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by the express words of scripture, tlie adversary was next to be required to prove it by consequences deduced from scripture, which were in every instance to be objected to on some of these grounds': 1. Because the proposed interpretation was made without any authority; 2. Because, if it be founded on a comparison of other texts, there is no assertion in scripture that they were designed to explain that under consideration; 3. Because scripture does not affirm the goodness of the proposed interpretation; 4. Because every man may err, therefore the deduction may be false; 5. Because none of the fathers made this deduction; 6. Because one of the premises in the deduction is derived from human reasoning, and therefore uncertain; 7. Because scripture does not decide that conclusions, deduced from premises, one of which rests on human reason, are matters of faith, &c. These objections were to be put in the form of questions, and the adversary was to be obliged, in fine, to confess that the Protestants had separated from the church on points which could not be proved essential. The Lutherans were involved in this net by their own thoughtlessness. Had they not placed themselves in a false position, by pretending to be voluntary separatists, when their predecessors had not separated", the onus probandi could not have been laid on them. Had they preserved the respect for catholic tradition which the Reformation had so often shown', and not exaggerated the uses of scripture, they could not have been limited to rigid scriptural demonstration. Had they remembered that the Reformation declared

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that it did not differ in articles of faith from the Roman church ", they could not have been required to prove the doctrines in dispute to have been articles of faith. The Wallenburghs themselves acknowledged not only that conclusions derived from two scriptural premises were de fide , but even that one scriptural premise, together with an evident truth of reason, was sufficient to establish a certain truth, even a Divine truth', though not an article of faith. This would have been sufficient for the Lutheran's purposes in most points; but doctrines which were not actually matters of faith, would not have sufficed to excuse the voluntary separation from the church, of which they chose to accuse themselves.

Had the Wallenburghs held that articles of faith could not be deduced, when one of the premises was a merely speculative truth, by no means selfevident, and in fact disputed among men, there would have been nothing to object to in their principle. But they do not seem to have distinguished between such truths, and those which were universally admitted.

OBJECTIONS.

I. All interpretations or deductions made by individuals are uncertain, and insufficient to serve as a foun

non

" See above, Part I. chap. xii. altera præmissarum est scripturæ, sect. 1. and chap. xi. sect. 1. altera evidens, et forma argumen

* Walenburch, ut supra, p. 354. tationis bona ; tunc sequi conclu“ Convenit inter omnes.

sionem theologicam, prorsus ceresse disputandum de syllogismis tam et veram : imo talem conquorum utraque præmissarum est clusionem, ex quorundam senScripturæ."

tentia, non incommodo aliquando » Ibid. p. 334. “ Pro instruc- dici divinam." tione catholici notamus, quando

dation for faith, because no man is infallible. If, indeed, the true interpretation of scripture were certainly discernible, it would be obligatory on men; but the age of inspiration, and therefore of infallibility, has past by.

Answer. I reply that not only is scripture so clear on many points, that an erroneous interpretation can scarcely be forced on it, and those who wish to do so are at last obliged to mutilate it: but we have an unerring guide to the true meaning of scripture in the doctrine of the universal church in all ages, and in the formal and legitimate judgments made by that church in controversies of faith. To these I maintain that every private Christian is bound to submit his private opinion, as to unerring and irrefragable authority. e. g. I know the Unitarian doctrine to be heretical and antiChristian, not only by the clearest proofs from scripture, but by the uniform doctrine of the church in all ages', and especially its unanimous legitimate judgment in the Council of Nice. I know that Unitarianism was from the beginning viewed and treated as a heresy by all Christendom, therefore I cannot possibly err in regarding it as such, and in maintaining the catholic faith. Nor am I in the slightest degree obliged to receive on the same principle, the errors of Romanists; unless it be proved that they rest on the same authority, which cannot be done.

II. The ignorant cannot make deductions from scriptural truths, therefore the doctrines so deduced cannot be necessary to salvation.

Answer. Though they may not be able to make them

* The weight of universal tra- even by Daillé, and Whitby the dition against heresies is not only Arian. See Waterland's Works, admitted by our theologians, but vol. v. p. 275—8.

themselves, they may be able to see the consequence when proposed to them by ministers authorized by the church, and at all events believe it when presented by the sufficient and credible authority of the catholic church.

III. Scripture as the will of God must be so perfect as to need no human commentary or reasoning

Answer. There is no proof that scripture was designed to supersede the necessity of the Christian ministry.

CHAPTER III.

ON THE DOCTRINAL TRADITION OF THE CHURCII.

TRADITION sometimes means the doctrine held by Christians, as distinguished from the same doctrine written in the Bible. It is also used as equivalent to

custom," as in the thirty-fourth Article. Traditions in the former sense may be divided into those which have been commonly maintained in some particular age only, or which a portion of the church has maintained without separating from the rest “; and those which the great body of Christians from the beginning have always held to be articles of the faith. The former class of traditions may be certainly true, but the ecclesiastical authority which supports them can only render them probable. The latter sort of traditions afford an irresistible confirmation of the doctrine of scripture, and a certain test of the correctness of scripture interpretation.

a Such was the doctrine of the andria, Epiphanius, Jerome, AuMillennium as held by Papias, gustine. Even Justin Martyr Justin, Melito, Irenæus, Tertul

says that there "

were many even lian, Nepos, Adamantius, Victo- of those whose sentiments as rinus, Lactantius, Apollinarius, Christians were sound and pious, Sulpicius Severus ; and rejected that did not recognize it." --See by Origen, probably by Clement of Mr. Greswell's interesting disAlexandria, Dionysius of Alex- quisition on this subject. Expo

It is not here meant that the real sense of scripture is obscure in any points of faith, or that it is essential for each individual, in order to understand the scripture aright in such points, to consult previously the traditions and judgments of the universal church. Even the members of the Roman Obedience do not universally assert any such necessity, though it is too commonly taught by them. Cardinal de la Luzerne says “our assertion is not that all the passages of scripture are so obscure, that in order to explain and fix their meaning, it is indispensable to recur to a judge. We say that there are some which ignorance, carelessness, bad reasoning, passion, party-interest, may pervert, and in fact have perverted, to a meaning contrary to sound doctrine." The holy fathers St. Cyril, St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexandria, &c. taught that the scriptures were plain and clear in

many things“. Scripture ought to be of itself sufficient for

sition of the Parables, vol. i. 196. Oxford ed. 1836; Crakanchap. xxi. part ii. This truly thorp, De loco arguendi ab Aulearned writer, who adopts the thoritate. Logicæ, p. 323. See opinion of the majority of the above p. 26. 28. early writers, regards it as a ques- De la Luzerne, Dissertation tion in which “ great latitude and sur les Eglises Cath. et Prot. t. diversity of sentiment may be in- i. p. 59. nocently and safely allowed to d Taylor's Dissuasive, p. 217, different minds."-- Preface. &c.

+ See Taylor's Dissuasive, p.

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