He commendeth the bearer Phœbe to the Romanes, 3. and himself to many there by name, 17. he
declareth the doctrine which the Romanes had learned, to be the touchstone to know Seducers. 21.
he doth vnto them the commendations of al the Churches & of certaine by name; 25. and concludeth.
1. AND I commend to you Phœbe our Sister, who is in the ministerie of the Church that is in Cenchris:
2. that you receiue her in our Lord as it is worthie for Saints: and that you assist her in whatsoeuer busines she shal need you. For she also hath assisted many, and my self.
3. The only salutation of so worthy a man is sufficient to fil him with great grace that is so saluted. Chrys. in 2. Tim. 4. Salute Prisca & Aquila my helpers in Christ Iesvs,
4. who for my life haue laid downe their necks; to whom not I only giue thankes, but also al the Churches of the Gentils,
5. and their This domestical Church was either that faithful and Christian houshold, or rather the Christians meeting together there & in such good houses to heare diuine seruice & the Apostles preaching in those times of persecution. domestical Church. Salute Epænetus my Beloued: who is the first fruit of Asia in Christ.
6. Salute Marie who hath laboured much about vs.
7. Salute Andronicus and 'Iunia' Iulia my cosins and fellow captiues: who are noble among the Apostles, who also before me were in Christ.
8. Salute Ampliatus my best Beloued in our Lord.
9. Salute Vrbanus our helper in Christ Iesvs, and Stachys my Beloued.
10. Salute Apelles τὸν δόκιμον approued in Christ. Salute them that are of Aristobolus house
11. Salute Herodion my kinsman. Salute them that are of Narcissus house, that are in our Lord.
12. Salute Triphæna and Tryphosa: who labour in our Lord. Salute Persis the Beloued, who hath much laboured in our Lord.
13. Salute Rufus the elect in our Lord and is mother and mine.
14. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes: and the Brethren that are with them.
15. Salute Philologus and Iulia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympias; and al the Saints that are with them.
16. The Protestants, here reason thus: Peter is not here saluted, therfore he was neuer at Rome. See the Annotation. Salute Salute one another.
Neuer Sect-maisters made more foule or hard shifts to proue or defend falshood, then the Protestants: but in two points, about S. Peter specially, they passe euen themselues in impudencie. The first is, that they hold he was not preferred before the other Apostles, which is against the Scriptures most euidently.
That S. Peter was at Rome.
The second is, that he was neuer at Rome, which is against al the Ecclesiastical histories, al the Fathers Greeke & Latine, against the very sense & sight of the monuments of his Seats, Sepulchre, doctrine, life, and death there. Greater euidence certes there is thereof and more weighty testimonie, then of Romulus, Numas, Cæsar's, or Cicero's being there; yet were he a very brutish man that would deny this to the discredit of so many Writers and the whole world. Much more monstrous it is, to heare any deny the other. Theodorete saith he was there, writing vpon this chapter. Prosper also carmine de ingratis in principio. S. Leo de natali Petri S. Augustin to. 6. c. 4. cont. ep. fund. Orosius li. 7. c. 6. S. Chrysostome in Psal. 48. S. Epiphanius hær. 27. Prudentius in hymnos 2. S. Laurentij & hymnos 12. Opatus li. 2. contra Donatistas. S. Ambrose li. 5. ep. 5. ep. Basilicis tradendis. S. Hierome in Catalogo. Lactantius li. 4. c. 21. de vera sapientia. Eusebius hist. Eccl. li. 2. c. 13,15. S. Athanasius de fuga sua. S. Cyprian ep. 55. nu. 6. Tertulian de præscriptionibus nu. 14. and li. 4. contra Marcionem nu. 5. Origen in Genes. apud Euseb. li. 3. c. 1. Irenæus li. 33. c. 3. Hegesippus li. 3. c. 2. de excid. Hierosolym. Caius & Papias the Apostles own scholers, and Dionysius the B. of Corinth, alleaged by Eusebius li. 2. c. 14. and 24. Ignatius ep. ad Romanos. The holy *Councel of Chalcedon, and many other affirme it.
See the Annotations 1. Pet. c. 5,13.
Yet Peter himself (according to the iudgement of the Ancient Fathers) confesseth he was at Rome, calling it Babylon 1. ep. c. 5. Euseb. li. 2. c. 14. hist. Ec. Some of these tel the time and cause of his first going thither: some, how long he liued there: some, the manner of his death there: some, the place of his burial: and al, that he was he first Bishop there. How could so many of such wisedom and spirit, so neere the Apostles time deceiue or be deceiued? how could Caluin and his, after fifteen hundred yeares know that which none of them could see?
The Protestants great arguments, that Peter was neuer at Rome.
Some great arguments must they needs haue to controule the credit of the whole world. This of truth is here their argument, neither haue they a better in any place, to wit: If S. Peter had been at Rome, S. Paul would haue saluted him, as he did others here in the end of his letter to the Romanes. Is not this a high point to disproue al antiquitie by? Any man of discretion may straight see, that S. Peter might be knowen vnto S. Paul to be out of the Citie, either for persecution or busines, when this epistle was written (for he went often out, as **S. Epiphanius declareth) & so the omitting to salute him, can proue no more, but that then he was not in Rome: but it proueth not so much neither; because the Apostle might for respect of his dignitie & other the Churches affaires write nto him special letters, & so had no cause to salute him in his common Epistle. Or how know they that this Epistle was not sent inclosed to S. Peter, to be deliuered by his meanes to the whole Church of the Romanes in some of their assemblies? It is very like it was recommended to some one principal man or other that is not here named: and twenty causes there may be vnknowen to vs, why he saluted him not: but no cause why our Aduersaries vpon such friuolous reasons should reproue an approued truth. For euen as wel might they say that S. Iohn was neuer at Ephesus because S. Paul in his Epistle to the Epesians doth not salute him.
The Heretikes hatred of the Romane See.
And plaine it is, that it is the Romane seat and faith of Peter, which they (as al Heretikes before them) doe feare & hate, and which wil be their bane: and they know that there is no argument which conuinceth in their conscience, that Peter was neuer at Rome. Therfore to conclude we say to them in S. Augustines wordes: ***Why cal you the Apostolike chaire, the chaire of pestilence? what hath the Church of Rome done against you, in which S. Peter did sit, and from which by nefarious furie you haue separated your selues?
*Chalced. conc. act. 3.
**Epiph. her. 27.
***li. 2. cont. lit. Petil. 6,51. one another in a Holy kisse.
Kissing the Pax.
Hereof, and by the common vsage of the first Christians, who had special regard of vnitie and peace among themselues, and for signe and protestation thereof kissed one another, came our holy ceremonie of giuing Pax, or kissing one another in the Sacrifice of the blessed Masse.
*Orig. in 16. Ro. holy kisse. Al the churches of Christ salute you.
17. And I desire you, Brethren, To marke them.
Against Sect-maisters how to examine our faith.
He carefully warneth them to take heed of seditious sowers of Sects & dissension in religion, and this euer to be their marke, if they should teach or moue them to any thing which was not agreable to that which they had learned at their conuersion: not bidding them to examin the case by the Scriptures, but by their first forme of faith and religion deliuered to them before they had or did read any booke of the new Testament. to marke them that make dissensions and scandals contrarie to the doctrine which you haue Of the Prince of the Apostles, saith Theodorete vpon this place. learned, and auoid them.
18. For such doe not serue Christ our Lord, But their owne belly.
Heretikes giuen to voluptuousnes.
Howsoeuer Heretikes pretend in wordes and external shew of their sheep's coat, indeed they seeke but after their owne profit and pleasure, & by the Apostles owne testimonie we be warranted so to iudge of them as of men that indeed haue no religion nor conscience. but their owne belly: and The special way that Heretikes haue euer had to beguile, was and is by sweet wordes & gay speaches. Which their sheeps coat see before described particularly in the Annotations vpon S. Matthew. c. 7,15. by sweet speaches and benedictions seduce the harts of innocents.
19. For Your obedience.
Against Heretikes and their illusions, there is no better way then in simplicitie to cleaue vnto that which hath been taught before: for the which the Romane obedience is much commended. See Annot. vpon the first chap. vers. 8. your obedience is published into euery place. I reioyce therfore in you. But I would haue you to be wise in good, and simple in euil.
20. And the God of peace crush Satan vnder your feet quickly. The grace of our Lord Iesvs Christ be with you.
21. Timothee my coadiutor saluteth you, and Lucius, and Iason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen.
22. I Tertius salute you, that wrote the epistle, in our Lord.
23. Caius mine host, and the whole Churches, saluteth you. Erastus the Cofferer of the citie saluteth you, and Quartus, a Brother.
24. The grace of our Lord Iesvs Christ be with al you, Amen.
25. And to him that is able to confirme you according to my Ghospel and preaching of Iesvs Christ, according to the reuelation of the mysterie from eternal times kept secret,
26. which now is opened by the Scriptures of the Prophets according to the precept of the eternal God, to the obedience of faith knowen in al Gentils,
27. to God the only wise through Iesvs Christ, to whom be honour & glorie for euer and euer. Amen.