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III. As soon as the empiric Church ruled by the bishops was proclaimed to be the foundation of the Christian religion, we have the fundamental premises for the conception that everything progressively adopted by the Church, all her functions, institutions, and liturgy, in short, all her continuously changing arrangements were holy and apostolic. But the courage to draw all the conclusions here was restrained by the fact that certain portions of tradition, such as the New Testament canon of Scripture and the apostolic doctrine, had been once for all exalted to an unapproachable height. Hence it was only with slowness and hesitation that Christians accepted the inferences from the idea of the Church in the remaining directions, and these conclusions always continued to be hampered with some degree of uncertainty. The idea of the παράδοσισ ἄγραφος (un-written tradition); i.e., that every custom, however recent, within the sphere of outward regulations, of public worship, discipline, etc., is as holy and apostolic as the Bible and the “faith”, never succeeded in gaining complete acceptance. In this case, complicated, uncertain, and indistinct assumptions were the result.

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