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The Faith, according to the Fathers, is contained in Holy Scripture.
THE VIth Article does not touch upon the subject of the interpretation of Holy Scripture. The questions, “Who is its interpreter? by what rules the interpretation is to be guided? what is the value of tradition or of the consent of antiquity in its interpretation? “are wholly outside of its scope. Nor again, is it the question whether any things are true or right to be observed which are grounded on tradition, without being contained in, or provable by, Holy Scripture. The Article relates only to “Articles of Faith,” and lays down the duty not of individuals, but of the Church, not to require to be believed as an Article of Faith, what cannot be proved by Holy Scripture. I have put down a few passages from the fathers, stating or implying that the faith is contained in Holy Scripture, as bearing out the Article, chiefly such as are quoted by Beveridge on the Articles, in Archbishop Usher’s Answer to a Jesuit (c. 2), and in the notes on S. Athanasius against the Arians (Library of the Fathers). Some I found in an American publication, taken, without acknowledgment, from Dean Goode’s laborious collection in his “Divine Rule of Faith and Practice,” vol. iii. pp. 29-211. From this I hare selected some few. A fuller list may be seen in the work itself, with which, although written against us, we have, thus far, no controversy; since the question between the school of Dean Goode and ourselves was not, whether Holy Scripture is the ultimate source of faith (in which we were always agreed), but whether it is its own interpreter.
The argument from tradition was pressed upon heretics by S. Irenæus and Tertullian, that the Apostles committed orally their whole doctrine to the Churches which they founded. S. Irenæus begins his full argument of the value of tradition by asserting that what the Apostles delivered orally, that they wrote. “Through no other have we known the plan of our salvation, than through them, through whom the Gospel has come to us; which Gospel they then preached, but afterwards by the will of God delivered us in the Scriptures, to be the foundation and pillar of our faith.” —iii. 1.1. In like way Tertullian: “What we are, that are the Scriptures from the beginning; of them we are, before that any thing existed contrary to what we are” [heresy],—De Præscr. c. 38, p. 489, Oxf. Tr. And a little before, having given the beginning and end of the Apostles’ Creed, “She (the Church) joineth the law and the prophets with the writings of the Evangelists and Apostles, and thence drinketh in her faith.”—Ib. § 37. And negatively, “Whether all things were made of any subject-matter, I have as yet read nowhere. Let Hermogenes’ shop show that it is written. If it is not written, let them fear that woe alloted to such as add or take away.”—Adv. Herm. c. 22.
S. Clement of Alexandria,—“He hath ceased to abide a man of God and faithful to the Lord, who hath kicked against the ecclesiastical tradition, and bounded off to the opinions of human heresies; but he who hath returned from this deceit, listening to the Scriptures, and turning back his life to the truth, is perfected, being in a manner deified. For we have the Lord as the source of the doctrine, guiding the true knowledge from beginning to end, ‘in divers portions and in divers manners,’ through the Prophets, and the Gospel, and the Holy Apostles. But if any think he needs any other first principle, that which is indeed the first principle would not be kept. But he who is trustworthy in himself may well be worthy of trust through the Scripture and voice of the Lord, which, through the Lord, worketh to the good of man. For this [Scripture and voice of the Lord] we use as a rule of judging and discovering things. But every thing which is judged is as yet untrustworthy, before it is judged; so that what hath need of being judged cannot be a first principle. With good reason then do we, embracing by faith the first principle being undemonstrated, taking ex abundanti the proofs concerning the first principle from the first principle itself, and instructed by the voice of the Lord to the acknowledgment of the truth. If it suffice not simply to express what we hold, but there is need to establish what we say, we do not wait for testimony from men, but we accredit the thing to be ascertained by the voice of the Lord, which is more trustworthy than any demonstration, yea, rather is151
the only demonstration. In which knowledge they who have only a simple knowledge of the Scriptures are faithful.—But if those who go after heresies also venture to use prophetic Scriptures,—first, they do not use all; secondly, not perfectly; not as the body and context of the prophecy suggests, but selecting what is said doubtfully, they draw it aside to their own opinions, plucking a few sayings here and there, not attending to what is signified by them, but using the bare phrases.”—Strom, vii. pp. 890, 1, Pott.
S. Hippolytus,—“There is one God, Whom we do not know otherwise than from the Holy Scriptures. For as, if any one would be disciplined in the wisdom of this world, he could not obtain it without reading the doctrines of philosophers; so, whoever of us would practise piety towards God, shall not learn it except from the Divine Scriptures. Whatever, then, the Holy Scriptures set forth, let us know; and whatever they teach, let us learn; and as the Father willeth to be believed, so let us believe; and as He willeth the Son to be glorified, so let us glorify Him; and as He willeth the Holy Ghost to be given, so let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own sense, nor doing violence to the things given by Him, but as He willed to teach us by the Holy Scripture, so let us understand them.”—c. Noet. n. 9, Opp. T. i., pp. 238, 9.
Origen,—“In the two Testaments every word appertaining to God may be sought and discussed, and from them may all knowledge be obtained. But if there be any thing, upon which Divine Scripture decideth not, no other third Scripture ought to be received as an authority for any knowledge; but what remaineth we should commit to the fire—i. e., reserve to God. For God doth not will that we should know all things in this present life.”—In Lev. Hom. v. n. 9, ii. 212, ed. De la Rue.
S. Dionysius of Alexandria,—He praises the Millenarians of the Arsinoite, that “very conscientiously and guilelessly, and with childlike hearts towards God, they received the things established by proofs and teaching of the Holy Scriptures.”—In Euseb,, H. E. vii. 24.
S. Cyprian declares the agreement with Holy Scripture to be the test of genuine tradition. “Whence is that tradition? Whether does it descend from the authority of the Lord and the Gospel, or does it come from the injunctions and epistles of the Apostles? For that we are to do what is written, God testifieth and admonisheth, saying to Joshua, ‘ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth,’ &c. (Jos. i. 8.) Likewise the Lord, sending His Apostles, directs that the nations should be baptized and taught to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded. If, then, it is commanded in the Gospels, or contained in the Epistles or Acts of the Apostles, then be this holy and Divine tradition preserved.”—Ep. 74, ad Pomp., n. 2,
p. 261, Oxf. Tr.
“What presumption to prefer human tradition to Divine ordinances, and not to perceive that God is displeased and angered, as often as human tradition relaxes the Divine command” (citing Isa. xxix. 13; S. Matt. xv. 8, 9; S. Mark vii. 9; 1 Tim. vi. 3-5).
“It behoves the priests of God, who keep the Divine commandments, that, if the truth has in any respect tottered and faltered, we should go back to our Lord as our Head, and to the Evangelic and Apostolic tradition.”—Ib. n. 13, p. 267.
S. Athanasius, admitted as a deacon to defend the faith at the Council of Nice, who witnesses so often that the Church there declared what it had received, states also the sufficiency of Holy Scripture:— “Vainly then do they [the Arians] run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake, for Divine Scripture is sufficient above all things; but if a Council be needed on the point, there are the proceedings of the Fathers, for the Nicene Bishops did not neglect this matter; but stated the doctrine so exactly, that persons reading their words honestly, cannot but be reminded by them of the religion towards Christ announced in Divine Scripture.”—Conc. Arim. et Sel. c. i. § 8, p. 81, Oxf. Tr. See further, above, p. 43.
“Perhaps being refuted as touching the term Ingenerate also, they will say, according to their evil nature, ‘it behoved, as regards our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ also, to state from the Scriptures what is there written of Him, and not to introduce un-Scriptural expressions.’ Yes, it behoved, say I too; for the tokens of truth are more exact as drawn from Scripture than from other sources; but the ill disposition and the versatile and crafty irreligion of the Eusebians, compelled the bishops, as I said before, to publish more distinctly the terms which overthrow their irreligion.”—Nicene Def. c. vii. § 6, p. 57, Oxf. Tr.152
“Such is their [the Arian] madness and temerity. But our faith is right, issuing from Apostolic teaching and tradition of the fathers, confirmed from both the New and Old Testament,” which he proceeds to quote.—Ep. ad Adelph., § 6, T. i. p. 914, 5, Ben.
“The holy and inspired Scriptures are sufficient of themselves for the preaching of the truth, yet there are also many treatises of our blessed teachers composed for this purpose.”—Cont. Gent. init.
“Since Divine Scripture is more sufficient than any thing else, I recommend persons who wish to know fully concerning these things (the doctrine of the blessed Trinity) to read the Divine oracles.”—Ad Ep. JEg. 4.
“The Scriptures are sufficient for teaching; but it is good for us to exhort each other in the faith, and to refresh each other with discourses.”—Vit. S. Anton. 16.
S. Cyril of Jerusalem, having given a summary of the Creed, adds, “This seal have thou ever on thy mind, which now by way of summary has been touched on in its heads, and, if the Lord grant, shall hereafter be set forth according to our power, with Scripture-proofs. For concerning the Divine and most sacred Mysteries of the Faith, we ought not to deliver even the most casual remark without the Holy Scriptures, nor be drawn aside by mere probabilities and the artifices of argument. Do not then believe me, because I tell you these things, unless thou receive from the Holy Scriptures the proof of what is set forth; for this salvation, which is of our faith, is not by ingenious reasonings, but by proof from the Holy Scriptures.”—Lect. iv. § 17, p. 42, Oxf. Tr.
“Take thou and hold that faith only as a learner and in profession, which is by the Church delivered to thee, and is established from all Scripture, For since all cannot read the Scriptures, but some, as being unlearned, others by business, are hindered from the knowledge of them; in order that the soul may not perish for lack of instruction, in the Articles which are few we comprehend the whole doctrine of the Faith. This I wish you to remember even in the very phrase, and to rehearse it with all diligence among yourselves, not writing it on paper, but by memory graving it on your heart as on a monument.
“This I wish you to keep all through your life as a provision for the way, and besides this to receive no other ever: whether we ourselves should change and contradict what we now teach; or some opposing Angel, transformed into an Angel of light, should aim at leading you astray. ‘For though we or an Angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let them be accursed.’ And for the present, commit to memory the Faith, merely listening to the words; and expect at the fitting season the proof of each of its parts from the Divine Scriptures. For the Articles of the Faith were not composed at the good pleasure of men; but the most important points, chosen from all Scripture, make up the one teaching of the Faith. And, as the mustard-seed in a little grain contains many branches, thus also this Faith, in a few words, hath enfolded in its bosom the whole knowledge of godliness contained both in the Old and New Testaments. Behold, therefore, brethren, and ‘hold the traditions’ which ye now receive, and ‘write them on the table of your hearts.’”—Lect. v. § 12, p. 58, Oxf. Tr.
S. Hilary, in rejecting a statement from the Book of Enoch:— “Let us pass by this. For the things which are not contained in the book of the law, we ought not even to know” (in Ps. 132, n. 6), and in the context of the celebrated passage in which he speaks of the abuse of Holy Scripture by heretics, he said to Constantius, “In so far I truly admire thee, Lord Emperor Constantius, for thy blessed and religious wish, in that thou desirest the faith only according to that which is written, and hastening, as is meet, to the very words of the Only-Begotten God, that your breast, which can contain an Emperor’s cares, may also be filled with the Divine words. This whoso rejecteth is Anti-Christ, and whoso doth it in pretence, is anathema. But this one thing I ask—that in the presence of the Synod (of Constantinople), which is now at variance about the faith, thou wouldest vouchsafe to hear me as to the Evangelic Scriptures, that I may speak with thee in the words of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose exile or Bishop I am,—’God,’ according to the prophet, ‘beholdeth him who is humble and trembleth at His word.’ Emperor, thou seekest the faith; hear it, not out of new writings, but out of the Books of God.”—Ad Const. Aug. ii. n. 8.
S. Epiphanius,—“The children of the Church have received from their holy Fathers, that is, the holy Apostles, to guard the faith; and withal to deliver and preach it to their own children. . . . Cease not, faithful and orthodox men, thus to speak, and to teach the like from the Divine Scriptures, and to walk, and153
to catechize, to the confirmation of yourselves and those who hear you; namely, that holy faith of the Catholic Church, as the holy and only Virgin of God received its custody from the holy Apostles of the Lord; and thus, in the case of each of those who are under catechizing, who are to approach the holy Layer, ye ought not only to preach faith to your children in the Lord, but also to teach them expressly, as your common mother teaches, to say, ‘We believe in one God,’” &c., adding the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed in full.—Ancorat. 120, T. ii. p. 122.
S. Optatus,—“Why knock at heaven, when we have a Testament here in the Gospel? For here things earthly may be rightly compared with things heavenly. The case is, as when a Father, having many sons, as long as he is with them, himself directs them, a Testament is not yet necessary. So Christ, as long as He was present on earth (although now, too, He fails us not), for the time commanded the Apostles whatever was necessary. But as an earthly father, when he feels himself on the verge of death, fearing lest, after his death, the brothers should quarrel and go to law, calls witnesses, and transfers his will from his dying breast to tables which shall long endure, and, if any contention arises among the brothers, they do not go to the tomb, but ask for the Testament, and he who resteth in the tomb speaketh silently from the tables,—He Whose is the Testament is alive in heaven. So then let His Will be sought in the Gospel as in a Testament.”—(As to the re-baptising of Heretics.)—De Schism. Don. v. 3.
S. Basil, in his treatise on the faith, sets out with saying, “What I have learnt from the God-inspired Scripture, this would I set before you as is pleasing unto God. I have thought it suited to our common end, in the simplicity of a sound faith, to fulfil the desire of your love in Christ, saying what I have been taught from the God-inspired Scripture, being sparing as to names and words, which are not actually introduced into the Divine Scripture, yet which preserve that meaning which lieth in Scripture. But those which, besides the language being foreign to Scripture, had a meaning also foreign to it, and which cannot be found used by the saints, these I shrank from altogether, as foreign and alien to godly faith. For faith is an unhesitating assent to the things which we have heard in the fulness of the truth of the things preached by the grace of God. But if the Lord is faithful in all His words,—it is a manifest falling from faith, and sin of pride, either to reject any thing written, or to introduce any thing unwritten, since the Lord Jesus Christ saith, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers;’ and the Apostle, under an example taken from men, strongly forbiddeth to add or take away any thing in the God-inspired Scriptures, in that he says, ‘Now a man’s covenant, when confirmed, no man annulleth or addeth thereunto.’” De Fide, n. 1, Opp. ii. 223, 224.
“What then our Fathers said, we too say, that the Glory is common to the Father and the Son, wherefore we present our giving of glory to the Father with the Son. But this doth not suffice us, that it is the tradition of the Fathers. For they too followed the mind of the Scripture, taking as their first principle those testimonies which, a little while ago, we set before you from the Scripture.”—De Spir. S. c. 7, n. 16,
T. iii. p. 13.
And, though not speaking of faith, he gives it as a rule, “That every word or thing ought to be confirmed by testimony of God-inspired Scripture, to the full conviction of the good and the shaming of the evil.”—Reg. 26. Ib. ii. p. 256.
“What is the character of faith? An unhesitating conviction of the truth of the God-inspired words. What is the character of the faithful? With the same conviction to embrace the meaning of what is said, and not to venture to annul or to add. For if every thing which is not of faith is sin, as the Apostle says, and faith is from hearing, and hearing through the Word, every thing which is without the God-inspired Scripture, being not of faith, is sin.”—Reg. 80, c. 22. Ib. p. 317.
S. Gregory of Nyssa,—“‘I think we ought to inquire, over and above what has been said, whether the God-inspired teachings agree with these things.’ She said, ‘And who would contradict this, that that alone is to be set down as truth, to which the seal of the teaching of the Gospel is added?’“—De Anima et Res. T iii. p. 207.
“But since with them [the philosophers], the theory as to the soul was carried out at their own pleasure, according to what seemed to them consequential, but we have no such power of saying whatever we will, seeing that we use Holy Scripture as a canon and law of all doctrine, we, of necessity, looking to it,154
receive that alone which agreeth with the purport of what is written.”— Ib. p. 201.
“Since the God-inspired testimony is the safe criterion of truth as to every doctrine, I think it well to accredit our teaching too by annexation of the Divine.”—c. Eunom, L. i. T. ii. p. 346.
S. Ambrose,—“What we do not find in Holy Scripture, how can we use?” [not of doctrine].—De Off. i. 23, § 102.
“Why labour we so much for the world—who ought to serve no other save this Lord? Here then there is no second [as the Arians called our Lord]. I adduce this testimony. I read that He is first; I read that He is not second. Let those who say that He is second show it by Scripture.”—De. Inst. Virg. c. xi. § 70, ii. 265, Ben.
“They say, that the Son is ‘unlike’ the Father; we deny it; yea, rather, we are horrified at the word. But I would not have you trust my argument, sacred Emperor, or my discussion. Let us interrogate the Scriptures; let us interrogate the Apostles; let us interrogate the Prophets; let us interrogate Christ.”—De Fide, i. 6, n. 41, T. ii. p. 451.
“I wish not to be myself believed; let Scripture be recited.”— De Inc. Dom. Sacr. c. 3, n. 14. ii.
S. Jerome,—“But as we do not deny what is written, so what is not written we reject. That God was born of a Virgin, we believe, because we read. That Mary married after that Birth we believe not, because we read not.”—Adv. Helvid. § 19, Opp. ii. 222, Vail.
“The doctrine of the Church, which is the house of God, is found in the fulness of the Divine Scriptures.”—Ep. 30, ad Paulam, § 6, i. 147.
“Other things, too, which they [the heretics] find and invent without the authority and testimonies of the Scriptures, as if by Apostolical tradition, the sword of God [i. e. His living Word] strikes through.”— On Hagg. i. 11, T. vi. p. 749.
“The Church of Christ, which hath a goodly dwelling-place, and possesseth Churches in the whole world, is conjoined by unity of spirit, and hath the cities of the Law, the Prophets, the Gospel, the Apostles, hath not gone forth from her boundaries, i. e. the Holy Scriptures, but retains the possession which she took.”—In Mic. i. 10, T. vi. pp. 444, 5.
“That treasure, in which are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, is either God the Word, Who seemeth hidden in the flesh of Christ, or Holy Scripture, in which is laid up the knowledge of the Saviour.”—In S. Matt. xiii. 44, T. vii. 97.
“It is asked how God made known to us the mystery of His will in all wisdom and knowledge. And first this is to be taken simply, that the mystery of His will is our redemption through the Blood of His Son, and remission of sins according to the riches of His grace, wherewith He hath abounded in us. Then that through His Scriptures He hath made known to us all mysteries, how He first made heaven and earth, and all things therein,” &c.—In Ep. ad Eph. i. 9, p. 555.
Theophilus of Alexandria,—[Origen] “not knowing that it is the suggestion of a dæmoniacal spirit to follow the sophism of human minds, and to think any thing Divine outside of the authority of the Scriptures.”—Epist. Pasch. i. (96 among S. Jerome’s), § 6, T. i. p. 560, Vail.
“It is one thing, if they can teach out of the Scriptures that Go d the “Word had His Soul before He was born of Mary, and that it was called His Soul before He took flesh. But if they are constrained by the authority of the Scriptures and reason itself, to admit that Christ had not a soul before He was born of Mary (for at the assumption of man, His Soul also was assumed), they are plainly convicted of saying that the same soul was, and was not, His. But let these madmen cease from the impiety of new dogmas. Let us, following the rule of the Scriptures, proclaim, with entire confidence of heart, that neither His flesh nor His soul were, before He was born of Mary.”—Ep. Pasch. ii. n. 8 (Ep. 98 in S. Jer.), i. 585.
Rufinus,—After giving the catalogue of the Books of the Old and New Testament, he says: “These are they which the Fathers included within the canon, and out of which they willed the assertions of our faith to be established.”—Comm. in Symb. Apost. § 37, p. 110, ed. Vallars.155
“These things have been delivered unto us by the Fathers, which, as I said, it seemed opportune to set down in this place for the instruction of those who are receiving the first elements of the Church and of the faith, that they may know from what fountains they are to draw the draughts of the Word of God.”—Ib. § 38, p. 101.
Perhaps Gregory of Bætica, anyhow before S. Augustine,—“Since, then, thou knowest this unity of substance in the Father and the Son, by authority, not only of the Prophets, but of the Gospel also, how sayest thou that the omoousion is not found in the Divine Scriptures, as though the omoousion were any other than what He saith, ‘I came forth from the Father,’ and ‘I and the Father are one,’ or what the Prophets plainly intimated as to the Substance of God?”—De Fide Orthod. c. 5, App. S. Ambr. ii. pp. 351,
S. Augustine,—Albeit the Lord Jesus did many things, not all are written; as this same S. John the Evangelist testifies that the Lord Christ both said and did many things which are not written: only those were selected to be written which were seen to suffice for the salvation of them that believe.”—Hom. 49, in
S. John, § 1, p. 649, Oxf. Tr.
And after enumerating the books of Holy Scripture, “In all these books, they who fear God and are meek through piety, seek the “Will of God. Of this work and labour the first observance is, to know those books, if not so as to understand them, yet by reading either to commit them to memory, or at least not to be altogether unacquainted with them. Then those things which are set down plainly in them, whether precepts as to life, or rules of faith, are to be searched into diligently and wisely; of these any one will find the more, in proportion to his capacity and intelligence. For in those things which are set down plainly in the Scriptures, are found all things which contain faith in the way of life, i. e., hope and charity.”—De Doctr. Christ, ii. 9, § 14.
“He made the authors of the Divine Scriptures the mountains of Israel. Feed there, that ye may find safety. Whatsoever ye hear thence, let that savour well unto you; whatsoever is without, reject. Wander not in the mist; hear the voice of the Shepherd; gather yourselves to the mountains of Holy Scripture; there are the delights of your heart; there is nothing poisonous, nothing alien; it is a most rich pasture; do ye only come sound yourselves.”—Serm. 46, de Past. c. 11, § 24, Opp. v. 238.
“He, having spoken first by the Prophets, then by Himself, afterwards by the Apostles, as much as He judged to be sufficient, formed also the Scripture which, is called Canonical, of most eminent authority, which we trust as to those things, which it is not expedient to be ignorant of, and which yet we are not equal to know of ourselves.”—De Civ. Dei, xi. 3, T. vii. p. 273.
“It [the city of God] believes the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and the New, which we call Canonical, from which the faith itself is derived whereby the just liveth, by which we walk without doubting, so long as we are absent from the Lord; which being safe and certain, we may without just blame doubt as to some things, which we have not perceived by sense or reason, and which have not become evident to us by Canonical Scriptures, nor have come to our knowledge by witnesses whom it were absurd to disbelieve.”—Ib. xix. 18. Ib. p. 562.
“Being about to speak of the day of the last Judgment of God, we ought first to lay down the divine testimonies as the foundation of the building.”—Ib. xx. 1, Ib. p. 562.
“Read this to us from the Law, from the Prophets, from the Psalms, from the Gospel itself, from the Apostolic Epistles; read, and we believe.”—De Unit. Eccles. c. 6, ix. 345.
“Accordingly, whether as to Christ or as to His Church, or any other thing which belongs to your faith and life, I say not ‘we’ (seeing we are in no wise to be compared to him who said ‘although we’), but I say what he added, ‘if an angel from heaven preach to you any thing besides what ye have received,’ in the Scriptures of the Law and the Gospel, let him be anathema.”—c. litt. Petil. iii. 6, T. ix. p. 301.
S. Chrysostome,—“With good cause He calleth the Scriptures a ‘door,’ for they bring us to God, and open to us the knowledge of God; they make us sheep, they guard us, and suffer not wolves to come in after us. For Scripture, like some sure door, barreth the way against heretics, placing us in a state of safety as to all which we desire, and not allowing us to wander; and if we undo it not, we shall not easily be conquered by our foes. By it we can know all, both those which are, and those which are not shepherds. But156
what is ‘into the fold?’ It refers to the sheep and the care of them. For he that useth not the Scriptures, but climbeth up some other way, i. e. who cutteth out for himself another and an unusual way, ‘the same is the thief.’ Seest thou from this too, that Christ agreeth with the Father, in that He bringeth forward the Scriptures? On which account also He said to the Jews, ‘Search the Scriptures,’”&c.—Hom. 59, on S. John
x. 1, p. 513, Oxf. Tr.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, &c. ‘For doctrine.’ If we ought to learn or be ignorant of any thing, thence shall we know it; if to disprove what is false, this too thence; if to be corrected and taught wisdom—that is, if any thing is lacking and hath to be added, ‘that the man of God may be perfect,’ he saith, to this end was the exhortation of Scripture. Thou hast, he says, the Scriptures instead of me: if thou wiliest to learn any thing, thence mayest thou. But if he wrote these things to Timothy, who was filled with the Spirit, how much more to us! ‘Thoroughly perfected to all good works,’ he saith, not simply partaking, but thoroughly and. accurately furnished.”—On 2 Tim. Hom. ix. § 1, T. xi. pp. 714, 715.
S. Isidore of Pelusium,—“That these things are so, let us look into the canon of truth, I mean the Divine Scriptures. “What then saith it?”—Epist. L. iv. Ep. 114, p. 475. “The teaching as to the fall [of souls, i. e. Origen’s] not being true, I deem, yet seeming to be plausible, many other things appear to overthrow, but two especially, in my judgment: one, that it is not clearly taught in the Scriptures.”—Ib. 163, against Origen, beg. p. 504.
S. Cyril of Alexandria,—“We say that the ‘fountains of salvation ‘ are the holy Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles, who cause to gush forth on the world the saving word which is from above and from heaven, the Holy Spirit supplying them, and gladden the whole under heaven.”—De Recta Fide, ad Reg. ii. init. Opp. v. 2, c. p. 128.
“Since we must needs follow the Holy Scriptures, nowhere going out of the track of what they prescribe, let us say, in what way God the Father is said to crown the Son with glory.”—Ib. p. 168.
“Those who oppose must either condemn to disgrace those of old, and call those who taught the world the mysteries of the faith, false teachers, to whom Christ Himself said, ‘Go, teach all nations;’ or if they shudder at this, they must choose to be right-minded about Christ, and bidding farewell to their own ignorances, hold fast to the Holy Scriptures, and following the inerrant path of the saints, go straight to the Truth itself.”—De Recta Fid. ad Imp. p. 6.
“A. What right-minded person can fail to see, my friend, that you bale up empty words and heap up a cold profitless multitude of ideas, unless you point out the writings of the saints as harmonizing with what you say? For we will follow, not those who will and are wont to pour out of their own ideas, but those who speak from the mouth of the Lord, as is written. B. Thou sayest right. Well, then, Divine David sang,” &c.—De S. Trin, Dial. iii. T. v. 1, p. 477.
“It is best then, O Hermias, not to be flurried with the petulances of others, since they would lead us to an undistinguishing mind, but to make the words of the Divine speakers the straight and unswerving rule of faith. For it must be right to accept no others than these self-same, and to say, ‘It is not ye who speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’”—Ib. Dial, iv. init. p. 504.
Taken in part from S. Cyril, but later:—“Creation itself, and its preservation and government, proclaim the greatness of the Divine Nature. And first through the law and the prophets, then through His only-begotten Son our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, He hath made manifest the knowledge of Himself according to our capacity. All things then which are delivered to us through the law and the prophets and Apostles we receive, and know, and confess, not seeking any thing beyond them. For it is impossible to say or even conceive any thing about God, besides what has been Divinely said to us by the Divine oracles of the Old and New Testament.”—De Sacrosancta Trinitate, init. Opp. T. vi. P. 3, p. 2.
Theodoret,—“From this we are taught not to quench the Spirit, but to stir up the grace which we have received, and to introduce nothing alien into Holy Scripture, but to be content with the teaching of the Spirit, and to abominate heresies, of which some have added fables to the Divine word, others have preferred their ungodly thoughts to the mind of Scripture.”—Queestt. in Lev. 9. 9.
Orth.—“Bring me not human thoughts or syllogisms. For I obey the Divine Scripture alone.”—157
Dial. c. x. T. iv. p. 18, Sch.
Eran.—“How could one argue with those who deny the taking of the flesh, or the soul, or the mind, except by producing the proofs from the Divine Scripture? And how could one refute those who strain to lessen the Divinity of the Only-Begotten, than by showing that Holy Scripture spake some things as to His Divinity, others as to the Incarnation? Orth.—This saying is true. For it is ours; nay, rather that of all who have kept the Apostolic rule unbent.”—Dial. ii. p. 113.
“I would not say it, persuaded by human reasonings. For I am not so rash as to say any thing on which Divine Scripture is silent.”—Ib. p. 122.
S. Proclus,—“Let faith, being the head of all virtues, remain unadulterated, introducing nothing spurious from human reasonings, nor defiled by profane novelties of words, but remaining within the bounds of the Gospels and Apostles, no one venturing to discuss any thing amiss in addition to that whereby we have been saved, and which, in Baptism, we subscribed with our tongue. For the sublimity of faith repels every attack and venture of presumption, not only of man, but even if carried aloft by any spiritual nature, the blessed Paul crying aloud, ‘If we or an angel from heaven preach to you any other Gospel than what ye have received, let him be anathema.’ Let us guard then with vigilance what we have received, keeping the eye of the soul open and steadily fixed on the treasure of faith. What, then, have we received from the Scriptures, but altogether this, that God created the universe by the Word?”—Epist. ad Arm. App. conc. Eph. iii. 1740, 1, Col.
S. Leo,—“Into this folly they fall, who, when they are hindered by some obscurity from knowing the truth, betake themselves, not to the voices of the Prophets, not to the writings of the Apostles, not to the authorities of the Gospels, but to themselves. And therefore they became teachers of error, because they had not been disciples of the truth. For what additional instruction did he acquire from the Divine books of the Old and New Testament, who did not grasp even the beginning of the Creed?”—Ep. 28, ad Flavian.158
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