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pounds as imitable. And in pursuance of this example and
advice, St. Cyril" expresses himself perfectly: M>} rats i/j,a?s
slgtffioXo'ylais cgoVe^s* " Attend not to my inventions ; for
you may possibly be deceived : but trust no words, idv ^
fj.ddr,g IK TUV Stiuv ygatpuv, * unless thou dost learn it from
the Divine Scriptures.' " And more fully yet he speaks
in another place : d speaking of faith in the Holy Trinity, he
advises them to "retain that zeal in their mind, which by
heads or summaries is lightly expounded to you, but if God
grant, shall, according to my strength, be demonstrated to you

bb Orat. conk Gentes. c In c. iii. Ep. Rom.

* St. CyriL Ilierosol. Catech. 12. Illuminatorum. d Catecb. 4. Hluminat.



100 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

by Scripture ; At? yap <ffigl ruv Ssiuv xa/ ayiuv rr,g
fUKtn^iuf /J>r,ds rb rj%ov avm ruv Su'uv iragaftldoadai
* For it behoves us not to deliver so much as the least
thing of the holy mysteries of faith without the Divine
Scriptures,' nor to be moved with probable discourses.
Neither give credit to me speaking, unless what is spoken,
be demonstrated by the Holy Scriptures : 'H gurr,eict
aurj r5jg iriertug rtfAuv otix 1^ sugstf/oXoy/a? dXX' &t, afrods
run Se/wv seri ygapuv, ' For that is the security of our
faith, which is derived not from witty inventions, but from
the demonstration of Divine Scriptures.'" " Omne quod
loquirnur, debemus affirmare de Scripturis Sanctis," said St.
Jerome ; e " Every thing that we speak, we must prove it from
the Holy Scriptures ; " not every thing absolutely, but every
thing of religion, every thing of faith and manners ; and if
all this be not in the Scriptures, it can have no just authority.
"Hoc quia de Scripturis auctoritatem non habet, eadern facili-
tate contemnitur qua probatur ; If it have not its warrant
from Scripture, it may with as much ease be despised as
it was offered. " f Where though St. Jerome speaks of a par-
ticular question, viz. whether Zecharias, the son of Barachias,
were the father of John the Baptist ; yet it could not have
been applied to this particular, if it had not been true in the
general, that every thing of religion may be rejected that is
not proved from Scripture. But this is expressly affirmed by
St. Chrysostom; 8 " Nam si quid dicitur absque Scriptura,
auditorum cogitatio claudicat," &c. " If any thing be spoken
without Scripture, the thought of the hearers is lame ; some-
times inclining to assent, sometimes declining ; sometimes
rejecting the opinion as frivolous, sometimes receiving it as
probable: but when a testimony of the Divine voice proceeds
from Scripture, it confirms the speech of him that speaks,
and the mind of him that hears." And upon this account it
was that St. Cyril, of Alexandria, being to dispute with Theo-
doret concerning some mysterious questions of religion,
refused to confer but from the fountains of Scripture. " It
became him (says he h ), being exercised in Scriptures, since
his desire was to confer with me about Divine mysteries, to
speak with us only out of the Holy Scriptures, and so to

e In Psal. Ixxxix. f Idem in Matt. c. xxiii.

B Homil. in Psal. xcv. b Ad Eunopium.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 101

frame his discourse as becomes holy things." And I should
wonder if Theodoret should do otherwise: for he himself'
brings in the orthodox Christian saying to Eranistes, M;j /AO/
; xat tfyXXoy/o/ioOj av6au-tvov; ^foa^y/.r^' ly<a yds [lovy
r$ S?/'a yguffi' "Tell not me of your logisms and
syllogisms: I rely upon Scripture alone." In which short
sentence he makes provision against all devices of man's in-
venting ; but he establishes a remedy and an affirmative, that
is equally strong against all pretension of traditions besides
Scripture, by saying, that ' Scripture alone is the ground of
his confidence, the argument of his persuasion in matters of
religion.' But St. Austin k establishes the same sufficient
and only rule of Scripture, and, by way of instance, excludes
the authority of councils. " Sed nunc nee ego Nicenum nee
tu debes Ariminense, tanquam prsejudicaturus, proferre con-
cilium. Neque ego hujus auctoritate neque tu illius detineris :
Scripturarum auctoritatibus, non quorumcunque propriis, sed
utrisque communibus testibus, res cum re, causa cum causa,
ratio cum ratione concertet ; I ought not to urge the Nicene
Council, nor you that of Ariminum ; as prejudging the
question on either side. But let the causes be confronted,
argument against argument, matter against matter, thing
against thing, by the authorities of Scripture, which are the
witnesses common to us both." By which words, if St. Aus-
tin's affirmative can prevail, it is certain that nothing ought
to be pretended for argument but Scripture in matters of
religion. For if a general council, which is the best witness
of tradition, the best expounder of Scripture, the best deter-
miner of a question, is not a competent measure of deter-
mination, then certainly nothing else can pretend to it,
nothing but Scripture. And if it be replied, that * this is only
affirmed by him in case that two councils are or seem contrary ;'
I answer, that if councils can be or seem contrary, so that
wise and good men cannot competently insist upon their tes-
timony, it is certain a man may be deceived, or cannot justly
be determined by any topic but the words and consequences
of Scripture ; and if this be the only probation, then it is
sufficient, that is certain. But that will be a distinct con-
sideration. In the meantime, that which I intend to per-
suade by these testimonies is, that the fathers of the Primi-
tive Church did, in all their mysterious inquiries of religion,

1 Dialog, i. c. 5. k Cont. Maximinum, lib. iii. c. 14.



102 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

in all matters of faith and manners, admit no argument but
what was derived from Scripture. 1

6. (2.) Next to this and like it is, that the primitive doc-
tors did confute all heresies from Scripture ; which could no
way be done, but that because ' rectum est index sui et
obliqui, that which is straight will demonstrate its own
straightness, and the crookedness of that which is crooked.'
Scripture must be a rule of all religion and all faith, and
therefore sufficient to reprove all vice and every heresy. So
Tertullian m discourses ; " Aufer hsereticis quae cum ethnicis
sapiunt, ut de Scripturis solis quaestiones suas sistant ;
Take from heretics their ethnic learning, that they may dis-
pute their questions out of Scriptvire only." To this purpose
Origen n brings in the precedent of our blessed Lord, from
Scriptures confuting the heresy of the sadducees about the
resurrection. As Christ did, " sic facient et Christi imitatores
exemplis Scripturarum, quibus oportet secundum sanam doc-
trinarn omnem vocem obmutescere Pharaonis ; so will
the followers of Christ do by the examples of Scriptures,
which will put to silence every voice of Pharaoh;" that is,
every doctrine of the adversaries. Plainer yet are those
excellent words of St. Athanasius, speaking but of a small
part of Scripture, even so much as was sufficient to prove the
articles of the Nicene creed : 'H yag IK avrj xagd ruv tfar*-
gWK xara rag iia$ ygapag 6^oX&yjj^7<ra iriarii; auragxjjj lor/
avargoirqv ftiv cratfjjs affs/Sg/ag, ebaractv ds rr^g tvfc[3sia,$ ev
igricag, he says ; " That faith which the fathers

' Vos dicitis, licet: nos, non licet. Inter licet vestrum, et non licet nostrum,
nutant et remigant animi populorum. Nemo vobis credit, nemo nobis : omnes con-
tentiosi homines sumus : quaerendi sunt judices: si Christiani, de utrnque parte
dari non possunt, quia studiis veritas impeditur. De foris quajrendus est judex : si
paganus, non potest nosse Christiana secreta : si Judseus, inimicus est Christiani
baptismatis. Ergo in terris nullum de hac re reperiri poterit judicium : de coelo
quaerendus est Judex. Sed quid pulsamus ad coelum, cum habeamus hie in evan-
gelio testamentum? Optat. lib. v. cont. Parmen. Ego solis eis scriptorum, qui
jam canonici appellantur,didici hunc timorem honoremque deferre, ut nullum eorum
scribendo errasse audeam credere : alios autem ita lego, ut quantalibet sanctitate
doctrinaque polleant, non ideo verum putem, quia ipsi ita senserunt, sed quia mihi
vel perillos auctores canonicos, vel probabili ratione, quod a veritate non abhorreat,
persuadere potuerunt. 5. August, ep. xix. ad Hieronymum. Si Divinarum Scrip,
turarum, earum scilicet quse canonical in ecclesia nominantur, perspicua aliquid
firmatur auctoritate, sine ulla dubitatione credendum est. Aliis vero testibus vel
testimonies, quibus aliquid credendum esse suadetur, tibi credere vel non credere
licet, &c. Ib. ep. cxii. Vide eundem lib. ad Donatistas post collationem, c. 15 ; et
lib. de Unitate Ecclesia3, c. 18. et 19 ; lib. ii. de Baptis. cont. Donatistas, c. 3.
* De Resur. Carnis, c. iii. D Tract, xxiii. in Matt. Epist. ad Epict.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 103

confessed at Nice, according to the Holy Scriptures, was suf-
ficient to reprove all heretical impiety, and to establish our
religion or faith in Christ." And therefore St. Chrysostom P
compares the Scriptures to a door : aura/ yag fipag xgoeuywei
r<Z Qiw, xat rr t v Ssoyvuffiav avoiyouffiv O'-JTUS dxoxXelsi roT$
ahin-/^?; rqv tfffodov, " for they lead us to God, and open to
us the knowledge of God, and keep heretics from entering in."
The metaphor is dogmatical and plain enough without a
commentary. The Scripture must be the port at which
every article of faith must go forth, and by which every
heresy can be kept from the fold of Christ : " Quae ignora-
mus, ex ea discimus:" so Theodoret; q "Whatsoever we
are ignorant of, we learn from thence." " Nihil est quod
nequeat Scripturis dissolvi:" so Theophylact; "There is
no difficulty but may be untied by the Scriptures."

7. The author of the imperfect work upon St. Matthew,
usually attributed to St. Chrysostom, discourses pertinently
and extreme fully to this article : " Then ' when ye shall see
the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place,'
that is, when ye shall see impious heresy, which is the army
of antichrist, standing in the holy places of the Church, in
that time ' he which is in Judea, let him flee to the moun-
tains,' that is, they who are in Christianity, let them run to
the Scriptures. And why does he command all Christians
in that time to run to the Scriptures? Because ever since
heresy did infest those churches, there can be no proof of
true Christianity, nor any other refuge for Christians who
would know the truth of faith, but that of the Divine Scrip-
ture." And a little after : " Now by no means can he that
desires, come to know which is the true Church of Christ, but
only by the Scriptures. Our Lord, therefore, knowing that
there would be so great a confusion in the last days, com-
mands that all Christians, who would be established in the
truth of faith, should fly to nothing but to the Scriptures."
These words, in some editions of the works of St. Chrysos-
tom, are scratched out by a Roman hand, to the regret of
some of his own party, and the shame of them that suffered
it or are pleased with it. All that I shall say to the book is
this, that it is very often urged by the greatest patrons of
tradition to serve their ends in many other questions, and

P Homil. Iviii. in Johan. i Ad illud [ad docendum] in 2 Tim. iii. ibid.



104 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

therefore cannot be rejected upon pretence of not being
St. Chrysostom's, much less upon pretence that it was written
or interpolated by an Arian ; because the Arians called for
Scripture in the use of the word o/icouovos, but for the thing
itself, they offered to be tried by tradition ; and so did the
Catholics, as it happened, or as the peevishness of their ad-
versaries or the advantages of the question did prompt them ;
but the Catholics and the Arians never did differ upon the
question of the sufficiency of Scripture. But as for the book,
it is * liber doctus et minirae spernendus,' says Bellarmine ; r
and so is this testimony ; and the rather, because it is perfectly
agreeing with the doctrine of the other fathers.

8. So St. Austin:* "Contra insidiosos errores Deus
voluit ponere firmamentum in Scripturis, contra quas nullus
audet loqui, quoquo modo qui se vult videri Christian um;
Against treacherous errors God would place our strength
in the Scriptures : against which none that would any way
seem a Christian, dares to speak." And a little after he
adds this example : "When Christ offered himself to Thomas
to be handled, ' non illi suffecit nisi de Scripturis confirmaret
cor credentium, Christ thought it not enough unless out
of the Scriptures he had confirmed the heart of the her
lievers : ' ' prospiciebat enim nos futures, he foresaw that
we should come after ; ' for if they therefore believed because
they held and handled him, what do we? Christ is ascended
into heaven, not to return but at the end of the world, that he
may judge the quick and the dead : whence shall we believe
but by that by which he confirmed them who handled him ?
He opened unto them the Scriptures." The Scriptures there-
fore are the great repository and the great security of faith.
They are also the great and the only deletory of heresies. So
Justus Orgilitanus expounds that of the Canticles: "Take
the little foxes," that is, " Convincite hsereticos eoruinque
versutias Sanctarum Scripturarum concludite testimoniis;
Convince heretics, and restrain their subtleties and .crafts
with the testimonies of the Holy Scriptures." And thus, in
fact, the fathers did conclude against the Gnostics, the Va-
lentinians, the Marcionites, the Manichees, the Photinians,
the Ariaus, the Novatians, Eutychians, Eunomians, Nesto-
rians, Macedonians, and all the priests of Christendom. " Hos

r Descript. Eccl. de St. Job. Chrysost. Tract, ii. in Epist. Johan.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 105

percussit gladius." ' The word of God is sharper than a two-
edged sword ;' and the magazines of Scripture were the ar-
mories of the Church.

9. (3.) " The fathers did reject whatsoever was offered
as an article of faith or a rule of manners, that was not in, or
could not be proved from, Scriptures:" so Tertullian;'
" Sed quoniam unum aliquod attigimus vacuse observationis,
non pigebit caetera quoque denotare, quibus merito vanitas
exprobranda est, siquidem sine ullius aut dominici aut apo-
stolici praecepti auctoritate fiunt. Hujusmodi enim non re-
ligioni, sed superstitioni deputantur, affectata et coacta, et
curiosi potius quam rationalis officii ; If you cannot shew
the authority of a Divine or apostolical precept, your office
is not religion, but superstition ; not a reasonable service,
but curiosity, coaction, or affectation." Pamelius supposed
these words to be very dangerous against ecclesiastical tradi-
tions. They are indeed against all such traditions as either
were mere matters of fact without command, or were post-
nate to the days of the apostles, of which nature are almost
all now in reputation and practice amongst the Romanists.
But more fully yet and explicative of the former are those
other words of Tertullian" against Hermogenes : " Whether
all things were made of pre-existing matter, I have nowhere
read ; let the school of Hermogenes shew where it is written.
' Si non est scriptum, timeat vae illud adjicientibus aut de-
trahentibus destinatum ; If it be not written, let him fear
the curse of them that add or detract to or from what is
written in the Scriptures.'" But St. Basil* is yet more de-
cretory : <ba.vtsa. txxTUffis xitfrtus, Kai i/ffsgqpavictg xarqyoeia,
?i aOzrsTv rt ruv -ysygafAfAsvuv, $ eftsiffu-ytiv n ruv [ATI ' yiy^a^'jA-
vuv, " It is a manifest defection from the faith, and a convic-
tion of pride, either to reject any thing of what is written, or
to introduce any thing that is not." And therefore, in pursu-
ance of this great truth and measure of conscience, he gives y
this rule, TLav rb Jxro; rr t c, SeoxvztxfTou ygapjjj ovx IK ffiarsag
OK a/a.acr/a iariv, " Whatsoever is without Scripture, not de-
rived from thence, is not of faith, and therefore is a sin :"
and therefore every such thing St. Austin z accurses ; " Si
quis sive de Christo, sive de ejus ecclesia, sive de quacunque

' De Orat. c. xii. n Cap. xxii. * Homil. de Fide,

y In Asceticis, reg. 80. x Lib. iii. cont. Liter. Petiliani, c. 6.



106 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

alia re, quae pertinet ad fidem vitamque nostram, non dicam
si nos, sed, quod Paulus adjecit, si angelus de coelo vobis
annunciaverit praeterquam quod in Scripturis legalibus et
evangelicis accepistis, anathema sit ; If any of us, I will
not say, but if any angel (for that St. Paul added), shall say
any thing of Christ or of his Church, or of any other thing
pertaining to faith and our life, except what we have received
from the Scriptures of the law and the gospels, let him be
anathema." " Scripturis non loquentibus, quis loquetur ?
If the Scriptures speak not, who will speak ?" said St. Pros-
per. 3 " All things which are delivered to us by the law and
the prophets and the apostles, we receive, acknowledge, and
confess, neither do we inquire after any thing else : for it
cannot be that beside those things which are divinely spoken
by the Divine oracles of the Old and New Testament, we
should say or at all think any thing of God :" so St. Cyril. b
These fathers speak dogmatically, generally, and peremp-
torily; nothing but what is in Scripture; nothing of God,
nothing of Christ, nothing of his Church, nothing of any
thing else. Add to these, that by their doctrine of the suf-
ficiency, and sole use, and necessity of Scripture in matters of
religion, they do exclude by name every thing that pretends
against Scripture. So Theophilus Alexandrinus ; c " Daemo-
niaci spiritus est instinctus sophismata humanarum mentium
sequi, et aliquid extra Scripturarum auctoritatem sequi ;
It is the instinct of the devil to follow the inventions of
men's minds, and to follow any thing without the authority
of the Scriptures." No device, no wit, no argument or in-
vention of man, is to be admitted into religion ; nothing but
Scriptures : but neither may traditions be received. " Quae
absque auctoritate et testimoniis Scripturarum quasi tradi-
tione apostolica sponte reperiunt et confingunt, percutit gla-
dius :" so St. Jerome ; d " These things which they feign as
if they were traditions apostolical, the sword shall smite, if
they be without authority and testimonies from Scripture."
And so St. Basil' to the question, ' Whether new con-
verts are to be accustomed to the Scriptures T he answers,
" It is fit that every one should, out of the Holy Scriptures,

De Vocat. Gentium in 20 tomo operum Ambros. lib. ii. cap. 3.
b Lib. de Trinit. et Persona Christi. c Pascbali 2.

* In Agge. c. i. e In Regul. Brev. reg. 95.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 107



learn what is for his use ; yea, it is necessary, e/'j
foglav T%S SeotfE/Ss/aj, xal vxtg rov [*r\ tfgoffidiffdrivai
Kasafoesffiv, ' both for the full certainty of godliness, and
also that they may not be accustomed to human tradi-
tions.' " Where it is observable, he calls ' all human tradi-
tions' that are not in Scripture ; for if there were any Di-
vine traditions which are not in Scripture, he ought to have
advised the learning of them besides Scripture, for the avoid-
ing of traditions which are not Divine : but the Scripture
being sufficient for all, whatsoever is besides it is human,
and to be rejected. I sum up this particular with an excel-
lent discourse of the same saint, to the same purpose : he
asks a question, ' Whether it be lawful or profitable to any
one to permit himself to do or to speak what himself thinks
right, without the testimony of the Holy Scriptures ?' He
answers f (after the quotation of many places of Scripture),
" Who therefore is so mad, that of himself he dare so much
as in thought to conceive any thing, seeing he wants the
holy and good Spirit for his guide, that he may be directed
both in mind, in word, and in action, into the way of truth,
or that he would remain blind without our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is the Sun of Righteousness, &c. ? But because of those
things which are disputed amongst us, some are determined
by the commandment of God in Holy Scripture, others are
passed over in silence ; as for those things which are written,
there is absolutely no power at all given to any one, either
to do any of those things which are forbidden, or to omit
any of those things which are commanded : since our Lord
hath at once denounced and said, ' Thou shalt keep the word
which I command thee this day, thou shalt not add to it, nor
take from it.' For a fearful judgment is expected, and a burn-
ing fire to devour them who dare any such thing. But as
for those things which are passed over in silence, the apo-
stle Paul hath appointed us a rule, saying, ' All things are
lawful to me, but all things are not expedient ; all things are
lawful, but all things do not edify : let no man seek to please
himself, but every one another's good.' So that it is alto-
gether necessary to be subject to God according to his com-
mandment." The sum is this, Nothing is matter of duty
either in word or deed, in faith or manners, but what is

f In Reg. Brev; reg. 1.



108 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

written in the Scriptures : whatsoever is not written there, it is
left to our liberty, and we are to use it as all indifferent things
are to he used, that is, with liberty and with charity. Now
if concerning such things as these there be any traditions,
it matters not : they are no part of our religion, but to
be received like laws of man, or customs of which account is
to be given in the proper place.

10. (4.) The fathers of the Church did affirm the Holy
Scriptures to be a sufficient and a perfect rule of faith and
manners. " Adoro Scripturse plenitudinem," said Tertul-
lian, g " quse mini et factorem manifestat et facta ; I adore
the fulness of Scripture, which declares God and God's
works." His instance is in one article, but that without the
rest can be no fulness ; as Virgil's ' Georgics' cannot be full,
because he tells a few things well of bees and tillage. But I
will not choose any authorities concerning which I need to
argue ; there are enough that are extremely plain, affirma-
tive, and concluding. I instance in Irenseus : h " Credere hsec
talia debemus Deo qui et nos fecit, rectissime scientes quia
Scripturse quidem perfectae sunt, quippe a verbo Dei et
Spiritu ejus dictae ; We know assuredly that the Scriptures
are perfect, for they are the word of God, and spoken by the
Spirit of God." But therefore he advises,' " Legite dili-
gentius id quod ab apostolis est evangelium nobis datum, et
legitediligentius prophetas,et invenietis universam actionem,
et omnem doctrinam, et omnem passionem Domini nostri prae-
dicatam in ipsis ; Read the Gospel which the apostles left
us, more diligently ; read the prophets more diligently, and
you shall find declared in them all the doctrine of Christ, all
his action, and all his passion." By " universam actionem"
he means his life indefinitely, and in general : and certainly
the New Testament needs nothing to its being a perfect rule,
when it contains all Christ's doctrine, and all his story, viz.
SO far as concerns US. EuayysX/xa/ yag /3//3Xo/ xal
xai 7uv <raXa/wK <!rgo<pr)ruv ra, $>eff<ir/fffjt,aru ffatpug fi/J^ag,
met TOU Stiov <pgovt?v, exwaidtvouffi, said Constantine the emperor ; k
" The evangelical books, and those of the apostles, and
the oracles of the old prophets, do evidently teach us to

8 Advers. Hermogen. c. xxii. h Lib. ii. c. 47. ' Lib. iv. c. 66.

k Apud Theodoret. Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. 6 j et apud Gelasium Cyzicenum in
actia Concil. Nicen. lib. ii. c. 7.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 109

believe those things which we ought to believe concerning
that which is Divine." And, therefore, St. Athanasius, or
whoever is the author of the exhortation to the monks ;
" Cura in canonicis ponenda est salubriter monumentis, non
quod Apocrypha praesertim ignorata debeamus damnare, sed
quod ad scientiam Dei digestam canonis seriem putemus
posse sufficere ; Be careful in reading the canonical Scrip-
tures ; not that the apocryphal (especially before they are
known) ought to be rejected, but that we suppose the canon
is sufficient" to the knowledge of God. The same with

zj

Constantino's <regi Sh/ou, ' that which is concerning God;'



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