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 fourth Chapter.

DIuerse reasons are alleaged to proue (chiefely by the cir∣cumstance and conference of holy Scripture) that these*wordes (thou art Peter and vpon this rocke I will builde my church) haue this literall meaning, vpon thee ô Peter, being first made a rocke, to thend thou shouldest stoutely con∣fesse the faith, and so confessing it, I will build my church: the promise to be caelled Peter, was the first cause. VVhy the church was built vpon him, the Protestants can not tel: which is the first literall sense, of these wordes, vpon this rocke will I build my church.

FIrst it is to be remembred, that M. Sāder in the chap∣ter before, reiecting the interpretatiō of three of the * greatest Doctors of the church, Origen, Augustine, and Chrysostom, not only is bound in equity, to geue vs the same liberty which he taketh him selfe, but also to con∣fesse, that these three principal doctors, following other senses, then his, were ignoraunt of that which he & all other Papists, make to be the chiefe article of Christian faith, namely of the supremacie of Peter, when they ac∣knowledged not Peter to be the rocke wherupon Christ would build his church, and therfore would neuer haue subscribed to his booke, which he instituteth the rock of the church. But nowe to the argument of this chapter. Chrysostomis cited to proue, that, where Christ sayth to Peter, thou art Simon the sonne of Iona, thou shalt be called Cepha, which is by intepretation Peter, a newe name is promised to Simon, in Ioan. Hom. 18. HonorificePage  205&c. Christ doth forespeake honorably of him. For the certeine foretelling of things to come, is the worke only of the immortal God. It is to be noted, that Christ did not foretell at this first meeting all thinges which shoulde come to passe afterwarde to him. For he did not call him Peter, neither did he say, vpon this rocke will I builde my church. But he sayd, thou shalt be called Cephas. For that was both of more power, and also of more auctoritie. There is nothing in this sentence, but that we may willingly admit, Peter was not yet instru∣cted that he might be one of the twelue foundations of the church, as he was afterward. And that Chrysostom iudged no singular thing to be graunted, by that saying of Christ Mat. 16. to Peter, appeareth, by his wordes in Euang. Ioann. Praef. Where he applieth the same to Ihon.

Tonitrui enim filius est Christo dilectissimus, columna omniū quae in orbe sunt ceclesiarum, qui caeli claues habet. For the sonne of thunder is most beloued of Christ, being a pil∣ler of all the churches which are in the worlde, which hath the keyes of heauen. Neither doth Cyrillus, whom he citeth, make any thing for his purpose. In Ioan. lib. 2. cap. 12. Nec Simon &c.
And he telleth afore hande that his name shalbe Peter and not nowe Simon: by the very word si∣gnifying, that he would build his church on him as on a rocke and most sure stone. These are the wordes of Cyrillus, but that he meaneth not his person, but his faith, he she∣weth manifestly in his booke de Trinit. lib. 4. speaking v∣pon the text of Math. 16. the grounde of M. Sanders booke.
Peiram opinor per agnominationem nihil aliud, quam inconcussam & firmissimam discipuli fidem vocauit, in qua ecclesia Christi it a firmata & fundata esset, vt non labere∣tur. I thinke he called a rocke, by denomination no∣thing els but the most vnmoueable and stedfast faith of that disciple, on which the church of Christ should be so established and founded, that it should not fall. Here is an other principall Doctor ioyning with Chrysostom, a∣gainst M. Sander, who affirmeth, that the rocke is no∣thing els, but Peters faith.
After these he nameth. Theo∣phylact and Euthymius two late writers, but he citeth Page  206 nothing out of them presently. But after shewing the force of Gods promise to be effectual, to work al meanes necessarie for the performaunce of it, he citeth out of Euthymius in Luc 6. that it was like, that in Ioh. 1. Christ promised that Simon should be called Peter, & in Luk. 6 called him Peter. All this needed not, we doubt not but Simon was called Peter. Yea but Cyrillus sayth in Ioan. lib. 12. cap. 64. that he being Prince and heade, first cried out saying, thou art Christ the sonne &c. Therfore he was head before his confession, by promise and name. I will not here say, how contrary M. Sander is to him selfe, which in the cap. 3. sayd, that his supremacie was graunted to him as a rewarde of his confession. But I will aunswere Cyrillus by him selfe, in Ioan. lib. 4. cap. 28 that Peter was Ordine maior, superior in order, to auoyde confusion, not in degee, dignitie or auctoritie. And whereas M. Sander vrgeth so vehemently, that the name of Peter was not geuen for his confession, but was singular to him by pro∣mise, so that it belonged literally to no Prophet, Apostle nor disciple but only to him, & his successors, it is a most fond & friuolus matter, for the name of Bonarges, was specially geuen to the sonnes of Zebedee, in respect of their excellent giftes, and at the same time that the name of Peter was geuen to Simon, which secing it per∣teineth not to their successors, which haue not the same giftes, no more doth the name & dignity of Peter per∣teine to any that sit in his chaire, if euer he had any fi∣xed chaire among the Gentiles, which by Gods ordi∣naunce, was appoynted to be the principall Apostle of the Iewes. Moreouer where he laboreth tooth & nailc, to proue, that these wordes (vpon this rocke I will build my church) are to be referred to Peter, as I sayd before, I will graunt euen as muche. But that Peter by these wordes, was made a singular rocke more then all the Apostles, vpon which the whole church is builded, I vt∣terly deny, neither shall he be euer able to proue it. For it is an impudent lye, that onely Peter at this time, had this high reuelation, to acknowledge Christ to be the sonne ofPage  207God. For he aunswered in the name of all the rest, who beleued the same which he in their name confessed. Did not Andrewe before Peter acknowledge him to be the Messias? Did not Nathaniel which was none of the Apostles, acknowledge him to be the sonne of God and the King of Israel. Ioan. 1. 49.

But he reasoneth substantially, when he saith thou on∣ly art the rocke, because thou alone hadst this name &c. pro∣mised, thou alone hadst it geuen, thou alone didst con∣fesse me & to thee alone I say thou art Peter. As though a man may not haue a name, whose signification is com∣mon to many. Salomon alone was promised to be cal∣led and was called Iedidiah, that is the beloued of God, shall we therefore reason that Salomon onely was belo∣ued of God, as for that he onely confessed, I haue she∣wed before, that it is false, for Christ saying, thou art Pe∣ter, meaneth not to say thou onely art a rocke, but thou well aunswerest thy name, which signifieth a rocke or stone, and I wil in deede vse thee as a rocke or stone, to builde my church vpon, yet not meaning the person, but the office and doctrine of his Apostleship.

But nowe hath M. Sander no lesse then 21. reasons, to proue that Peter is the rocke, here spoken of, wc althogh they may for the most parte be easily auoided, yet I will graunt that Peter is one of the twelue stones, whereu∣pon the church is builded, but not the only stone.

Therfore his first foure arguments, I deny 1. Simon is alone promised to be called Peter, 2. he alone is called Peter, 3. Christ speaketh to him alone, saying. And I say to thee &c. 4. Christ sayth of him alone, thou art Peter, therefore Simon alone is the rocke of the church, let him proue the cōsequence if he can. The next 5. which proue that these wordes are to be referred to Peter, al∣though that they be not verie strong, yet I graunt the wordes may be aptly referred to Peter, the reasons are 1. vpon the pronoune. The 2 the worde rocke of which Peter is named, 3. the conference of thē together, 4. the word I will build, 5. the word my church.

Page  208 The 10, Argument I denye, that Christ. (by saying to Peter, Feede my Lambes, feede my sheepe) made him the heade stone of Gods militant Church nexte vnto Christe.

The eleuenth, that Peter is shewed to be the Rocke spoken of, by geuing of the Keyes, I confesse: ebut see∣ing the keyes are giuen to all the Apostles, this proueth Peter to be none otherwise a Rocke, then euery one of them, That Iohn receued the Keyes I shewed euen now out of Chysostome.

The twelfth, that the propertie of a Rock in constant withstanding of tempests, agreeth with Peter, I graunt and so it doth to the rest of the Apostles, for whome Christ prayed as he did for Peter, who also strengthe∣ned and confirmed their brethren as Peter did.

The 13. I confesse that hell gates shall not preuayle against the Church, nor against any member thereof, which is a small reason to make Peter supreame heade thereof.

The 14. which is the authorities of those doctors that teach Peter to be the rocke whom he nameth when he citeth their sayings, or quoteth their places, I will seue∣rally consider.

The 15. their reason also when I see them, to deriue Peters authoritie to his successors, I will waighe like∣wise.

The 16. the practise of 1500. yeares I deny.

The 17. I deny that all generall councells, or any ge∣nerall councell for 600. yeares after Christ, acknowled∣ged Peter to be the rocke in that sence, the Papistes do now.

The 18. if the confession of Peter be the rocke, yet it is none inconuenience, that the church shoulde be builded theron, which began to be builded on the same confession offered by Iohn Baptist.

The 19. though you confound the diuerse senses ge∣uen by the fathers in your fourth sense, yet that proueth not your sense to be true.

Page  209 The 20. seeing the Apostles are certeyne foundatiōs and rockes vpon which the church is builded, I confesse that Peter must needes be one, but that he was the most principall rocke in respect of his name Peter, which is a stone, I say it followeth no more then that Salomon was best of al men beloued of God, because of that name Ie∣didiah, which signifieth beloued of God.

The 21. that all the Protestantes doe not agree in the interpretation of these wordes (vpon this rocke I will builde my church) it proueth not your exposition, to be true, for neither do all the old Doctors, nor yet the new Papistes agree in one, & the same interpretation of this text. And oftentimes it may inuincibly be proued, that an heresie hath no grounde out of suche a text of Scrip∣ture, although the true and naturall sense thereof can not be found at all.