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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 3

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 3.—Of the Authority of the Canonical Scriptures Composed by the Divine Spirit.

This Mediator, having spoken what He judged sufficient first by the prophets, then by His own lips, and afterwards by the apostles, has besides produced the Scripture which is called canonical, which has paramount authority, and to which we yield assent in all matters of which we ought not to be ignorant, and yet cannot know of ourselves.  For if we attain the knowledge of present objects by the testimony of our own senses, 451 whether internal or external, then, regarding objects remote from our own senses, we need others to bring their testimony, since we cannot know them by our own, and we credit the persons to whom the objects have been or are sensibly present.  Accordingly, as in the case of visible objects which we have not seen, we trust those who have, (and likewise with all sensible objects,) so in the case of things which are perceived 452 by the mind and spirit, i.e., which are remote from our own interior sense, it behoves us to trust those who have seen them set in that incorporeal light, or abidingly contemplate them.



A clause is here inserted to give the etymology of prœsentia from prœ sensibus.


Another derivation, sententia from sensus, the inward perception of the mind.

Next: Chapter 4

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