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neither to hear nor to speak beyond what is written, the Lord having said, “If ye abide in My word, ye shall be truly free!!
6 What inconceivable abandonment of mind is this, which leads you to speak what is not in Scripture, and to entertain thoughts foreign to godliness ?”
66 While then we confess that Christ is God and man, we do not speak this as if to imply separation in His nature, (God forbid) but, again, according to the Scriptures.”
He concludes with these words, in which the same distinction is made, as has already been pointed out, between the Tradition of the Church, as an antecedent argument, a fair plea, ordinarily superseding inquiry, and, on the other hand, when for one reason or another the inquiry has proceeded, Scripture as the only basis of sound argument and conclusion. “I have written the above, beloved, though really it was unnecessary, for the Evangelical Tradition is sufficient by itself; but since you asked concerning our faith, and because of those who are desirous of trifling with their theories, and do not consider that he who speaks out of his private judgment speaks a lie. For neither the comeliness nor the glory of the Lord's human body can be adequately expressed by the wit of man; but we speak so far as we are able, viz. confess what
Contr. Apollin. i. 8. fin.
has been done, as it is in Scripture, and to worship the true and living God, for the glory and acknowledgment of His love towards man,” &c.
Again, in his second book against Apollinarius : “ Whence you gained your notion,” that the soul is of a fleshly nature, “ I cannot understand; it is neither proved from the Holy Scriptures, nor is it according to the received opinion of the world ?."
I conclude with referring to Theodoret's mode of conducting the same or a similar controversy. In each of the three argumentative Dialogues, of which his Eranistes is composed, we find the following significant arrangement, in accordance with Vincentius's direction already commented on;—the arguments from Scripture come first, and then passages from the Fathers in illustration. Moreover in his first Dialogue, he introduces his authorities from the Fathers in the following way. Eranistes, the heterodox disputant, after hearing his proofs from Scripture, says; “You have expounded this text well; but I would fain learn how the ancient Doctors of the Church understood it.” Orthodox replies; “You ought to have been satisfied with these proofs from the Apostles and Prophets. However, since you desire besides to know the expositions of the Holy Fathers, I will give you this aid also, with God's blessing.” As if he said, it is not
1 Ibid. 9. 11. 22, fin. ? Ibid. ii. 8. Vide also passages in 9. 13. 14. 17. 18. and 19.
now the place for bringing mere authority; I am proving the doctrine. Authority is well in its place, viz., before the controversy; but now our business is with Scripture.
Again, in his second Dialogue: “We will endeavour to persuade Arius to confess the one substance of the Holy Trinity, and we will bring the proofs of this from Holy Scripture.”
And again; “How can a man dispute with those who deny our Lord has taken flesh, or human soul, or mind, except by adducing his proofs from divine Scripture ? how refute the frenzied men who study to disparage the Divinity of the Only-begotten, except by showing that Divine Scripture has spoken some things with reference to His Divine, other things with reference to His human Nature 1 ?”
Out of the third Dialogue I select the following. After Orthodox has stated the Catholic doctrine of the Passion and Resurrection, Eranistes answers ; “ The doctrines of the Church should be set forth, not in declaration merely, but by proof. Show me, then, that Holy Scripture teaches this.” Upon which Orthodox proceeds to cite the Epistle to the Romans.
Again : “ Eranistes.—St. Peter says, “Christ having suffered for us in the flesh. Orthodox.-Surely this is quite agreeable to our doctrine ; for we
have learned our Canon of doctrines from Holy Scripture.”
One more passage shall be cited. “To add any thing to the words of Scripture is madness and audacity ; but to open the Sacred Text, and to develope its hidden sense, is holy and religious. Here is the doctrine of the Gallic Vincentius in the mouth of a Syrian Bishop'.
Nothing, I think, is plainer from these extracts, than that the authors of them looked upon Scripture as the standard of proof, the tribunal of appeal, in controversy." Now how strikingly coincident with this view are the words of our Articles? “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation, so that” (i. e. in such sense that) “ whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man.” The Article is altogether of a polemical character.
ON THE FORTUNES OF THE CHURCH.
And now, that our discussions on what may fitly be called the Prophetical Office of the Church draw to a close, the thought, with which we entered on the subject is apt to recur, when the excitement of the inquiry has subsided, and weariness has succeeded, that what has been said is but a dream, the wanton exercise, rather than the practical conclusions of the intellect. Such is the feeling of minds unversed in the disappointments of the world, incredulous how much it has of promise, how little of substance ; what intricacy and confusion beset the most certain truths; how much must be taken on trust, in order to be possessed; how little can be realized except by an effort of the will; how great a part of enjoyment lies in resignation. Without some portion of that Divine Philosophy which bids us consider “the kingdom of God” to be “ within us,”and which, by prayer and meditation, by acting on