A retentiue, to stay good Christians, in true faith and religion, against the motiues of Richard Bristow Also a discouerie of the daungerous rocke of the popish Church, commended by Nicholas Sander D. of Diuinitie. Done by VVilliam Fulke Doctor of diuinitie, and Maister of Pembroke hall in Cambridge.
Fulke, William, 1538-1589.

The fourteenth Chapter.

THat the ordinarie auctoritie of S. Peters primacie be∣longeth*to one Bishop alone. The whole gouernmēt of the church tendeth to vnitie.

COncerning Peters primacie, as there is litle in the Scriptures, wherupon it may be gathered, so I haue * shewed, that it was not in him perpetuall. For there are greater arguments to proue the primacie of Iames. A∣gayne the greatest shewe of Peters primacy, that we reade of in the Scriptures, is the primacie or heade A∣postleshippe of the circumcision. So that if one Bishoppe should succeede him, in that primacie, he must be chiefe Bishoppe ouer the Iewes, and not ouer the Gentiles. For the chiefe Apostleshippe ouer the Gentiles, was by God committed to Paule. Galat. 2. 7. & 8. But if M. Sander say, as he doth in an other place, that the Pope succeedeth both these Apostles, and therefore hath both their auctoritie. First he ouerthroweth his owne rocke of the church, which he will haue to be Peter a∣lone. Secondlie his argument of vnitie, which he vr∣geth in this chapter he subuerteth, if the Popes aucto∣ritie be deriued from two heades. Thirdly he de∣stroyeth his owne distinction of Bishoplike and Aposto∣like auctoritie, if the Apostolike auctority of Paul should Page  255 descend to the Pope by succession.

Nowe let vs consider what weighty reasons he hath, to proue the title of this chapter. S. Peters auctority was specified before the auctoritie was geuen to the rest, of binding & loosing. Mat. 18. Therfore seeing it was first in him alone, it ought to descend to one Bishop alone. But let M. Sander shew, where it was geuen to him alone, or promised to him alone ether. For the promise thou shalt be called Peter, gaue him no auctoritie, nor yet the per∣formance thereof: Thou art Peter. But still the auctority is promised, I will build, I will geue, (I reason as M. Sander doth of the Future tense) which promise being made Math. 16. is performed Math. 18. not to Peter onely, but to all the rest, and so all auctoritie is geuen in common Ioan. 20.

But S. Cyprian ad Iubaianum, sayth, that Christ gaue the auctority first to Peter. Petro primus Dominus (super quem aedificauit ecclesiam, & vnitatis originem instituit & o∣stendit) potestatem istam dedit, vt id solueretur in terris, quod ille soluisset. This doth M. Sander translate, Our Lorde did first geue vnto Peter &c. Wheras he should say:

Our Lord was the first that gaue to Peter (vpon whom he builded his churche and instituted and shewed the beginninge of vnity) this power, that whatsoeuer he loosed it should be loosed in earth. This proueth, that the auctoritie came first from Christ, but not that it was geuen first to Peter.
And if we should vnderstand it so, that it was first geuen to Peter, yet he meaneth not, that it was geuen to reside in his person, but that in him as the attorney of the rest, it was geuen to them also, as he saith, lib. 1. Ep. 3.
Petrus tamen super quem aedificata ab eodem Domino fue∣rat ecclesia, vnus pro omnibus loquens & Ecclesiae voce respondens, ait Domine ad quem ibimus &c. Yet Peter vpon whome the churche had beene builded, by the same our Lorde, as one speaking for all, and aunswering in the voyce of the church sayeth: Lorde whether shall we goe &c. as he spake for all, so he receaued for all.
Which thing if it had bene so (as we sinde not in the Page  256 Scripture) yet could it haue beene no ordinary matter, to discend to one by succession. For the power beeing once receiued by one in the name of the reste, and by him deliuered to the rest, it should be continued in suc∣cession of euery one that hath receiued it, and not eue∣ry day to be fetched a new from a seuerall heade. For that beginning came from vnitie, which Cyprian spea∣keth of, when Peter beeing one, was the voice & mouth of the rest, and so receiued power for the rest, which be∣ing once receiued, the church holdeth of Christe, and not of Peter or his successors, no more then a corpora∣tion holdeth of him, that was their atturney, to receiue either lands or authoritie from the Prince, but holdeth immediatly of the Prince. Wherfore this argument fol∣loweth not, although the authoritie had begon in one, that it should continue in one.

The second reason is, that the most perfect gouern∣ment is meete for the Church, but most perfection is in vnitie, therefore there ought to be one chiefe gouernor of all. This one chiefe gouernour is our Sauiour Christ, ruler both in heauen & in earth. Who ascending into heauen, did not appoynt one Pope ouer all his church, but Apostles, Euangelistes, Prophets, Pastors and tea∣chers, that we might all meete in the vnitie of faith, and grow into a perfect man. Eph. 4. 11. & 12.

The third reason is, that the state of the newe Testa∣ment, must be more perfect then the law, but in the law, there was one high pastor, the high Priest on earth, therefore there must be one now also and much rather. I aunswere we haue him in deede, our chiefe Bishop & high Priest, of whome the Aaronicall Priest, was but a shadow, namely Iesus Christ, whose gouernment is no∣thing lesse perfect and beneficiall to his church in that he sitteth in heauen, and hath as before is cited lefte an ordinarie ministerie on earth in many Pastors and tea∣chers ouer euerie seuerall congregation and not in one Pope ouer al, which could not possibly either know, or attend to decide, the one thousande parte of contro∣uersies, Page  257 which are determined by ye auctoritie of Christs law, and such ministers as he hath ordeyned.

The fourth reason is of auctority. Cyprian ad Iubaia∣num: Ecclesia quae vna est &c. The church which is one was founded by our Lordes voyce vpon one, which receaued the keyes thereof. And againe, de simplicitat. praelat. Quamsis &c. Although Christ after his resurrection geueth equall po∣wer to all his Apostles and sayth: as my father sent me so do I send you: receaue the holy Ghost. If you remit to any man his sinnes they shal be remitted. And if you rteine them, they shal be reteined, yet that he might shew the vnitie, he disposed by his auctoritie, the originall of that vnitie, beginning of one.

But Cyprian proceedeth: Hoc erant &c. Vere by the rest of the Apostles were the same thing that Peter was, endued with equall fellowshippe both of honor and of power, but the begin∣ning proceedeth from vnitie, that the church might be shewed to be one. These wordes are playne to declare, that Cy∣prian acknowledgeth no inequalitie of the Apostles, in respect of any auctoritie they had.
Also that the buil∣ding of the church vpon one, and the receauing of the keyes of one, was not an ordinarie office to discende, by succession, but a singular priuiledge, for that one tyme to shewe the beginning, and not the continu∣aunce of the power to proceede from one, but to be helde alwayes of one, which is Iesus Christ, without any shadowes of one Bishoppe on earth to signifie the same, when Christ is reuealed with open face vnto vs nowe sitting in heauen. 2. Cor. 3. 18.

The like thing teacheth Optatus lib. 2. de schism. Vt in na &c. That in one chaire in which Peter sate, vnity might be kept of all men, least the rest of the Apostles shoulde e∣uerie one challenge a chaire to him selfe: so that he shoulde nowe be a schismatike and a sinner, that agaynst a singular chaire, should place an other. Therfore in that one chaire which is chiefe in giftes, Peter sate first. His meaning is to de∣fende the vnitie of the churche against the Donatistes, but of the auctoritie of Peters chaire ouer all other Bi∣shoppes chaires, if he had spoken any thing M. Sander Page  258 would not haue concealed it, which doth vs great wrong to thinke that we can not distinguishe a chaire of vnitie, from a chaire of auctoritie.

The place of Hierom cont. Iouin. lib. 1. hath bene aun∣swered once or twise, shewing that among the Apostles which were equall, Peter was chosen to be primate, to a∣uoide contention, which was a primacy of order and not of auctority. As for the collection of Lco Bishoppe of Rome, that Peters primacy was a platforme, for other Bishops to vnderstād, that they must haue a Bishop ouer them, if the very Apostles had an head among them, sa∣uoreth of the ambition incident to that see, which was appoynted to be the seate of Antichrist. Although nei∣ther Leo him selfe, challēged so much as the Pope doth nowe, neither the Bishops of his time, would yeeld vnto him in so muche as he challenged. For beside the whole generall councel of Chalcedon, that concluded against him, about the priuiledges of the Bishop of Constanti∣nople, wherein they made him equall with the Bishoppe of Rome, the title of seniority onely reserued, it appea∣reth by his Epistles, that many Bishops acknowledged not such primacy ouer them, as he claimed, whereof he complameth in diuerse of his Epistles.

The place of Cyprian lib. 1. Epist. 3. that heresies haue sprong because one Iudge is not acknowledged in stede of Christ, for the time, to whom the whole brotherhood might obey He can not deny but it is ment of Cyprian of one Iudge in euery diocesse. But he reasoneth a fortiori, that there ought to be much rather one Iudge ouer all the world. Howbeit I haue shewed the in consequence of this argu∣ment, by example of one Phisitian, one Schoolemaister, one Iudge in temporall matters ouer the whole worlde, to whom it is as impossible to discharge suche an office ouer all, as it is profitable for one suche to be in euerie towne. He sayth that particular flockes, are voluntarie, and likewise particular pastors, but one flocke and one pastor, is of absolute necessitie on earth. In deede the li∣mites of particular flockes, and the persons of particular Page  259 pastors, are left to the appoyntment and choise of the church. But that there should be particular flockes and pastors, it is of Gods ordination, though God by his A∣postles appoynted it to be so, yet is it of as absolute ne∣cessity, while the church is dispersed in diuerse places of the world, as that there is one flocke and one shepheard ouer all Iesus Christ, and yet he is not ashamed to chal∣lenge vs pag. 298. Let the text be named where. Christ did institute many parishes? Whereas he him selfe, pag. 294. quoteth. Tit. 1. & Act. 14. which places proue, that Christ did institute many parishes, except he will say the Apo∣stles did it without the institution of Christ, which he confesseth they did not without the speciall inspiration of the holy Ghost or else will say, that the inspiration of the holy Ghost in the ordinaunce of many parishes, differeth from the institution of Christ. But he that wrangleth thus impudently and vnreasonably, aganst the playne institution of many parishes by Christ, bring∣eth a playne text where it is sayd, Feede me sheepe to one pastor.

Hath this man any foreheade thinke you, that cal∣leth this a playne text to proue that there shoulde be one sheepehearde vpon earth ouer all the flocke, be∣cause Christ vpon speciall occasion exhorted one man to feede his flocke? Are all thinges that were spoken to him singular vnto him? Christ sayd to him and to none other of the Apostles, come after me Satan, thou art an offense to me, for thou sauerest not the thinges that are of God but of men. Christ sayed to Peter and to none other, put vp thy sworde into thy scaberd, Christ sayed to Peter and to none other, thou wilt denye me thrise. O paynted rocke of the Popishe Churche, that hathe no better grounde then this saying feede my sheepe when he that challengeth au∣ctoritie hereby of all other feedeth least, and poysoneth most.

But let vs returne and see what auctoritie of olde fa∣thers he hath to proue one pastorall preheminence o∣uer Page  260 all the churche. Cyprian lib. 1. Ep. 8. Deus. vnus est, & Christus vnus, & vna ecclesia, & Cathedra vna super petram Domini voce fundata. There is one God, and one Christ, and one churche, and one chaire founded vpon Peter by our Lordes voyce. Heare I say first of all, that he doth falsifie Sainct Cyprians wordes turning peram into petrum, so that his saying is, There is one chaire by our Lordes voyce founded on the rocke. An other altar or a new Priesthoode can not be appointed beside one altar and one Priesthoode. Whosoeuer gathereth else∣where scattereth abroad &c.

But if the worde were petrum and not petram, yet the whole discourse of that Epistle sheweth, that Cyptian meaneth by these wordes to set forth not the past orall preheminence of one man ouer the whole church, but one Bishop in euery diocese. For he writeth against fiue Elders or Priestes, which had chosen one Felicissimus a schismatike, to be Bishop in Carthage against him.

But what other malicious ignorance, or shameles im∣pudence is this, that he peruerteth the saying of Christ of him selfe, to the Pope? There shall be one sheepefold & one shepheard. Ioan. 10 Yet see his reason. A flocke of shepe is one by force of one pastor, therefore if the Pastor on earth be not one, the flocke is not one on earth. If this argument be good, howe is the flocke one vpon earth, when there is no Pope? For the see hath bene voyde diuerse times, many dayes, many monethes, & somtime many yeares. Howe was the flocke one, when there were two or three Popes at once and that so often, and so long together? Therefore the flocke on earth is one by that one onely shepheard Iesus Christ, whose diuine voice all the shepe heare, though in his humanity, he be ascended into hea∣uen, and not by any one mortal man, to whom they can not be gathered, nether being so farre abroad dispersed, can heare his voyce.

And the whole order of the church on earth, tendeth to an vnitie in Christ, & not in one man whatsoeuer, as one generall pastor. For if that one shoulde be an here∣tike, Page  261 and all the church tend to vnity in him, the whole church should be wrapped in heresie with him. That di∣uerse Popes haue bene heretiks as Libeius, Anastasis, Vigilus, Honorius, Ihon the 23. in knowne condemned heresies, it is too manifest by recordes of antiquitie, that it shoulde be denyed, wherefore Christ instituted no such ordinary auctoritie, to be limited in one succes∣siō that it should haue preheminēce & imisdiction ouer all the churche. Seeing vnity is best mainteyned in do∣ctrine by his word, in gouernment, by the discipline by him appoynted. And vnity in truth can not be had at the handes of a man, which is a lyer, & experience she∣weth that the iurisdiction which the Bishoppe of Rome hath claimed, hath bene occasion of most and greatest schismes and dissentions that haue bene in particular churches, whē no man would obey his ordinary pastors and Bishops without the appealing to the see of Rome, beside so many schismes as haue bene in the same see, which haue set all the Christian world together by the cares, while they were deuided in factiōs, some holding with one Pope, and some with an other, and some with the third, and some with none of them all.