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 ninthe Chapter.

THat Saincte Peter passeth farre the other Aposlles in * some kinde of ecclesiasticall dignitie.

Page  227 THat S. Peter had some excellent gieftes, peraduen∣ture more then some of the Apostles, that he had greate dignity among the Apostles, may easely be graū∣ted, but that he had auctority ouer them, such as the Pope claymeth ouer all Bishops, is of vs vtterly denyed.

Neitherd oeth any one, nor all together, of M. Sāders 34. argumentes, proue that he had one iote of auctority ouer his brethren.

1 He was first in order of nombring of the twelue A∣postles.

2 He was promised to be called Cephas, before the twelue were chosen.

3. He was named Peter at the time of the choise, ergo he hadde the Popes auctoritie ouer them. Who would graunt the consequence of these arguments? Let vs see what the other be.

4 It was sayd to him alone, thou art Peter, & vppon this rocke I will build my Church. I deny that it was said to him alone, for all the Apostles were likewise rockes, vppon which he would build his Church. The like I say of the 5. that the keyes of the kingdome of heauen were pro∣mised to him alone, for euery one of the Apostles recei∣ued thē aswel as he, being or dained with equal power of binding & losing, of remit ing & retayning sinnes. Mat. 18. 18, Ioan. 20. 23. Notwithstanding the wordes at one time were spoken to Peter alone, yet did they giue him no singular auctority.

The 6 Christ payed tribute for Peter, as vnder head of his family. ergo he was greater then the rest, A fond argument. This Didrachma was payd for euery man in the City where he dwelt, & because Peter had a house and a family in the Cytie, Christ payed for him with whom he lodged, and him selse. But if you drawe it into an allegorie. These absurdities will follow.

First, that Christ maketh his Church and splrituall kingedome subiect to tribute, yea, to Moses lawe, by which that kind of tribute was due.

Page  228 Secondly you deuide Christes church into two house∣holdes, Didrachma was to be payde, for the heade or firste borne of euery house. And you shewe your igno∣raunce in referring this payment to Num. 3. which was only for the firste borne, wheras this was for all men. And for the firste borne was dewe fiue siccles, whereof euery one was halfe an Vnee of Siluer at the leaste, whereas Didrachma contayning but two Drachmaes. whereof euery one was equall with the Romane pen∣nie coulde be but xvj. pence at the moste of our mo∣nie.

It is a strong argument, that the payment of trybute which argueth subiection, should make Peter so greate a Lorde, that he should be out of all subiection, which if Chrysostome had considered, hee woulde not haue grounded Peters primacie vppon so friuolus an Argu∣ment.

The seuenth, Christe preached out of Saincte Pe∣ters Bote, to shew that in his Chaire, his doctrine should alwayes be stedfastly professed. An Argument to be an∣sweared either with laughing or hissing.

The 8. Though all the Apostles were to be sifted, yet Pe∣ters Fayth alone is prayed for. This is vtterly false, for Christe prayed for all his Apostles fayth. Ioh. 17. if spe∣cially for Peter, it was in respecte of his greater daun∣ger, and not in respect of his greater dignitie.

The 9. Peter firste entred into the Sepulchre, ergo he was made pope. He entred for farther confirmation of his Fayth concerning Christes resurrection, this maye be imputed to diligence but not to dignitie.

10, The Angell sayth, Tel his Disciples and Peter, naming him seuerally because of his shamefull fall, he had more neede of comforte.

The 11. Ambrese thinketh Peter was the first man that saw him. Nay rather the Souldiors which kept the graue saw him before Peter, & the women also, which would geue them dignity aboue Peter, if firste seeing were a matter to argue dignity. or auctority of the seer.

Page  229 The 12. onely S. Peter walked on the Sea, that signifieth the worlde to be his iurisdiction. As he walked by Fayth, so by weakenesse of fayth he beganne to sinke. And the Sea that he walked on, was but a lake or meere, & ther∣fore cannot well signifie the whole worlde, beside, the argument is as sure as if it were bound with a strawe.

13 S. Peter is shewed to haue loued Christe more then the reste, and is alone commaunded to feede his sheepe. He had good cause to loue him more, because greater sinnes were forgiuen him, but it is false, that he onely was commaunded to feed Christes sheepe, for all the Apo∣stles were likewise commaunded.

14 It is saido to Peter, thou shalte stretch foorth thy hands and followe thou mee, by which a particular kinde of death on the crosse is prophecied. A violent death, but no par∣ticular kinde of death is shewed by these wordes. And although it were, yet Peter in beeing Crucifyed, was made no greater then Andrewe, who was crucifyed al∣so, if the storyes of both be true,

15 Peter aunsweared alwayes for the Apostles, ergo hee was chiefe. No more then the foreman of the Iewrye, although it is not true, that he alwayes aunsweared for the rest, for sometime Thomas, sometime Philip, some∣time Iudas aunsweared. Iohn. 14.

16 Peter pronounced, Iudas Iscariot deposed. That was by speciall instinct of the holy Ghoste, and by no or∣dinary authoritie.

17 After the sending of the holy Ghost, Peter aboue all the rest, firste taught the fayth. Chrysostome and Cyrill sayth, he did it by the consent of all the rest, who all stoode vp togither with him, although one spake to auoyde confusion, when the Apologie was made to answere the slaunderous scoffers. But before that, they taught euery one a like.

18 The multitude conuerted, said to Peter and to the other Apostles, but to Peter by name: VVhat shall we doe. If this proue any thing, it proueth the equallitie of the Apo∣stles, that hauing heard one man preach they demand Page  230 not of him alone, but of all the rest with him, what they shall doe?

19 Peter made aunswere for all, that they should repent & be baptised. It was good reason seeing he made the apo∣logie for all.

20 Peter did the first miracle after the comming of the holy Ghost and by healing the lames feete shewed mystically, that he was the rocke to establishe the feete of other. I aunswere, Iohn healed him as muche as Peter, by Peters owne confession Act. 3. 12. and the lame mans acknowledging the benefit to be receiued equally from both, in holding Peter and Iohn.

21 Peter cōfessed Christ first not only before priuate mē, but at the seate of iudgement. Act. 4. It is false that Peter cōfes∣sed Christ first before priuate men, and at the seate of iudgement, he confesseth equally with Ihon.

22 Peter alone gaue sentence with fullnesse of power vpon Ananias and Saphyra. Not by ordinarie power, but by speciall reuelation, and direction of the holie Ghost, whatsoeuer Gregorie a partiall iudge in this case doth gather.

23 Peter was so famous aboue the rest, that his shadow was sought, to heale the diseased. This was a singular and per∣sonall gift, which the Pope hath not, therefore it pertei∣neth nothing to him.

24 Peter did excommunicate & enioyne penance to Symon Magus the first heretike. Peter denounced Gods iudge∣ment against him, but not by way of excōmunication, & yet the argumēt is naught, as all the rest are, though the antecedents were graunted.

25 Peter was the first that raised a deade body to life, namely Tabitha after Christs ascētiō. This is neither proued to be true, neither if it were, should Peter thereby haue greater auctoritie, then his fellow Apostles which like∣wise raised the dead and peraduenture before Peter, al∣though S. Luke make no mention of them.

26 Peter had first by vision that the Gentiles were called to beleue in Christ. This is false for Paule had that in vision Page  231 before him. Act. 9. &. 26. 17.

27 God chose that the Gentiles shoulde first of all heare the worde of the Gospell by Peters mouth, and shoulde be∣lecue. Actes. 15. This is false, for Peter sayeth not, first of all, but of olde tyme. And the Eunuche of AEthio∣pia, was baptised by Philippe before Cornclius of Pe∣ter.

28 Prayer was made for Peter, by the churche, which was not so earnestly made for any other Apostle that we read of. Their earnest prayer for Peter, is set forth to shewe that God at their prayer deliuered Peter, not that Pe∣ter was thereby shewed to be greater in auctoritie.

29 Paule and Barnabas came to Ierusalem to the Apostles to fitch a solution from Peter. Act. 15. as Theodoret no∣teth. But S. Luke noteth, that they came to all the A∣postes and Elders at Ierusalem, and not to Peter onely, nor for his solution, but for the solution of the coun∣cell.

30 In the councell Act. 15. Peter did not onely speake first but also gaue the determinate sentence. Both the partes of this proposition are false, for Sainct Luke testi∣fieth, there was greate disputation before Saincte Peter spake, also Sayncte Iames as President of the councell, gaue the definitiue sentence, accordinge to whose wordes, the synodicall Epistle, was written in the name of all the Apostles and Elders at Ierusa∣lem.

31 Sainct Paule came to Ierusalem to see Peter as Chry∣sostome sayeth because he was primus first or chiefe? But Sainct Paule him selfe affirmeth in the same place, and diuerse other, that he was equall with Peter, and the highest Apostles. Galathians 2. 8. 2. Corinthians 12. 11.

32 Peter was either alone or first & chiefest in the greatest affaires of the church. The greatest affaire of the church was the preaching vnto the Gentils in which Peter was neither alone, nor first, nor chiefest. But Paule chiefest. Gal. 2.

Page  232 33 Peter was sent to Rome to occupie with his chaire the mother church of the Romane prouince and chiefe citie of the worlde, and there vanquished Symon Magus the head of he∣retikes. &c. All this is vncerteyne being not founde in the Scriptures, but those stories which reporte it, con∣uinced by Scriptures, to be false in diuerse circum∣staunces.

34 Peters chaire and succession hath bene acknowled∣ged of all auncient fathers &c. Although the see of Rome appoynted for the scate of Antechrist, hath of olde bene verie ambitious, yet it is a fable, that hath bene ac∣knowledged by all auncient fathers to haue the aucto∣ritie, which the Bishoppes thereof, haue claymed. For Irenaeus rebuked Victor, for vsurping. All the Bishops of Africa in councel, withstoode Innocentius, Zozimus, Bonifacius, and Caebastinus, alleaging for their aucto∣ritie a counterfaite decree of the councell of Nic, as we haue shewed before in the first treatise, the like may be sayed of the councells of Chalcedon, of Constanti∣nople, the 5. &c. which withstoode the Bishoppe of Romes auctoritie in such cases as he pretended prero∣gatiue.

To cōclude, neither any one, nor altogether of these 34. reasons, proue Peter to be greater in auctority, then the rest of the Apostles, and much lesse the Bishoppe of Rome to be greater then Bishops of other seates.