Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 2.djvu/26

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TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

as the Romanist would argue, or whether, as Churchmen in England would say, it was made to him as the representative of the Apostolic body, and so the type of the Christian ministry. Or, on the other hand, we shall see whether the mention of St. Peter in this passage, and the prominent place which seems in it to be given him, stand so completely alone that it cannot be wrought into any thing like a regular system.

Now if we look carefully into St. Matthew's Gospel, we seem to find, throughout, a peculiar place occupied by St. Peter. In chap. xiv. we have the narrative of the strength and weakness of his faith, in walking on the water to go to Jesus; a circumstance not related by any other of the Evangelists. In the next chapter we find Peter asking for an explanation of our Saviour's "parable" respecting the things which defile a man, and the "blind leaders of the blind," who had been offended at the saying (xv. 15.). In chap. xvi. is the promise under our consideration, and the offence which so soon followed, and called down upon him his Master's displeasure. In chap. xvii. we have the story of the tribute money, and that discourse of our Lord with St. Peter which seems to have given rise to the disciples' question, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Again, in chap. xviii. when our Lord has been explaining to his disciples how the offending brother is to be dealt with by "the Church," (ver. 17.) and has confirmed to them the solemn declaration before made to St. Peter, (which shows in what sense it was made in the first instance to St. Peter,) "Verily, I say unto you. Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven," &c., we read, "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?" In chap. xix. we find him anxiously inquiring of his Lord, what reward should be given to himself and his fellow-apostles, who had forsaken all and followed Him. The answer is the remarkable and solemn promise to the Twelve, which this Evangelist alone records in this place: "Verily, I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Throughout St. Matthew's Gospel, St. Peter seems to be put forward in a very peculiar manner, of which,