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ANF08. The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First
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Chapter XXXIII.—Authority.

Then Peter:  “Do not rashly take exception, O Simon, against the things which you do not understand.  In the first place, I shall answer your assertion, that I set forth the words of my Master, and from them resolve matters about which there is still doubt.  Our Lord, when He sent us apostles to preach, enjoined us to teach all nations628628    Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. the things which were committed to us.  We cannot therefore speak those things as they were spoken by Himself.  For our commission is not to speak, but to teach those things, and from them to show how every one of them rests upon truth.  Nor, again, are we permitted to speak anything of our own.  For we are sent; and of necessity he who is sent delivers the message as he has been ordered, and sets forth the will of the sender.  For if I should speak anything different from what He who sent me enjoined me, I should be a false apostle, not saying what I am commanded to say, but what seems good to myself.  Whoever does this, evidently wishes to show himself to be better than he is by whom he is sent, and without doubt is a traitor.  If, on the contrary, he keeps by the things that he is commanded, and brings forward most clear assertions of them, it will appear that he is accomplishing the work of an apostle; and it is by striving to fulfil this that I displease you.  Blame me not, therefore, because I bring forward the words of Him who sent me.  But if there is aught in them that is not fairly spoken, you have liberty to confute me; but this can in no wise be done, for He is a prophet, and cannot be contrary to Himself.  But if you do not think that He is a prophet, let this be first inquired into.”


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