Chapter II:28: Controversy with Rome over Tradition, Part 2

  1. On account of the Traditions themselves.

α. In general, a. their Uncertain Origin; which the Papists do not remove by their Rules for discrimination, which are equally uncertain.  Indeed, Bellarmine, book IV de Verbo Dei, chapter IX, Controversiis, tome I, column 234-237, sets forth five rules, by which it is given to arrive at the recognition of true and Apostolic Traditions, as he says; for example, when the universal Church embraces as a doctrine of faith anything that is not found in the divine books, it is necessary to say that it is had from the Tradition of the Apostles; because the universal Church, judging something to be of the faith, is not able to err, but has these things which are of the faith from the Prophets and Apostles:  and so on.  But all those Rules for discrimination are in the end brought back to the testimony and authority of the Church; but it is this very authority that comes into controversy:  consult CLOPPENBURG’S Disputationem octavam de Canone Theologiæ, opera, tome 2, pages 50, 51. b. And the necessary proving of all Traditions by the Scriptures, 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; for how might the faithful prove all things and the Spirits, except by the prescribed examination of the same by the Scripture, unto which as the sole norm of faith we are everywhere sent, Luke 16:29; John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 2 Peter 1:19, etc.

β. And in particular the Papistical Traditions’, a. battle with the Scripture, when, for example, is delivered the local Descent of Christ into Hell , Purgatory, the propiatory Sacrifice of the Mass, etc.:  see below in Chapter XXI:14; XXIV:9, 10; XXXI:26, 27: b. uncertainty, according to their own rules not agreeing with them; when they urge the universal consent of the Church in embracing a Tradition, the universal observance of that Tradition by all the Learned in the past; the testimony of all the Doctors of the Church agreeing that something has come down from Apostolic Tradition; etc.: c. or declaration made in the Scriptures, as the matter is concerning the Trinity, see Chapter V:13, etc.; Pædobaptism, which Bellarmine himself, libro de Baptismo, chapter VIII, tome 3, Controversiis, columns 315-317, proves out of Scripture, see Chapter XXX:17, 18; the number of the Sacraments, at least enumerated, by comparison with 1 John 5:6, 8, see Chapter XXIX:28; the admission of women to the Sacred Assembly, by comparison with Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:28; the translation of the Sabbath to the Lord’s Day, by comparison with Revelation 1:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Colossians 2:16, 17, see Chapter XII:16:  hence in these matters there is no need to have recourse to ἄγραφον/unwritten Tradition, as another principium and infallible foundation of the faith.

The Fathers ὁμοψήφους/agreeing with us in rejecting unwritten doctrinal Traditions, LEYDEKKER cites in Veritate Euangelica triumphante, tome I, book I, chapter XII, § 6, pages 142, 143.

1 thought on “Chapter II:28: Controversy with Rome over Tradition, Part 2

  1. Westminster Confession of Faith 1:6a: “The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men….”

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