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 sixt chapter.

THe diuerse reasōs which the fathers bring to declare why * S. Peter was this rocke, do euidently shew that he was most literally this rocke, whereupon Christ would build his Church. How Peter beareth the person of the Church.

THat he was a stone or rocke, wheron the Church is * builded, hath bene often graunted, but that he one∣ly was such a stone is stil denyed. First Basil aduersus Eu∣no. lib. 2. is cited, with his reason Petrus &c. Peter re∣ceyued the building of the Church vpon him selfe, for the ex∣cellencye of his faith. I aunswer, so did the other Apo∣stles for the excellencye of their fayth, for continu∣ance whereof, Christ prayed as well as for Peters faith. Iohn. 17.

The 2. Hilarie de trinit. lib. 6. sayth Supereminentem &c. Peter by confession of his blessed faith, deserued an exceding glory.

And so did the rest of the Apostles by their con∣fession of their blessed faith, obtaine an exceding or pas∣sing glory, vltra humanae infirmitatis modū, beyond ye mea∣sure of mans infirmitie, wc wordes also Hilary hath, left you should thinke he preferreth Peter in auctoritie be∣fore ye other Apostles.
For Peters fayth & confession he did before interprete to be the rocke of the Church, wcPage  216 because it was common to all the Apostles, he maketh their authoritie equall. Vos ô sancti & beati viri, ob sidei vestrae merituns claues regni caelorum sortiti, & ligandi aique soluendi in caelo & in terra ius adepti. O you holy and bles∣sed men, which for the worthines of your faith haue ob∣tayned the keyes of the kingdom of heauen, and haue attayned to auctoritie to bind and loose in heauen and in earth.
And if you vrge that Peter spake, when all the rest helde their peace: yet is that primacye but of or∣der, not of authoritie for they all beleued as Peter con∣fessed, and Peter confessed in the name of all the rest.

The 3. Cyprian ad Iubaianum: Ecclesia quae est vna &c. The Churche which is one, is founded by our Lordes voyce, vpon one which hath receyued the keyes of it. This reason (sayth he) can beare but one such rocke, for if there were more rocks at once, there should be more churches

But it is reason, that Cyprian should expound him selfe, which by founding meaneth the beginning of the foundation, as he sayth, de simplicitate pr elat. Loquitur Dominus ad Petrum &c. The Lorde speaketh to Peter. I say to thee (sayth he) that thou art Peter, and vpon this rocke I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not preuayle against it. To thee will I giue the keyes of the kingdom of heauen, and whatsoeuer thou shalt bind vpon earth, shall be bound in heauen: and whatsoeuer thou shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heauen. And to the same after his resurrection, he sayth: Feede my sheepe. And although he giueth to all his Apostles after his resurrection equall power, and sayth, as my father hath sent me, so also doe I sende you, receyue the holy Ghost. Whose sinnes you forgiue they shall be forgiuen, and whose sinnes you retayne they shall be retayned: yet that he might shewe the vnitie, by his authoritie, he disposed the beginning of the same vnitie, beginning at one. For verely the rest of the Apostles, were euen the same thing that Peter was, endued with equall fellow∣ship both of honour and of power: but the beginning Page  217 procedeth from vnitie, that the Church might be shew∣ed to be one. Thus farre Cyprian. By which we see that there is but one beginning, yet all the Apostles are e∣quall.
This vnitie of beginning of building, Tertullian also lib. de pudic. sheweth to haue bene in Peter, when he was the first that preached after the ascention of Christ.

The 4. Augustine Hom. de pastoribus, Dominus &c. Our Lord hath commended vnitie in Peter him selfe: there were many Apostles, and it is say d to one, feede my sheepe. Here he will haue Peter to represent Christ, the onely good shepeheard: although the wordes importe no such thing, but onely a mystery of vnitie, which is but friuolously gathered by the author of that booke, or homely, vntruly ascubed to S. Augustine: where yet he will not haue Peter to be the head, but to beare a figure of the body of Christ, which is the Church. Whereupon his wordes follow soone after.

Na n & ipsum Petrum cui commendauit oues suas, quasi alter alteri vnum seum facere volebat, vt sic ei oues commendaret, vt esset ille caput, ille fi∣guram corporis portaret, id est Ecclesiae, & tanquam sonsus & sponsa essent duo in carne vna. For he would make euen Peter to whome he commended his sheepe, as one to another, one with him selfe, that he might so commend his sheepe to him, that he him selfe might be the heade, and Peter might beare the figure of his body, that is, of his Church, and so they might be as the bridegrome & his spouse, two in one flesh. These words shew how vaine M. Sanders collection is for Peters headship, beside that he citeth the wordes otherwise then they are in the au∣thor, euen as his note booke serued him.

The 5. reason is vttered by Hierome aduersus Iouinia∣num lib. 1. aunswering the obiection of Iouinian, and in∣tending to proue that Iohn the virgine was as excellent as Peter the maried man. At dicis, &c. But thou sayst, the Church is built vpon Peter: Albeit the selfe same thing in another place, be done vpon all the Aposiles, & all doe receiue the keyes of the kingdom of heauen, and the strength of thePage  218Church be grounded equally vpon them, yet therefore one is chosen among twelue, that a head being made, the occasion of schisme may be taken away. Here he woulde haue three thinges to be noted. First that the Church is so built vp∣on Peter the rocke, that in the same place where it is built vpon Peter, the like is not done vpon the other A∣postles. But seeing he him selfe before vrged the future tence, I will build, this collection is false. Christ promi∣seth that he will builde his Church vpon Peter, but when he buildeth, he vseth all the Apostles as well as Peter.

Secondly that the church is equally built vpon all the Apostles, therefore not more on Peter then on the rest.

Thirdly that one is chosen head to auoyde schisme.

But if all be equall, he as keth how one may be head? I aunswer, euen as the foreman of the Iury in some re∣spectes is chiefe, and yet they are all equall. But he aun∣swereth they are equall in authoritie, as Apostles, but not as Bishops. But seeing the office of euery Apostle is aboue the office of euery Bishop, it will followe, that euery Apostle as Apostle, is aboue Peter as Bishop of Rome, which were a perilous matter for Maister San∣der to admitte. Howbeit concerning this distinction of his, more is to be sayd in a more proper place. In the meane tyme, he vrgeth, that Peter was chosen of Christ to be heade, to auoyde strife and schisme, which rea∣son seeing it holdeth alwayes, there ought alwayes one heade to be chosen, to be a heade and perpetuall rocke, by succession. I aunswer the reason of auoyding schis∣mes, may gayne so much, that in euery Church, such as the first of the Apostles was, such an head for such pur∣pose may be chosen, but it will not inforce one heade being a mortall man, ouer all the Churche, which no one man can keepe in vnitie, and how conuenient the headship of the Romish Church is to auoyde schismes, let so many schismes as haue bene made euen for the attayning of the same headship, beare witnes. Whereof one continued 39 yeares.

Page  219 As for Leo Bishop of Rome, it is well knowen, hee was too much addicte to maintaine the dignitie of his Sea, and yet he was farre from the tyranny which the later byshops vsurped and practised vnder pretence of Peters supremacie. His words ate cited in Ann. ass. ser. 3. Super hoc Saxum &c. Vppon this stone, this soundnes and strength, I will builde an euerlasting temple, and the hight of my Church, which is to reach to Heauen, shall rise in the strength of this Rocke. A great extolling of Peter, vsuall to the Byshops of Rome, but yet no more is saide of him then may be truely faide vpon euery one of the A∣postles.

The 6. reason is vttered by Augustine. Ep. 165. Petro totins ecclesiae figuram. &c. Our Lorde saide to Peter bea∣ring the figure of the whole Church. vppon this rocke I will builde my church. And againe in Ioan Tr. 124. Ecclesiae &c. Peter the Apostle by a generalitie that was figured, did beare the person of the Church, by reason of the primacie of his Apostleship. Heere he maketh much adoe aboute his primacie, by reason whereof he beareth the figure of all the Church, willing to inferre that because hee was primate of the Apostles, and in respect of his primacy represented the whole Church, therefore he was soue∣raigne ruler and generall officer of the whole militant Church. But it followeth not, that euery one which is made an atturney or Proxei to receiue a thing for a whole comminaltie, is thereby made generall ruler of al that comminaltie.

The Papistes them selues in the Councell of Basill discharge vs of this conclusion, where they agree to the sentence of Iohn Patriarch of Antiochia which ci∣teth Augustine to witnesse that Peter receiued the Keyes as minister of the Church.

And Augustine writeth De Agone Christ. cap. 30 Non enim siae causa inter omnes Apostolos huius ecclesiae Catho∣licae personam sustinet Petrus, Huic enim ecclesie cla∣uis regni caelorum datae sunt. Et cum ei dicitur ad omnes diitur, Anas me, Pasce oues meas. For not without causePage  220amonge all the Apostles, Peeter sustaineth the person of this Catholike Churche. For to this Churche the Keyes of the kindome of Heauen are giuen. And when it is saide vnto him, it is saide to all. Doest thou loue me? feede my sheepe.

By this sentence it is playne, that Christe after Au∣gustines minde, preferred not Peter in power before all the rest, but to receiue equall power with the reste, hee made him as it were the Attornye of the rest. So that all these reasons duely considered, the sayinges of the Doctors which affirme Peter to be a rocke or stone, on which the Church is builded, doe not prooue that hee was an onely foundation of the whole Church, but with the rest of the apostles, he was one and the firste of the twelue stones, whereon the Church was founded, and that in respect of his office and doctrine, not of his per∣son, as he wasa mortal man.