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the envy whereof notwithstanding your own doctors and masters, you see, help us to bear off, and teach us how to decline; I now come to the examination of the particular points by you propounded. It should indeed be your part by right to be the assailant, who first did make the challenge: and I, who sustain the person of the defendant, might here well stay, accepting only your challenge, and expecting your encounter. Yet do not I mean at this time to answer your bill of challenge, as bills are usually answered in the chancery, with saving all advantages to the defendant: I am content in this also to abridge myself of the liberty which I might lawfully take, and make a further demonstration of my forwardness in undertaking the maintenance of so good a cause, by giving the first onset myself.
To begin therefore with Traditions, which is your forlorn hope that in the first place we are to set upon: this must I needs tell you before we begin, that you much mistake the matter, if you think that traditions of all sorts promiscuously are struck at by our religion. We willingly acknowledge that the word of God, which by some of the apostles was set down in writing, was both by themselves and others of their fellow-labourers delivered by word of mouth: and that the Church in succeeding ages was bound, not only to preserve those sacred writings committed to her trust, but also to deliver unto her children, riva voce, the form of wholesome words contained therein. Traditions therefore, of this nature, come not within the compass of our controversy: the question being betwixt us de ipsa doctrina tradita, not de tradendi modo ; touching the substance of the doctrine delivered, not of the manner of delivering it. Again, it must be remembered, that here we speak of the doctrine delivered as the word of God, that is, of points of religion revealed unto the prophets and apostles, for the perpetual information of God's people : not of rites and ceremonies, and other ordinances which are left to the disposition of the Church, and consequently be not of divine but of positive and human right. Traditions therefore, of this kind likewise, are not properly brought within the circuit of this question.
But that traditions of men should be obtruded unto us for articles of religion, and admitted for parts of God's worship; or that any traditions should be accepted for parcels of God's word, beside the holy Scriptures, and such doctrines as are either expressly therein contained,
Scriptures, how can we use them?" And again: “ I read that he is the first, I read that he is not the second ; they who say he is the second, let them shew it by reading."
“ It is well," saith St. Hilary, " that thou art content with those things which be written.” And in another place, he commendeth' Constantius the emperor, for “desiring the faith to be ordered only according to those things that be written."
St. Basil: “ Believe those things which are written; the things which are not written, seek not.” “ It" is a manifest falling from the faith, and an argument of arrogancy, either to reject any point of those things that are written, or to bring in any of those things that are not written." He teacheth further “ that every word and action ought to be confirmed by the testimony of the holy Scripture, for confirmation of the faith of the good, and the confusion of the evil;" and " that it is the property of a faithful man, to be fully persuaded of the truth of those things that are delivered in the holy Scripture, and not to dare either to reject, or to add any thing thereunto. For if whatsoever is not of faith be sin, as the apostle saith, and faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; then
i Lego quia primus est, lego quia non est secundus: illi qui secundum aiunt, doceant lectione. Id. in virginis instit. cap. 11.
k Bene habet ut iis quæ sunt scripta contentus sis. Hil. lib. 3. de Trinit. op. pag. 822.
In quantum ego nunc beatæ religiosæque voluntatis vere te, Domine Constanti imperator, admiror, fidem tantum secundum ea quæ scripta sunt deside.
Id. lib. 2. ad Constantium Aug. op. pag. 1229. η Τοίς γεγραμμένοις πιστεύε, τα μή γεγραμμένα μη ζήτει: Basil. hom. advers. calumniantes S. Trinitat. op. tom. 2. pag. 611.
η φανερά έκπτωσις πίστεως, και υπερηφανίας κατηγορία, ή άθετείν τι Tūv yeypapijévwv, ñ é Telgáyaiv tūv uni yeypapuévwv. Id. de fide. op. tom. 2. pag. 224.
ο ότι δεί πάν ρήμα, ή πράγμα πιστούσθαι τη μαρτυρία της θεοπνεύστου γραφής, είς πληροφορίαν μεν των αγαθών, εντροπήν δε των πονηρών. Id. in ethicis. regul. 26. op. tom. 2. pag. 256.
P Και μηδέν τολμάν άθετείν, ή επιδιατάσσεσθαι. Ει γάρ πάν, και ουκ εκ πίστεως, αμαρτία εστίν, ώς φησίν ο Απόστολος, η δε πίστις εξ ακοής, η δε ακοή διά ρήματος θεού, πάν το εκτός της θεοπνεύστου γραφής, ούκ εκ Tiotewç öv, åpapria ¿otiv, Id. Ibid. reg. 80. cap. 22. op. tom. 2. pag. 317.
whatsoever is without the holy Scripture, being not of faith, must needs be sin.” Thus far St. Basil.
In like manner Gregory Nyssen, St. Basil's brother, layeth this for a ground, “whicho no man should contradict, that in that only the truth must be acknowledged, wherein the seal of the Scripture testimony is to be seen.” And accordingly in another book, attributed also unto him, we find this conclusion made : “ Forasmuch' as this is upholden with no testimony of the Scripture, as false we will reject it."
Thus also St. Hierome disputeth against Helvidius. “ As' we deny not those things that are written ; so we refuse those things that are not written. That God was born of a virgin, we believe; because we read it: that Mary did marry after she was delivered, we believe not; because we read it not."
“ In those things," saith St. Augustine, "which are laid down plainly in the Scriptures, all those things are found, which appertain to faith and direction of life.” And again : “ Whatsoever" ye hear from the holy Scriptures, let that savour well unto you; whatsoever is without them, refuse, lest you wander in a cloud." And in another place: “All" those things which in times past our ancestors have mentioned to be done toward mankind, and have delivered unto us; all those things also which we see, and do deliver unto our posterity, so far as they appertain to the seeking
9 Kάν τις αν άντείποι, μή ουχί εν τούτω μόνο την αλήθειαν τιθέσθω, ώ σφραγίς επέστι της γραφικής μαρτυρίας. . Greg. Nyss. dialog. de anima et resurrect. tom. 3. pag. 207.
" Cum id nullo Scripturæ testimonio suffultum sit, ut falsum improbabimus. lib. de cognit. Dei, cit. ab Euthymio in panoplia, tit. 8.
• Ut hæc quæ scripta sunt non negamus; ita ea quæ non sunt scripta renuimus. Natum Deum esse de virgine credimus, quia legimus : Mariain nupsisse post partum non credimus, quia non legimus. Hieron. advers. Helvid.
' In iis quæ aperte in Scripturis posita sunt, inveniuntur illa omnia quæ continent fidem inoresque vivendi. Augustin. de doct. Christ. lib. 2. cap. tom. 3. pag. 24.
" Quicquid inde audieritis, hoc vobis bene sapiat: quicquid extra est respuite, ne erretis in nebula. Id. in. lib. de pastor. cap. 11. op. tom. 5. pag. 238.
* Omnia quæ præteritis temporibus erga humanum genus majores nostri gesta esse meminerunt,' nobisque tradiderunt; omnia etiam quæ nos videmus, et posteris tradimus, quæ tamen pertinent ad veram religionem quærendam et tenendam, divina scriptura non tacuit. Id. epist. 232. op. tom. 2. pag. 843.
and maintaining of true religion, the holy Scripture hath not passed in silence.”
“ The holy Scripture,” saith St. Cyril of Alexandria, " is sufficient to make them which are brought up in it wise, and most approved, and furnished with most sufficient understanding." And again : “ That' which the holy Scripture hath not said, by what means should we receive, and account it among those things that be true ?"
Lastly, in the writings of Theodoret we meet with these kind of speeches. “Byż the holy Scripture alone am I persuaded." “ I am not so bold as to affirm any thing, which the sacred Scripture passeth in silence.” “ It is an idle and a senseless thing, to seek those things that are passed in silence.” “We ought not to seek those things which are passed in silence; but rest in the things that are written."
By the verdict of these twelve men you may judge, what opinion was held in those ancient times, of such traditions as did cross either the verity, or the perfection, of the sacred Scripture: which are the traditions we set ourselves against. Whereunto you may add, if you please that remarkable sentence delivered by Eusebius Pamphili, in the name of the three hundred and eighteen fathers of the first general council of Nice: “Believed the things
* Sufficit divina scriptura ad faciendum eos, qui in illa educati sunt, sapientes et probatissimos, et sufficientissimam habentes intelligentiam. Cyril. 1. 7. contr. Jul.
Υδ γάρ ούκ είρηκεν η θεία γραφή τίνα δε τρόπον παραδεξόμεθα, και εν Tois álnows + xovoi kataloyiovueda ; Cyril. Glaphyrorum, in Gen. lib. 2.
Εγώ γάρ μόνη πείθομαι τη θεία γραφή. Τheod. dial. 1. Ατρεπτ. • Ου γαρ ούτως ειμι θρασύς, ώστε φάναι τι σεσιγημένον παρά τη θεία γραφή Ιd. dial. 2. Ασύγχυτ.
IIepittòv kai ávóntov TÒ Td geotynuéva (97€iv. Id. in Exod. quæst. 26. quod in Græcorum catena in pentateuchum, a Franc. Zephyro edita, ita expositum legimus : Impudentis est, quod a Scriptura reticetur, velle inquirere.
• Oύ δεί ζητείν τα σεσιγημένα, στέργειν δε προσήκει τα γεγραμμένα. Theod. in Gen. quæst. 45.
4 Τοίς γεγραμμένοις πίστευε τα μή γεγραμμένα μη εννόει, μηδε ζήτει. Gelas. Cyzicen. act. concil. Nicæn. part, 2. cap. 19.