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Chapter XXIV.—St. Peter’s Further Vindication. St. Paul Not Superior to St. Peter in Teaching. Nothing Imparted to the Former in the Third Heaven Enabled Him to Add to the Faith. Heretics Boast as If Favoured with Some of the Secrets Imparted to Him.

I have not the good fortune,21022102    Non mihi tam bene est. or, as I must rather say,21032103    Immo. I have not the unenviable task,21042104    Non mihi tam male est. of setting apostles by the ears.21052105    Ut committam. But, inasmuch as our very perverse cavillers obtrude the rebuke in question for the set purpose of bringing the earlier21062106    Superiorem, “that which Peter had preached.” doctrine into suspicion, I will put in a defence, as it were, for Peter, to the effect that even Paul said that he was “made all things to all men—to the Jews a Jew,” to those who were not Jews as one who was not a Jew—“that he might gain all.”21072107    1 Cor. ix. 20, 22. Therefore it was according to times and persons and causes that they used to censure certain practices, which they would not hesitate themselves to pursue, in like conformity to times and persons and causes. Just (e.g.) as if Peter too had censured Paul, because, whilst forbidding circumcision, he actually circumcised Timothy himself. Never mind21082108    Viderint. those who pass sentence on apostles! It is a happy fact that Peter is on the same level with Paul in the very glory21092109    Et in martyrio. of martyrdom. Now, although Paul was carried away even to the third heaven, and was caught up to paradise,21102110    2 Cor. xii. 4. and heard certain revelations there, yet these cannot possibly seem to have qualified him for (teaching) another doctrine, seeing that their very nature was such as to render them communicable to no human being.21112111    Nulli hominum. If, however, that unspeakable mystery21122112    Nescio quid illud. did leak out,21132113    Emanavit. and become known to any man, and if any heresy affirms that it does itself follow the same, (then) either Paul must be charged with having betrayed the secret, or some other man must actually21142114    Et. be shown to have been afterwards “caught up into paradise,” who had permission to speak out plainly what Paul was not allowed (even) to mutter.

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