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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Great Evil Ensues to the Weak in Faith, from Any Discussion Out of the Scriptures. Conviction Never Comes to the Heretic from Such a Process.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVIII.—Great Evil Ensues to the Weak in Faith, from Any Discussion Out of the Scriptures. Conviction Never Comes to the Heretic from Such a Process.

But with respect to the man for whose sake you enter on the discussion of the Scriptures, 2040 with the view of strengthening him when afflicted with doubts, (let me ask) will it be to the truth, or rather to heretical opinions that he will lean? Influenced by the very fact that he sees you have made no progress, whilst the other side is on an equal footing 2041 (with yourself) in denying and in defence, or at any rate on a like standing 2042 he will go away confirmed in his uncertainty 2043 by the discussion, not knowing which side to adjudge heretical. For, no doubt, they too are able 2044 to retort these things on us. It is indeed a necessary consequence that they should go so far as to say that adulterations of the Scriptures, and false expositions thereof, are rather introduced by ourselves, inasmuch as they, no less than we 2045 maintain that truth is on their side.


Footnotes

251:2040

Or, “from the Scriptures.”

251:2041

Æquo gradu.

251:2042

Statu certe pari.

251:2043

Incertior.

251:2044

Habent.

251:2045

Proinde.


Next: Appeal, in Discussion of Heresy, Lies Not to the Scriptures. The Scriptures Belong Only to Those Who Have the Rule of Faith.

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