doe signifie divers things as all Interpreters accords, and certainly the elect cannot be understood here, because it will follow that Peter did know who was elect, and who not, and so this commission given to Peter had beene contrary to the generall commission given afore to all; neither is understood inferiour Ministers and the people, for all the rest of the Apostles had this oversight as well as Peter, and layd upon them all by Christ in the generall commission: but by all probabilitie, is under­stood here by sheepe, the rest of the Apostles, and by Lambs the 70. Disciples, and all those that were to be joyned to them in either of the functions, & this commandement is equivalent to that which he gave [Page 31] him before his death, saying, When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren, Luk. 22.32. but howsoever, understand whom ye will of all these fore­mentioned divisions, it is a particular commission given to the Apostle Peter, after the Generall was given to all, which is an argument of his particular over-sight over all, both Pastors and people, for I hope wee will not except any sorts of Pastors out of the number of Gods sheep.

I gant that threefold confession which Christ expostulates of Peter, had a reference to Peters threefold denyall, for as Peter denied his Ma­ster thrice, so his Master to testifie his earnest repentance would have him to make a threefold confession, for every time that he denyed him, he would have him to make as many confessions, and professions of his love to him, but there is a great difference between Peters confess­ion and his Masters commission, the confession came from Peter, and rested as it were in Christ, the commission contrary wayes proceeded from Christ, and was terminate in Peter, that Christ then gave Peter, this commission, was because of the generall charge he had over all.

The eleventh Argument.

Whom Christ forewarned of the manner of his death, and encouraged him pati­ently to endure unto the end, and did not so to any of the rest, was in dignitie and estimation above the rest by Christ his owne ordinance.

But Christ forewarned Peter of the manner of his death, and incouraged him to endure patiently to the end, and did not so to any of the rest:

And therfore Peter was in dignitie and estimation above the rest, by Christs owne ordinance.

The truth of the Proposition stands in this, that if Christ had not preferred Peter to some dignitie above the rest, hee would not have used him so respectively, and incouraged him so many and divers wayes, and not the rest of the Apostles.

The assumption is manifest, Iob. 21.18.19. Verely, verely, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, &c.

The twelfth Argument.

Hee that was appointed by Christ, to be the chiefe Apostle of the Circumcisi­on, received from Christ a prioritie and precedencie of the rest of the Apostles.

But the Apostle Peter was appointed by Christ, to be the chiefe Apostle of the Circumcision:

And therefore the Apostle Peter received from Christ, a prioritie, and a pre­cedencie of the rest of the Apostles.

Either this primacie which our Saviour Christ gave unto Peter, did consist in a prioritie and precedencie, or in a superioritie of power and Authority, but this cannot be granted, because we see no warrant for [Page 32] it in Scripture at all, and therefore of necessitie this prioritie and pre­cedencie for orders fake must be granted him.

As to the assumption, that Christ appointed S. Peter to be the chiefe Apostle of the Circumcision, is manifest, Gal. 2.7. where the Apostle Paul saith, that the Gospell of the Circumcision was committed to Pe­ter, and that the rest of the Apostles saw that it was committed unto him; Now I ask, by whom saw they that it was committed unto him? by Christ only sure; for none other could commit it unto him, but ei­ther Christ or his Apostles the Apostle: did not commit it, for they saw it was committed by another, and consequently by Christ; and this Willet in his Synop. pag. 156. affirmeth, that Christ himselfe made this distinction; But here it will be objected, that the Gospell of the Circumcision, was committed to all the rest as well as Peter. I answer, it was committed to all the Apostles alike, to preach the Gospell to all Nations, but the Church of the Jews was chiefly recommended to Peter, for even by that particular commission which Christ gave to Pe­ter, to feed his sheep, to feed his lambs; Some understand this particu­lar charge of Peters, over the Jewish nation, for our Saviour Christ before called them his sheepe, when he first gave them all a commis­sion to goe to the lost sheepe of the house of Israel; and indeed this charge before Christs death was layd upon all alike, but after his Re­surrection he inlarged their charge, and commanded them to teach all Nations, and withall gave the speciall oversight of the Jews to S. Peter, as is most cleer & evident by the testimony of the Apostle Paul, Gal. 2.7.

The necessity of this precedencie comes to be spoken of in the third place, of the which I wil speak but a little: that a speaker & a precedent is necessary, nature, reason, and experience teacheth us; yea, that it is ne­cessary, both necessitate medij, & necessitate praecepti (as we speak) it is most certain. Necessitate medij, because otherwise there could neither be go­vernment nor order in Gods house, but meere confusion and misorder, such as is not to be found among many sorts of brutish creatures: neces­sitate praecepti, for the Apostle Paul cōmands that all things be done de­cently and in order; which order I think was necessary in the dayes of Christ and his Apostles though not so necessary as now; yea, Christ himselfe hath tacitly injoyned it, Mar. 9.35,36. & Luk. 9.47,48. where he cōmands, that he that desired the first place among them to be ser­vant to all, and most meek and humble in his own conceit, he wil have him both last of all, and least of all, and then saith our Saviour, the same shal be great, as if he would say, only they are worthy of preferment, that are humble and meek, and lowly, and of small account in their own conceit.

[Page 33]I will make this doctrine manifest by a formall argument.

If Christ hath declared how those should be qualified, that have chiefe place among the Governours of the Church, then it is Christs will and pleasure, that there bee one to moderate in their meetings and assemblies.

But Christ hath declared how those should be qualified, that have chiefe place among the Governours of the Church.

And therefore it is Christs will and pleasure, that there be one to moderate in their meet­ings and assemblies.

The Proposition will be granted; I prove the assumption.

If Christ hath commanded that those, that have any prioritie in dignitie or degree in the Government of the Church to be simple as Doves, and meek and humble as children, yea, account themselves as servants to the rest, then Christ hath declared how those should be qualified that have chiefe place among the Governours of the Church.

But the first is true, and therefore the second.

The proposition cannot be denied, the assumption is manifest, Mat. 9. 35,36. and Luke 9.47,48. Yea our Saviour sets his own example before them to follow, behold, would our Saviour say, although I be chiefe among you, yet am I as he that serveth, the son of man came not to be mini­stred unto, but to minister, Matth. 20.28. yea, which is worth our consi­deration after that he hath declared, that hee that desires to be chiefe among them, must humble himself like a little child, he inferreth, Whosoever receiveth one of such little children, receiveth me, and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me, and whosoever shall offend one of those little ones that belie­veth in me, it is better that a milstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the Sea: Augustine saith, by little ones wee must understand humble ones, such as hee would have his Disciples to be, and to re­ceive such little ones, is to obey the Governours, of the Church, that humble themselves to attend upon us, as the Mother to attend her children, and to have a care of them, and they that receive such with all submission and obedience, Christ saith, they receive him, and not him only, but also him that sent him, and to offend those humble ones, (saith Augustine) is to disobey them or contradict them: that this is the true meaning of our Saviour; it is evident by the like speech of our Saviour to his Disciples, Matth. 10.40. Hee that receiveth you, re­ceiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. And Luke the 10.16. he expounds himself these words as I have done. He that hea­reth you, heareth mee (saith our Saviour) and hee that despiseth you despiseth me, and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me, to heare in this place is to obey, and to despise is to desobey.

So then we see that Christ hath evidently declared, that all those that have the chiefe goverment of the Church, must be humble, meek, [Page 34] and lowly, and consequently that chief Governours there must be, and a chief precedent among these Governours.

But it will be replyed, that this necessity is not absolute but condi­tionall, when the Governours of the Church, has occasion to meet and assemble together. I answer, if it be of absolute necessity that there be chiefe Governours in the Church, according to Christs ap­pointment, then is it absolutely necessary, that there be a constant pre­sident to moderate their meetings & assemblies. There is no Incorpo­ration without a chief: a Major, an Alderman, a Baily, no Company without their Master, to moderate all their meetings: even so the Go­vernours of the Church, must have a constant Moderator to sit amongst them, upon all occasions to convene them together when need is, pro­pone matters to be handled in their assemblies, stay contentions and misorder, impose silence to the mutinous, and many other things.

Here again my opponents will reply, that the forementioned Go­vernours are elected every yeere: I answer, then hee that has the first place among them may be elected after that same manner; but in a So­ciety, where the Governours has place for their life time, or ad culpam, then the chief president must be continued for his life, or ad culpam. I grant, to chuse a Speaker at every assembly is conform to the platform of presbyteriall Government, for this precedent is no longer needfull in a Church so governed, because the Church during the not sitting of the assembly, is governed by Presbyteries in such a bound, and by Sessions consisting of the Ministers and lay Elders in every Parish, and so they need not a constant Moderator; but in a Church that is governed according to the paterne that Christ hath left behind him, that is, if the government be established in the persons of certain chief Governours, with the concurrence of those whom they shall chuse to assist them, of necessity this precedent must be constant and perpe­tuall, either ad vitam, or ad culpam.

But what do I dispute a point, so cleerly revealed in the Scriptures? did not Christ appoint the 12 Apostles, and their successors to be chief Governors of the Church? who can, yea, who dare deny it? and is it not as manifest that Christ appointed a president to moderate all their meetings? and was he not appointed to moderate for his life? if he was not, shew me how long he was to continue in his office? when hee was to lay it down? Well I am sure, Christ was as wise as all the thousands of my opponents, and he knew the necessity of or­der and government in his Church, and therefore laid down a platform of Government to teach us what form of Government to follow, and [Page 35] what form he thought most necessary and expedient himselfe, and if he have laid down any other platforme then I have declared, I shall be very willing to know, and as willing to learn. O bessed Jesu, thou that art the way, the truth and the life, Direct me in thy truth, lead mee one in that way, that I may be partaker of that life, which shall never have an end. Amen.

I know some of the weakest of my opponents will say, that by this d [...]ctrine, I give too much advantage to Papists, in affirming Peter to have been primus Apostolus, and chiefe Over-seer of the rest. Truly these brethren, exposes their weaknnesse to the World, for they neither know what popery is, nor what it is to oppose Popery: to mayntain Bishops to have been instituted by Christ, and that Christ did chuse one to be their chief President and Moderator, is so far from being Popery, that it is directly against it: for papists will have Bishops to be the Popes creatures, and not Christs, they will have the cal­ling of Bishops only to be de jure humano, and not divino, and that Bi­shops are no more but Priests, and that Bishops and Presbyters are but one order, and that all are equall secundam consecrationem Eucharistiae, in regard of their equall power to consecrate the Eucharist, and all this they say to maintain the Popes pretended supremacy for Bellarmine, that great champion of Rome, affirms that the calling of the 11 Apostles was extraordinary, and that they were Christs extraordinary Embassa­dours, and that Peter was only appointed by Christ to be the ordinary and chief pastor of the Church, and that hee and his successours the Popes should govern the universall Church in all ages to come: now I refer it to the judgment of all Christians, to judge between mee and my opponents, whether I accord with the papists in most things, or they: this shall be the parallel, the papists say that the calling of the A­postle was but temporary and not perpetuall, so doth my opponents; the papists say that the 11 Apostles was but Christs extraordinary Embassadors, so doth my opponents; the papists say that the Episcopall function is not de jure divino, but humano so doth my opponents; the papists say that Bishops and presbyters are all one order, so doth my opponents; in all these I am opposite to the papists, for I mayntaine that the calling of the Apostles was an ordinary calling, and that the Apostles was ordained by Christ to be the chiefe Governours of the Church, and to have successours in all ages and generations to come, superiour both in dignity and degree, to inferiour presbyters.

But my opponents will say, although I doe not agree with the pa­pists in the forementioned heads, concerning the Episcopall Function, [Page 36] yet I jump with them in making Peter to be the chief of the Apostles: and here also I desire all good Christians to be judge in this case: this is the parallel. The papists say that Peter was in degree before the rest of the Apostles, I only that he was before them in dignity: The papists say that Peter had a supremacy of jurisdiction above the rest of the A­postles, I, that hee had only a primacy of moderation: the papists say that Peter had granted him by his Master a superiority of power and authority in his Church, I say that his Master gave him only a priority of order in it; The papists say that Christ made Peter Universall Bi­shop over his whole Church throughout the World; I say that Christ committed only to him the chiefe Apostleship of the Circumcision; the papists say that Peter was both in dignity and degree above Paul, Peter was chief they say, and Paul only Legatus à latere: I say that Paul was equall to Peter both in dignity and degree, and had the larger Commission, for he was the chief Apostle of the uncircumcision, Peter only of the circumcision. The papists say that Peter received both the swords from Christ, civill and spirituall: that is both civill and spiri­tuall power, I say he only received spirituall power, and that equally with the rest of the Apostles. The papists say that the pope of Rome is Peters successor in the Universality of jurisdiction: I say that an Arch­bishop is his successor, in his priority of order and primacie of mode­ration within his own province.

Consider now good Christian which of us two, I or my opponent, be most popish, he is half I am sure, I in no case, hee in the point of Episcopall government, saith wholly as they say, I am against them in all the foresaid controversies, I give no more to Peter, then the chief adversaries of popery gives him, Calvin, Piscator Iewell, Willet, Marlorat, as I made manifest before by their particular testimonies, to whom ac­cords Davenant in his determinations, for hee saith, that both out of Scriptures and Fathers, many things may be brought, which ascribes to Peter some prerogatives of honour, but of such titles and preroga­tives as are attribute to him, we affirm, that no other thing can be col­lected, but that he obtain'd a certain primacy and presidency, for or­ders sake among the Apostles. Maier also in his Treasury upon Matth. 16. saith, That Christ gave Peter some prerogative above the rest of the Disciples, and yet making another viz. Paul equall to him in every respect. And truly I remember no Protestant Divine that denyes that Peter had the first place amongst the rest of the Apostles, and how can they? since it is so plain and manifest in Scriptures, and which is in effect the very bane and overthrow of the mayn grounds of popery.

[Page 39]For although the Papists abuse the foresaid places of Scripture, to maintaine Peter his supremacy and his successors the Pope, yet we must not refuse to give Peter that which his master bestowed upon him, and so wrest the Scriptures as farre upon the other hand: although the Papists abuse the words of our Saviour Christ (hoc est corpus meum) to maintaine their transubstantiation, yet we must not deny a reall and spirituall presence of Christs body in the soules of the faithfull: even so although the papists abuse the foresaid places of Scripture to maintaine Peters supremacy, and the universality of the Popes power and authority, yet we must not deny that Christ gave Peter a priority of order, and a precedency of moderation, a­mong the Apostles, for there is a great difference between supream power and authority, which the papists ascribe to Peter and his successour the Pope, and a priority of order for avoiding of confu­sion; this Christ gave Peter without doubt, but not the former.

It is true indeed Protestant Divines have beene very sparing in amplifying the prerogative, and preheminence, that Peter had a­mongst the rest of the Apostles, only because the Papists advance him too much, far beyond measure and moderation: But although the Papists decline too much to one extremity, God forbid, that wee decline as farre to the other, God forbid, because papists de­fend a bodily presence of Christ in the sacrament, that we turne Sacramentaries, because the papists extoll good workes and make them meritorious, that we turn Libertines, because papists wil needs worship God supra statutum, they will doe more then God hath commanded, that we refuse to doe that which he hath appointed: even so God forbid, because Papists make Peter universall monarch of the whole world, that we deny, that he was chiefe Apostle of the circumcision, and had a priority of order among the gover­nors of the Church of the Iewes, which the Scripture gives him in plaine language, let us remember, that they that adde to, and they that take from the word of God, are both subject to the same curse, and that they that call evill good, and good evill, are in the same case.

For my owne part, I dare not but speake the truth as I find it de­livered in the Scriptures, it is the dutie of all Gods messengers, to reveale the whole counsell of God, and to keepe back nothing, the knowledge whereof is necessary for the promoving of Gods glory, and the advancement of the Kingdome of his deare sonne: and [Page 40] this point which I maintaine, concerning the superiority of Church Governors, concerns the externall government of his kingdome, I am sure, and it is so cleere and evident in Scripture, that none that has understanding and can read the Scriptures, but may conceive it, and my opponents some of them make a Church government a marke of the Church, and a part of the Gospell; it stands us then greatly in hand, to make triall, which is that government, that Christ hath established in his Church, and truely the government which I defend is the onely government which we finde establi­shed by Christ and his Apostles, and which hath beene in use in the Christian Church, in all ages and generations since: And that which some of my opponents defend, we neither read of it in Scrip­ture, not so much as a syllable, nor that as it was the government established of any particular Church, in the whole Christian world, till within these few yeares, and truely it makes my haire to stand upon my head to heare so glorious Epithiets given to the Inventi­ons of men, as to call their discipline, the temple of God, Mount Sion, the Tabernacle of the Lord, the eternall councell of God, the Scepter of Iuda, a marke of the Church, a part of the Gospell: these Epithiets, & stiles are proper to the Apostolicall government, to the purity whereof, as it is recorded in Scriptures, if the govern­ment of the Church of England were conformed, it might be justly called the holy discipline, and enjoy all these forementioned Epi­thiets. O blessed Iesu! happy should I thinke my selfe, if I should see thy Church in all Christian Kingdomes governed, as thou hast pre­scribed in thy word; and thus much I have said for Peters Archie­piscopall priority, now I will say somewhat for Paules, in the Chur­ches of the Gentiles.

Saint Augustine saith that Peter was not the head of the Church but an eye in the head: and truely if Peter was the one eye, I may say that Paul was the other, for although that Peter was called a­mong the first of the Apostles by Christ his master, and Paul after all; yet the Apostle Paul mentions his dignity and degree to bee as high as Peters, he was not inferiour he saith to the chiefe Apostle; and if we looke to the manner of their calling, Pauls calling was much more glorious then Peters, even when hee was first called to be a preacher of the Gospell. Peter was called when he was going about the workes of his calling, Paul when he was raging with all cruel­ty against the Saints of God, Christ arrests him and makes him [Page 41] stand and yeeld, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me, it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks: it was at this time that hee was caught up into paradice, and heard unspeakable words, which is not lawfull for man to utter, 2. Cor. 12. It is no wonder that the Apo­stle Paul glories in the manner of his calling, for none of them were called after so excellent a manner, which was a presage of the greatnesse of the worke, whereunto he was called, which our Savi­our makes known to Ananias Act. 9. for he saith to him, he is a chosen vessell unto me to beare my name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel, for I will shew him saith the Lord, what great things he shall suffer for my names sake, this was the first time that hee was called, and that onely to be a preacher of the Gospell, he was not as yet called to be an Apostle; nor he was not advanced some yeares after this to the Apostolicall function, not before the Lord appeared to the Prophets and teachers at Antioch, and required them to separate to him Barnabas & Saul, to the worke whereunto he had called them Act. 13. it was at this time that hee was made an Apostle; before this time, he was no more but one of the Prophets of the Church of Antioch, and so called Act. 13.1. after this time he is said to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and to be mighty by wonders and miracles, after this hee is called by a new name Paul.

That Paul was the chiefe Apostle of the Churches of the Gentiles, he shewes in divers places of his Epistles, Eph. 3. he saith, for this cause I Paul the prisoner of Iesus Christ for you Gentiles, and verse 2. if ye have heard of the dispensation of the mystery of God, which was given to you-ward, and verse 8. unto me, who am lesse then the least of all Saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ: The Apostle saith this grace was given him, not because it was only given him, but because it was chiefely given him. But he most plainely declares his priority in the Churches of the Gentiles, Gal. 2. for there hee equalls himselfe with Peter, who as I have made manifest, had a priority of order among the 12. Apostles, and in the whole Iewish Church, and doth not in any case acknowledge himselfe inferiour to him, neither in order nor degree, yea he tells us plainly that the Gospell of the uncircumcision was committed to him, as the Go­spell of circumcision was committed to Peter, which testimony of the Apostle Pauls, evidently declares, that there was a speciall over-sight [Page 42] committed unto Peter, in the Church of the Jewes, and unto Paul, in the Church of the Gentiles, for if it had not beene so, why would he compare with Peter, and not with the rest? not, he would have said without all doubt as the Church of the Iewes was commit­ted to Peter, Iames, and Iohn, so the Church of the Gentiles was com­mitted to him and Barnabas.

Moreover it is evident that Paul his charge had some excellency in it, above the ministery of the other Governors of the Church of the Gentiles, for although there were others that were Apostles of the Gentiles, and namely Barnabas for one, yet he appropriates a speciall oversight of the uncircumcision to himselfe in these words, He that was effectuall in Peter to the Apostleship of the circumcisi­on the same was mighty in me towards the gentiles.

Further Paul telleth us, 2. Cor. 11.26. that he had the care of all the Churches, viz. of many Churches of the Gentiles, this evidently shewes not the greatnesse only but the speciality of his charge, for sure there was some other Apostle that had the care of some Chur­ches of the Gentiles, as Tim. of Eph. Tit of Cret. Epaphroditus of Phil. Archippus of Laodicea, Epaphras of Col. and Hierapolis, Apollos of Cor. and others; And although these mens Apostleship may be que­stioned, there can no be question of Barnabas Apostleship, and tha [...] over the uncircumcision too, and yet the Apostle Paul saith that he had a speciall care of all.

His care is also manifest in his diligent writing to the Churches of the Gentiles, Cor. Gal. Eph. in the which he makes knowne the great care that he had of their salvation, as may be instanced in his expostulations, protestations and earnest exhortations, yea he had a speciall care of those Churches that were not planted by him­selfe, but by others, as of the Church of Col. Laodicea, Rome: & where he planted the Gospell himselfe, what a speciall care had he to vi­sit them againe, and keepe them safe as far as as he could, from the entring in of wolves to devoure the sheep committed to his charge? yea this is the greatest argument that he hath against the false Apo­stles that they intruded them upon his charge, the Gentiles being chiefely committed to him, which he proveth by the testimony of Peter, Iames and Iohn, who gave him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that they should goe unto the Iewes, and they unto the heathen; now from these grounds, I will forme some arguments for Paul his priority of order among the Churches of the Gentiles.

The first Argument.

IF Paul was not inferiour to Peter, neither in dignity not degree, then if Peter had a priority and precedencie among the Apostles of the circumcision, Paul had the same priority among the ministers of the uncircumcision.

But Paul was not inferiour to Peter, neither in dignity nor degree.

And therefore if Peter had a priority, and a precedency, among the ministers of the circumcision, Paul had the same priority, among the ministers of the uncircumcision.

That Paul was not inferiour, neither in dignity nor degree, to the Apostle Peter, I hope will not be denyed, for he defendeth it in many passages of his Epistles; and that Peter had a priority, and a precedencie among the Apostles of the circumcision, I have made manifest by cleare evidence of Scripture, and therefore the con­clusion will stand good, that Saint Paul had a priority, and a pre­cedencie, among the Ministery of the uncircumcision.

The second Argument.

HEe to whom the Gospell of the uncircumcision was chiefely committed, had a priority, and a precedencie of all the Mi­nisters of the uncircumcision, of whatsoever order or degree.

But the Gospel of the uncircumcision, was chiefely commit­ted to the Apostle Paul.

And therefore Saint Paul had a priority, and a precedency, in the Ministery of the uncircumcision, of all degrees.

The proposition will be granted; I prove the assumption by the Apostle Paul his owne testimony, Gal. 2. where he saith, As the Go­spell of the circumcision, was committed to Peter, so the Gospell of the uncircumcision, was committed to him; thus the Apostle Paul speakes, not because the Gospell of uncircumcision, was not committed to any other, for in that same Chapter, hee saith that it was also committed to Barnabas, and in the generall Commission given by Christ to all the Apostles, it was included; for they were commanded to teach all nations (omni creaturae) both Iewes and Gentiles, but only because, it was principally committed to him; and this exposition Doctor Willet confirmes in his Synopsis, [Page 44] Where he plainly testisieth that Paul had the chiefe Apostleship o­ver the Gentiles, yea he saith, that Peter was chiefe of the circum­cision, and Paul of the uncicumcision, that although Peter had the first Lot in order, yet Paul had the more large and glorious Lot, and further he saith that it cannot be denyed, but that Paul was chiefe towards the Gentiles, and therefore the Church of Rome might with better right, derive their authority from the Apostle Paul, then the Apostle Peter: now if Paul had an over-sight of the whole Churches of the Gentiles, then it will follow that he had an over-sight both of the Pastors and the people, if the pastors and Mini­sters of the Gentiles be of the Church of the Gentiles, which I think no man will deny.

The third argument.

HEe that had the care of all the Churches of the Gentiles, had a precedencie of all the Apostles, and inferior Ministers, of these Churches.

But the Apostle Paul had the chiefe care of all the Churches of the Gentiles, 2. Cor. 11. 26.

And therefore the Apostle Paul, had the over-sight of all the A­postles, and inferiour ministers, of these Churches.

The proposition must be true, for to have a care of a Church wherein there are other inferior Ministers, either in dignity or de­gree, it will follow necessarily, that his care extends both to pastors and people.

The fourth Argument.

HEe that had the care not only of those Churches which hee planted by his owne ministery, but of those Churches also that were planted by the ministery of other men, hee had an over-sight of all the Pastors of those Churches.

But the Apostle Paul had not only the care of those Chur­ches, which he planted by his owne ministery, but also of those Churches, which were planted by the ministery of other men.

And therefore the Apostle Paul had an over-sight of all the pa­stors of those Churches.

[Page 45]The proposition must be granted, or else Paul might have beene challenged for putting his sicle in another mans field, and intru­ding himselfe upon the labours of other men, and so to have stretched himselfe beyond his measure, which hee labours by all meanes to avoid 2. Cor. 10. 13. 14. 15.

I prove the assumption that the Apostle Paul had the care of those Churches which were planted by the ministery of others, he had a care of Rome, Col. Laodicea, which were planted by the ministery of others, as is evident Rom. 10. 11. for I long to see you, that I may Impart some spirituall gift unto you, to the end you may be established, and so forth to the 14. verse, and Col. 2.1. for I would yee knew, saith Paul, what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seene my face in the flesh, and verse 5. for although I be absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, Ioying and beholding your order, and the steadfastnesse of your faith in Christ, even as he saith Rom. 18. I thanke my God through Iesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the world: so it is more then manifest that the Apo­stle Paul had a speciall care of those Churches, which were plan­ted by others, and therefore it will follow necessarily that hee had some over-sight of the pastors as well as the people.

The fifth argument.

HEe that did Admonish, direct and command, as well the pa­stors as the people, hee had some over-sight both of the pa­stors and people.

But the Apostle Paul did admonish, direct and command as well the pastors, as the people.

And therefore the Apostle Paul had some over-sight, both of the pastors and the people.

The proposition will bee granted: I prove the assumption, by his Admonition he sent to Archippus, Col. 4. 17. and yet Archippus was planted in my Iudgement by Epaphras in Laodicea, and perhaps in Col. also & not by the Apostle Paul. We see the truth of this by his directions to Tim. and Tit. registreat in his Epistle written to them, yea Phil. 2. 25. and 26. he saith that he had sent Epaphroditus back againe to them, which words argue some kind of over-sight at least for he that sends is greater then he that is sent.

The sixth Argument.

I If the changing of Peters name was a token of his preferment and advancement, then the changing of Pauls name was a token of his preferment and advancement.

But the first is true, and therefore the second.

I know it will be replyed, that Christ changed Peter his name, but not Pauls. Answer. I am confident he also changed Pauls, for the reasons before alledged, although it be not in plaine termes revea­led in Scripture; all things that Christ did and said are not revealed in the Word, as we may read in the last chapter of the Gospell ac­cording to S. Iohn. I am of opinion that when Paul was ravished to the third Heaven, and heard words which might not be spoken, that he changed his name then, and that he did conceale the changing of his name, as he did the rest of the words that he heard, because it was his own name, therefore he makes no relation of it: even as Peter out of modesty doth not report the many favours and respects which his Master did shew to him, no not the changing of his name; so the Apostle Paul conceales the changing of his name, left his tel­ling of it had been thought arrogancy in him; and the rather be­cause the name that he had before had an evill signification, and he had small credit to have had Saul for his Godfather, although he was King of Israel; and indeed their names were very agreeable to their manners, for Saul in Greek signifies turbulency, and truly both Saul the King, and Saul the Pharisee, were rightly so called, for both were proud, both were turbulent, Saul the King persecuted Christ in David, who was a type and figure of Christ, he did what he could to frustrate Gods purpose, that Christ should not come of the seed of David, and also to deprive him of his Kingdome. Saul the Pha­risee persecuted Christ in his children, and did what he could to hinder the propagation of Christs Kingdome, and so to frustrate the salvation of the Elect. Paul was therefore loath to make mention of his name; and the rather because the changing of one letter of his first name S. into P. made it have a good signification, for Paul in Greek signifieth Quiet and peaceable, so that the changing of the name Saul into the name Paul did signifie his conversion and change, who of a turbulent persecutor of Christians, became a quiet and peaceable Christian himselfe; and so S. Ambrose saith, before that [Page 47] this Apostle was washed with spirituall precepts, he was a blasphe­mer, a persecuter and a Saul: but when as the raine of the heavenly washing had flowed downe upon him, the blasphemer, the perse­cuter, and the Saul is killed, and the Apostle, the righteous, and the Paul is vivified: The word Saul as interpreters relates is [...], a name taken from turbulency, and Paulus commeth of [...], rest and quiet: some will have it deriven from the Hebrew word [...] to segregate, because he was chosen and segregated as a marvellous man, according to Ierome in Epist. ad Philem. But I am rather of Augustine his opinion, who follows rather the Latin Etimology say­ing, after that he was brought unto the Master, that said, Learne of me, for I am meeke and gentle, he was named Paul. And againe he saith, Saul laying aside the old coat of sinne, being bloody with slaughter, tooke the coat of humility, that he might be made of Saul a Paul. There are many opinions concerning the changing of the Apostles name from Saul to Paul, but I am confident that his Master Christ did it, although the Apostle told it not, and he might have told it too, although it be not recorded in Scripture, sure he told that he was so called, although he was not immediately called Paul after his conversion, he said to Paul (it may be) as he said to Peter, thou shalt be called Paul, viz. when he was advanced to the Aposto­licall charge, and so we read Act. 13. soon after he was separate, for that worke, the Evangelist Luke calleth him Paul, and no more Saul. And therefore I may very justly conclude, that since Christ changed the Apostles name, that it was a signe of his preferment and ad­vancement by Christ.

The seventh Argument.

HEe who tooke precedency upon him de facto, he had it de jure. But Paul tooke precedency upon him de facto: and therefore he had it de jure.

The proposition must be true, or else we must say that Paul pre­sumed and tooke more upon him, then did of right belong unto him, which I hope no Divine will say, and therefore my conclusion must be good.

As to the assumption that Paul tooke precedency upon him, we see it in the Acts of the Apostles, for although Barnabas was an Apo­stle as well as Paul, yet he gave place unto Paul, and suffered him to [Page 48] speake, and therefore at Lystra Paul is called Mercurius because he spake all, and Barnabas is called Iupiter.

Now I hope I have plainly proved, that these two Apostles, S. Peter and S. Paul, had a priority and a precedency of all the Church-officers both of Jewes and Gentiles, Peter of the Jewes, and Paul of the Gentiles.

There is one argument yet for the dignity and preheminency of both, viz. that the History of the Acts concernes them onely, except very little in the beginning of the History, which in my judgement is an evident argument not only of their diligence in the ministery, but of their honour and preferment by Christ; that these two Apo­stles paines in the ministery should be in some part registrate, and the acts of none of the rest, no not of Iohn who was a most painfull preacher of the Gospell even untill the day of his death, yea some of them are not once named except in the generall, under the name of Apostles; who will be pleased to read over that part of Scripture will find it so.

Now to end this discourse: as I brought in the beginning the testimonies of some moderne Writers to testifie for me, that what I was to say, had been said of them before my time, hereby to free my self from scandalous imputations wherewith I might have been wrongfully charged; so here in the end I will produce the testimo­nies of the most ancient Fathers and godly martyrs that lived in the first centuries of Christianity, to make good what we both have said, but truly not to prove any thing that I have delivered in my former Discourse, for to what use shall a man light a thousand Candles and set them up in his house, when the Sunne shineth bright in at the windows? and so there is no need of either the testimonies of ancient or moderne Writers, when the matter is delivered in the Scripture in plaine and evident termes. I will produce them then not to prove any thing that I have said, but to be as it were Pro­ctors for me, and to defend me from the calumnies and the asper­sions of the malevolous, and to testifie that I have said nothing, but that which is according to the cleere evidence Scripture, and whereunto some of them did beare witnesse before, and sealed the truth thereof with their blood. I will begin with Cyprian.

S. Cyprian de simpli prolat. speaketh thus. The rest of the Apostles was the same that Peter was, ordained with that same honour and authority, but the beginning was from one to demonstrate the Church to be one.

[Page 49]S. Ambrose writing upon Galat. 2. he saith that Paul nameth only Peter, and compareth him with himselfe, because he had received the Primacy to found the Church (of the Jewes) and himselfe was also elected to have the Primacy, in founding the Churches of the Gentiles, yet so that both Peter might preach to the Gentiles, & Paul to the Jewes, if there were cause, for both of them are found to have done both, and yet it is knowne that full authority was given to Peter, in preaching to the Jewes, and full authority to Paul in preach­ing to the Gentiles. And in the glosse S. Ambrose is thus alleaged, Which of them doth resist Peter, to whom the Lord gave the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, nisi alius talis, but such another that knew himselfe, by the confidence of his election, not to be unequall. So saith Ierome, Paul doth reprehend Peter because he knew himselfe not to be unequall &c.

So Ierome on Math. 16. saith, that all received the keyes of the King­dome of Heaven, yet one is chosen among the twelve, that an head being appointed all occasions of schisme might be taken away.

Chrysostome Hom. 87. saith, what meaneth Christ to single out Peter alone, and to say thus unto him, (Peter lovest thou me? lovest thou me? lovest thou me? thrice. Feed my sheepe, feed my Lambs?) He was the mouth of the rest saith he, and Prince of the Apostles, where­fore Paul went up to see him above others; for as though he, viz. Christ his master had forgotten his denials, he committeth unto him the care of his brethren; as if he had said, as thou lovest me, so take a care of thy brethren, and the love which thou hast alwaies shewed to me, shew now, and the life which thou saidest, thou woul­dest lay downe for me, lay downe now for them.

S. Augustine saith that Peter and Paul were chosen for the salvation of two peoples, Peter of the Jewes, Paul of the Gentiles; Peter to re­paire the old and desert fields of Iudea and to make them fruitfull through the wholsomnesse of faith and grace, being kept unfruitfull by the shadow of the Law, and hidden from the heat of the Sunne; but Paul is sent to the Gentiles a new ground, that yeelded no fruit before, that he might cut it with the plough of the Lords Crosse, &c Therefore these two are more eminent then the rest of the A­postles, and by a certaine peculiar prerogative did excell them all. August. in fest. Petri & Pauli.

An ancient Writer compares Peter and Paul to the two great Pil­lars, which Solomon set up in the porch of the Temple, one upon the [Page 50] right side, and an other upon the left side in the enterance into the Temple, & that upon the right side he called Iachim, which signifies established; aud the other upon the left side he called Boos, which signifies strong or strength; which two Pillars he compares to Peter and Paul, Peter signifiing a rocke most firmely established; and the word Paul signifying rest or quietnesse, which is opposite to motion, and so of such strength as cannot be moved or turned backe. So that as Salomon who was a type and figure of Christ, being about to build a house unto the Lord, did set up two Pillars in the Porch of the Temple, one upon the right side, and another upon the left. Even so Christ the true Salomon, being to erect a Church to God here upon earth, he set up two Pillars as it were in the entry of this Church, so that whosoever desires to enter in the Church of Christ, they must enter by the doore which these two Apostles by their doctrine and ministery hath opened both to Jewes and Gentiles; and therefore this ancient Authour compares the Jewes to the right side called Iachim to whom Peter was chiefly sent; and the Gentiles to the left side called Boos, over whom Paul had the chiefe oversight.

Surely it is mentioned by all the ancient Fathers, and moderne Writers, without contradiction of any one, that these two Apostles had a propriety of order before all the rest of the Apostles, and Pres­byters, the one in the Church of the Jewes, the other in the Church of the Gentiles. What can be said against the perpetuity and con­tinuance of this priority in the Church of Christ in all ages follow­ing, I cannot imagine: that it was a personall prerogative that these two Apostles had granted them by Christ their Master, in the be­ginning of the Gospell, can no waies be said, and that for these rea­sons following.

First, because it is a thing that is morally necessary without the which a Church cannot be governed at all, as Calvin saith in plaine tearms, Inst it 4. cap. 6. sect. 8. That the 12 Apostles had one among them to governe the rest, it was no marvell saith he, for nature re­quireth it, and the disposition of men will so have it, that in every company, although they be all equall in power, there be one as Governour, by whom the rest shall be directed; There is no Court, saith he, without a Consull, no Senate without a Pretor, no Colledge without a President, no Society without a Master; so that whatso­ever is morally necessary in all ages, Nations, Kingdomes, Provinces, Incorporations, Societies, can no waies be thought to be a peculiar [Page 51] Prerogative to one or two particular men, living in one age, or in one Nation and Kingdome.

Secondly, this priority is much more necessary now in a setled Church, then it was in a Church while the foundation was but in laying, the Apostles calling was universall, and they were ordained to preach the Gospell to all Nations, and had equall power confer­red upon them to preach the Gospell, and to gather a Church unto Christ, and thereafter to erect a ministery and plant overseers a­mong them, there was not great need of a Precedent, and in speciall in the Churches of the Gentiles, untill there was a company to goe before; but now in a setled Church, governed according to the pattern that Christ hath left behind him, this precedent is so neces­sary that he is most necessary.

Thirdly, I conceive this Precedent to be so necessary that Christ setled it in the persons of Peter and Paul to be a pattern to afterages, shewing them that it is his will, that his Church be so governed in all ages and generations to come, for since it is more necessary now then it was then, the Church not being setled, and the Apostles and Presbyters charge being ambulatory, and their ministery spread over all, and the rather since the Apostle Iames was setled in Ierusa­lem as Bishop there, who was sufficient to govern the whole Church of the Jewes, with the assistance of his Presbyters, so that Peters Precedency in the Church of the Jewes seemed not to be so neces­sary, except onely that Christ thought good to doe so, for an exam­ple to afterages, yea that superiority and inferiority, which he esta­blished in the persons of the severall rankes of Church-governours was not so needfull then as now, considering that then Apost. and the 70. Disciples, and their successours in both degrees, had the gift of miracles, and other extraordinary gifts, by which powerfull meanes, they were able to keepe all their inferiours in order and awe: for if by such meanes they were able to worke faith and re­pentance in their soules, they were as sufficient to worke amend­ment of life in their conversation; and therefore at this time all Church-men might have been of equall authority, both for dignity and degree, and yet Christ himselfe, with his owne mouth did con­stante both divers dignities and divers degrees, and that chiefely to teach us how he would have his Church governed in all ages and generations to come.

Fourthly, there are some things that Christ did in the which we [Page 52] are not able to follow his example, as his fasting forty daies with­out meat, his walking upon the sea, and such other miraculous, and extraordinary workes: next, Christ did some things, wherein we must not follow him, as in being circumcised, celebrating the Pas­soever, and in a precise keeping of the Mosaicall Ordinances, Christ kept them all, he came to fulfill all righteousnesse, he saith he came not to breake the Law but fulfill it, yea that one jot or title of the Word of God should not passe away he saith, untill all things were fulfilled, the whole ceremonies of Moses Law were referred to Christ and had their end in him, and therefore we might not follow Christ in obeying them: Thirdly, Christ did some things wherein we need not follow him, Christ went bare-footed, he travelled on foot, we never read that he did ride on horse-backe, but once that he did ride upon an Asse to Ierusalem; well, we may choose whether we will follow him in these things or not. Lastly, in some things we are bound to follow Christs example, that is, in all things that he did morally, we are bound to follow the example of his life and con­versation, to be patient as he was patient, temperate as he was tem­perate, modest as he was modest, mercifull as he was mercifull, lo­ving as he was loving, meeke as he was meeke, &c. In all these and such like morall vertues, we are bound to follow his example. And lastly, what Christ did in the setling of the manner of his worship, we are bound to follow him in these things, we are bound to preach in season, and out of season, as he did, we are bound to celebrate the Sacrament of the Supper, according to his example, except in in the circumstances of time, place, person, site, which are neither morally good, nor morally evill, but good or evill, according as they are used or abused, and thirdly we are bound to follow him, in what he did concerning the government of his own Church, he did found his owne Church in an imparity of Church-governours, he distinguished them in degrees and dignities, in doing whereof the Church in all ages is bound to follow his example, we hold the practice of the Apost. to have the force of a precept, much more should we hold the practise of Christ to be mandative and obligato­ry. And so I hope I have proved by good and forcible reason, that [...]dency of these two Apostles Peter and Paul was not a per­ [...]ogative but a morall example, instituted by Christ.


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