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Moralium. Lib. xxxii. in c. xli. beati Job. (Editio ut supra.)

“ Non quia sufficientes simus aliquid cogitare a nobis quasi ex nobis, sed sufficientia nostra ex Deo est.” Nemo ergo Deum meritis prævenit, ut tenere eum quasi debitorem possit, sed miro modo æquus omnibus conditor, et quosdam præelegit, et quosdam in suis pravis moribus justè derelinquit.

The DUTY and ADVANTAGE of reading the SCRIPTURES; and the right mode of obtaining a true understanding of them, and the beauty and fullness of the written Word: in opposition to the declaration of the Trentine Fathers that the indiscriminate reading of the Scriptures is attended with more harm than good, and that the Church is their only true interpreter.


The sufficiency of the Scriptures. Proinde sive de Christi, sive de ejus ecclesiâ, sive de quacumque aliâ re, quæ pertinet ad fidem vitamque vestram, non dicam nos, nequaquam comparandi ei qui dixit, Licet si nos, sed omninò quod sequitur adjecit, si angelus de cælo vobis annuntiaverit præterquam quod in Scripturis legalibus et evangelicis accepistis, anathema sit.Lib.iü. cont. lit. Petit. c. 7. tom. ix. p. 302. (Bened. edit. Paris. 1685.)

Civitas Dei dubitationem tanquam academicorum dementiam detestatur; credit enim Scripturis sanctis veteribus et novis, quas canonicas appellamus, unde fides ipsa concepta est, ex qui justus vivit, per quam sine dubitatione ambulamus.- De Civitate Dei. lib. xix. c. 18. tom. vii. (Editio ut supra.)

The Scriptures are to be preferred to all the subsequent writings of bishops, and even General Councils may be amended by subsequent ones.

Quis nesciat scripturam canonicam veteris et Novi Testamenti, certis suis terminis contineri, eamque omnibus posterioribus episcoporum litteris esse preponendam, ut de illâ omnino dubitari et disceptari non possit, utrum verum vel utrum rectum sit, quidquid in eâ scriptum esse constiterit.

Episcoporum autem litteras, quæ post confirmatum canonem vel scriptæ sunt, vel scribuntur, et per sermonem forte sapientiorem cujuslibet in eâ re peritioris, et per aliorum episcoporum graviorem auctoritatem doctioremque prudentiam et per concilia licet reprehendere, si quid in eis fortè a veritate deviatum est. Et ipsa concilia quæ per singulas regiones vel provincias fiunt, plenariorum conciliorum auctoritati

, quæ fiunt ex universo orbe Christiano, sine ullis ambagibus cedere : ipsaque plenaria sæpe priora posterioribus emendari, cum aliquo experimento rerum aperitur quod clausum erat, et cognoscitur quod latebat.-Epist. de Baptismo, contra Donatistas, lib. xi. c. 3. tom. ix. p. 12. (Editio ut supra.)

In iis quæ apertè in Seripturâ posita sunt, inveniuntur illa omnia quæ continent fidem moresque vivendi.—De doctrinâ Christianâ, lib. i. c. 9. tom. ii. (Editio ut supra.)

The Church is to be proved by the Scriptures. Non audiamus, hæc dico, hæc dicis, sed audiamus hæc dicit Dominus. Sunt certè libri Dominici, cujus auctoritati utrique consentimus, utrique credimus, utrique servimus. Ibi quæramus ecclesiam, ibi discutiamus causam nostram. Auferantur illa de medio, quæ adversus nos invicem, non ex ex divinis canonicis libris, sed aliunde recitamus.

Nolo humanis documentis, sed divinis oraculis ecclesiam demonstrari. De unitate Ecclesiæ, c. 3. tom. ix. p. 341. (Bened. edit. Parisiis, 1694.)

Legite nobis hæc de lege, de prophetis, de Psalmis, de ipso evangelio, de apostolicis litteris, legite, et credimus.Ibid. c. 6.

Hoc in lege et prophetis et Psalmis esse scriptum ipse testatus est; hoc ejus commendatum ore tenemus. Hec sunt cause nostre documenta, hæc fundamenta, hæc firmamenta.-Ibidem, c. 16.

The Jews, with their Scriptures,* were like a blind man with

a glass. Proferimus codices ab inimicis, ut confundamus alios

In another work Augustine declares that he would not believe the VOL. II.


inimicos. In quali opprobrio sunt Judæi ? Codicem portat Judæus, unde credat Christianus. Librarii nostri facti sunt.

. Apparent Judæi de Scripturâ sanctâ quam portant, quomodo apparet facies cæci de speculo : ab aliis videtur, ab ipso non videtur.-Enarratio in Ps. 56. tom. iv.

P. 534.


The Scriptures sufficient for salvation. Nam cùm multa fecisset Dominus, non omnia scripta sunt, sicut idem ipse Johannes Evangelista testatur, multa Dominum Christum et dixisse et fecisse, quæ scripta non

electa sunt autem quæ scriberentur, quæ saluti credentium sufficere videbantur.-In Joh. Evang. tract. 49. p. 619. tom. üï. Editio ut supra.

Est autem mater ecclesia, et ubera ejus duo testamenta Scripturarum divinarum. Hinc sugatur lac omnium sacramentorum temporaliter pro nostra salute gestorum.-In epist. Joh. c. ii. tract. 3. p. 843. tom. iii. Editio ut supra.

Search the Scriptures.

Scrutamini Scripturas, &c.] Judæis dicit Caput nostrum, quod nobis corpus dicit. Quæretis me et non invenietis me. Quare ? quia non scrutamini Scripturas, quæ testimonium perhibent de me.-Serm. cxxix. de verbis evang. Johan. 5. (Bened. edit. Parisiis, 1685.)

Scriptures without the authority of the Catholic Church. But this is not inconsistent with his trying the character and doctrines of the Church by the Scriptures, when received upon the authority of the Church. We receive the canon of the Old Testament from the Jews; and by their own Scriptures we condemn the Jews. But Augustine must have alluded to the evidence of the genuineness and canonicity of the Scriptures as proved by the writings of Churchmen. For no General Council had decided the canon of Scripture. Particular Councils, as well as the Fathers, varied in their canons ; some included the Apocrypha, and some omitted them. Augustine included them, Jerome, more learned in Hebrew, rejected them. Augustine could not have meant that he received the Scriptures upon the authority of the Church of Rome, for Jerome testifies that in his days the Romans rejected the Epistle to the Hebrews. The 9th volume of Augustine was published a few years later than the 6th, the latter was published in 1685, the former in 1694.


. There is scarcely any hope of salvation to those who are igno

rant of the Scriptures. Καθαπερ γαρ γη γεωργικων For as the earth which ουκ απολαυουσα χειρων, χερσου. does not enjoy the labour of ται και υλομανει» Ουτω και η the husbandman becomes barψυχη πνευματικης ουκ απολαυ- ren, and grows wildly luxuουσα διδασκαλιας ακανθας και riant, in like manner the soul τριβολους εκπεμπει.

Ει γαρ which does not enjoy spiritual ημεις οι καθ' εκάστην ημερας instruction produces thorns την των προφητων και αποστο and thistles. For if we who λων μετεχοντες ακροασεως μο- daily partake of (or enjoy) λις κατεχομεν θυμον, μολις the hearing of the Prophets χαλινουμεν οργην, μολις κα- and Apostles, scarcely restrain ταστελλομεν επιθυμιαν, μολις our passion, scarcely curb our εκβαλλομεν τηκεδονα φθoνου, anger, scarcely allay our deσυνεχεις επωδας τας απο των sires, scarcely cast out the θειων γραφων επιδοντες τους consumption of envy, and ημετερους παθεσι, μολις κα- soothing (as we do) our pasταστελλομεν τα αναισχυντα

sions continually with charms θηρια εκείνοι, μηδεποτε from the divine Scriptures, , ταυτης απολαυοντες


la- scarcely quiet these shameless τρειας, μηδε της θειας υπακου beasts, tell me what hope have οντες φιλοσοφιας, ποιαν σωτη- they of salvation who never ριας ελπιδα εξουσιν, ειπε μου; enjoy this medicine, who

Chrys. Sermolii. illud, never listen to the divine Paulus vocatus.' tom. v. philosophy ? p. 587 (Bened. edit. Paris. 1839.)


The duty of reading all the Scriptures. Τουτο γαρ, εστι, τουτο ο πολ For it is this, it is this λης ραθυμιας ημας ενεπλησε, which has filled us with great το μη πασας επιεναι τας γρα- torpor, namely, the not going φας, αλλ' α νομιζομεν ειναι through all the Scriptures, σαφεστερα, ταυτα εκλεγομενους, but the selecting of those των αλλων μηδενα ποιεισθαι which we deem to be the λογον. Τουτο και τας αιρεσεις clearest, and the making of εισηγαγε, μη βουλεσθαι no mention of the rest. This,

None of the Fathers is so much opposed to the Church of Rome in the reading of the Scriptures and the true way of understanding them, as Chrysostom.




αν το


απαν επιεναι το σωμα, το νομι- also, has introduced heresies, ζειν

περιττον και

the not being willing to pass παρεργον.

Serm. xvii. in over the whole body, but Rom. xvi. 3. Tom. v. p. 215. thinking that some of it is (Editio ut supra.)

superfluous and redundant. i The Scriptures are an exhaustless mine. Ει γαρ οι μεταλλα διορρυτ But if those who dig out τοντες χρυσίου, οσον αν εκειθεν the metal of fine gold, of κενωσωσι πλουτον, ου προτερον whatever riches they may αφιστανται εως

have emptied it, do not desist ανελωνται χρυσίον"

Πολλω till they have removed all the η μας μειζονι προθυμια κεχρησ- gold, how much greater desire θαι δει και σπουδη περι των

and eagerness does it become θειων λογιων ερευναν.


us to employ in our search

into the divine Word. For γαρ ημεις χρυσίον ορυττομεν, ουκ αισθητον, αλλα πνευματι- We, too, dig up fine gold, not κον. Ου γαρ μεταλλα γης, αλλα material, but spiritual. For

we labour not for the metals μεταλλα του πνευματος εργα- of earth, but for those of the ζομεθα. Αι γαρ επιστολαι του

Spirit. For the epistles of Παυλου, του Πνευματος εισι

Paul are the metals and μεταλλαι και πηγαι. Μεταλλα fountains of theSpirit; metals, μεν, οτι χρυσιου παντος τιμι- because they present us with ωτερον ημιν παρεχουσι πλου- wealth more precious than

Πηγαι δε, ότι ουδεποτε all fine gold; fountains, beεπιλειπουσιν. Αλλ' οσον

cause they never fail, but κενωσης εκειθεν, τοσουτον, και whatever you empty thence, πολλω πλειον, επιρρει παλιν. as much, and more, flows in Και τουτου γενοιτο αν παραδει- again, of which all the time ξις σαφης ο χρονος ο απελθων that is past would be a clear απας, εξου γουν Παυλος εγενετο, evidence. Five * hundred πεντακόσια λοιπον ετη παρηλθε" years have elapsed since Paul Και τουτον απαντα τον χρο- lived, and during the whole νον πολλοι μεν συγγραφεις, of that period many writers, πολλοι δε διδασκαλοι και εξηγη- and many teachers and interται πολλα πολλακις εκειθεν preters have thenee drawn εξηντλησαν, και τον αποκει- many things, and have not μενον ουκ εκεινωσαν πλουτον. exhausted the wealth conΟυ γαρ αισθητος ο θησαυρος. tained in them. For the Δια και ουκ αναλισκεται τη των treasure is not material, and



* Either Chyrsostom erred in his chronology; or this sermon was written by some Father in the next century.

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