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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
On Christian Doctrine: Chapter 42

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 42.—Sacred Scripture Compared with Profane Authors.

63.  But just as poor as the store of gold and silver and garments which the people of Israel brought with them out of Egypt was in comparison with the riches which they afterwards attained at Jerusalem, and which reached their height in the reign of King Solomon, so poor is all the useful knowledge which is gathered from the books of the heathen when compared with the knowledge of Holy Scripture.  For whatever man may have learnt from other sources, if it is hurtful, it is there condemned; if it is useful, it is therein contained.  And while every man may find there all that he has learnt of useful elsewhere, he will find there in much greater abundance things that are to be found nowhere else, but can be learnt only in the wonderful sublimity and wonderful simplicity of the Scriptures.

When, then, the reader is possessed of the instruction here pointed out, so that unknown signs have ceased to be a hindrance to him; when he is meek and lowly of heart, subject to the easy yoke of Christ, and loaded with His light burden, rooted and grounded and built up in faith, so that knowledge cannot puff him up, let him then approach the consideration and discussion of ambiguous signs in Scripture.  And about these I shall now, in a third book, endeavor to say what the Lord shall be pleased to vouchsafe.

Next: Book III

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