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handed it down. But was Peter infallible? There was a day when I suspect he did not think himself infal

Ι lible—when smitten to the heart by the reproving look of his Lord, he went out and wept bitterly. There is no doubt that he made a mistake, when he so confidently pronounced, " Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee”-and let it be remembered that this was after Christ had said, “Thou art Peter, and on this rock," &c.

If Peter was infallible, I wonder he did not at once settle the difficulty of which we have an account in Acts, 15. Why was the matter suffered to be debated in the presence of his infallibility ? It seems that Peter on that occasion claimed no pre-eminence. Nor was any particular deference paid to him by the council. He related his experience, precisely as did Paul and Barnabas. James seems to have been in the chair on that occasion. He speaks much more like an infallible person

of the rest. He says, “Wherefore my sentence is,” &c. What a pity it is for the church of Rome that Peter had not said that instead of James. We should never have heard the last of it. But it was the bishop of Jerusalem, and not the bishop of Rome, who said it. It cannot be helped now. Will my Catholic brother take down his Douay and read that chapter ?

But again, if Peter was infallible, I am surprised that Paul “ withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.Gal. 2:11. That was no way to treat a Pope. But Paul had always a spice of the Protestant about him. And yet Peter did not resent Paul's treatment of him, for in his second Epistle he speaks of him as our beloved brother Paul." I suppose that

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Peter himself did not know he was infallible. Men do not always know themselves.

Once more, if the superiority among the disciples belonged to Peter, it has struck me as strange that, when a dispute arose among them who should be the greatest, our Savior did not take Peter, instead of a little child, and set him in the midst of them," and remind the others that the supremacy had been given to him. I think the other apostles could not have understood Christ in that declaration, “ Thou art Peter,” &c. as the church of Rome now understands him, otherwise the dispute about superiority could never have arisen.

Now, according to the Catholic doctrine, Peter being infallible, each successive Pope inherits his infallibility, and therefore never a man of them could err

a matter of faith-nor even the woman Joan, (for in the long list of Papas, there was by accident in the ninth century one Mama, though this, I am aware, is denied by some,)-even she retained none of the frailty of her sex.

It is well for the church of Rome that she does not contend that her popes are infallible in practice, for if she did, she would find some difficulty in reconciling that doctrine with history. It is very true that one may err in practice and not in faith. Nevertheless, when I see a man very crooked in practice, I cannot believe that he is always exactly straight in doctrine. I cannot believe that all I hear from him is good and true, when what I see in him is false and bad. Take for example such a one as Pope Alexander sixth ; when he, the father of such a hopeful youth as Cesar Borgia, and the chief of ecclesiastics too, tells me, with a

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grave air and solemn tone, that it is a shocking wicked thing for an ecclesiastic to marry, I cannot help demurring somewhat to the statement of Cesar's father. But I must proceed with my reasons.

3. If a man says one thing one day, and the next day says another thing quite contrary to it, I am of opinion that he is one of the days in error. But what has this to do with the business in hand ? Have not the Popes always pronounced the same thing ? Have they ever contradicted each other? Ask rather, whether the wind has always, ever since there was a wind, blown from the same quarter. Now here is a reason why I cannot allow infallibility to belong to either popes or councils.

4. I would ask just for information, how it was, when there were three contemporary Popes, each claiming infallibility. Had they it between them ? or which of them had it? What was the name of the one that there was no mistake about? How were the common people to ascertain the infallible one ? for you know their salvation depended on their being in communion with the true Bishop of Rome, the rightful successor of St. Peter.

5. The more common opinion among the Catholics is, I believe, that the infallibility resides in a Pope and general council together. Each is fallible by itself, but putting the two together, they are infallible! Now I admit that in some languages two negatives are equivalent to an affirmative; but I do not believe that two fallibles ever were or will be equivalent to an infallible. It is like saying that two wrongs make a right.

13. The Keys.

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The Catholics, by which I mean Roman Catholics, since, though a Protestant, I believe in the holy Catholic, that is, universal church, and profess to be a member of it, at the same time that I waive all pretensions to being a Roman Catholic.—they make a great noise about the keys having been given to Peter ; the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Well, it is true enough—they were given to him. The Bible says so, and we Protestants want no better authority than the Bible for any thing. We do not require the confirmation of tradition, and the unanimous consent of the fathers. We do not want any thing to back Thus saith the Lord.” Yes, the keys were given to Peter; it is said so in Matthew, 16:19. This one of those passages of Scripture which is not hard to be understood, as even they of Rome acknowledge. I am glad our brethren of that communion agree with us that there is something plain in the Bible; that there is one passage, at least, in which private interpretation arrives at the same result which they reach who follow in the track of the agreeing fathers ! I suppose, if we could interpret all Scripture as much to the mind of the Catholics as we do this, they would let us alone about private interpretation.

Well, Peter has got the keys. What then? What are keys for ? To unlock and open is one of the purposes served by keys. It was for this purpose, I suppose, that Peter received them: and for this purpose we find him using them. He opened the kingdom of heaven, that is, the Gospel Church, or Christian dispensation, as the phrase “kingdom of heaven” often signifies. He opened it to both Jews and Gentiles: he preached the first sermon, and was the instrument of making the first converts among each. With one key he opened the kingdom of heaven to the Jews, and with the other to the Gentiles. This was a distinction conferred on Peter, it is true: but it was necessary that some one of the twelve should begin the business of preaching the Gospel. The whole twelve could not turn the keys and open the door. The power of binding and loosing, which was conferred on Peter when the keys were given him, was not confined to him, but, as Matthew testifies in the next chapter but one, was extended to all the disciples.

Well, Peter opened the kingdom of heaven; and what became of the keys then? Why, there being no farther use for them, they were laid aside. I don't know what has become of them, for my part. When a key has opened a door which is not to be shut again, there being no more use for the key, it does not matter much what becomes of it. Hence, in the history of the Acts of the Apostles, we hear no more about the keys; and Peter, in his Epistles, says never a word about them. He wrote his second Epistle to put Christians in remembrance, but I don't find him reminding them of the keys. The truth is, having used them for the purpose for which they were given him, he had after that no more concern about them.

But many fancy that Peter kept these keys all his life, and then transmitted them to another, and he to a third, and so from hand to hand they have come along down till what's his name at Rome has them now-the Pope. And they say these keys signify the

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