My own path, however, lies along the original tenets 6665 of their chief teachers, not with the self-appointed leaders of their promiscuous 6666 followers. Nor shall we hear it said of us from any quarter, that we have of our own mind fashioned our own materials, since these have been already produced, both in respect of the opinions and their refutations, in carefully written volumes, by so many eminently p. 506 holy and excellent men, not only those who have lived before us, but those also who were contemporary with the heresiarchs themselves: for instance Justin, philosopher and martyr; 6667 Miltiades, the sophist 6668 of the churches; Irenæus, that very exact inquirer into all doctrines; 6669 our own Proculus, the model 6670 of chaste old age and Christian eloquence. All these it would be my desire closely to follow in every work of faith, even as in this particular one. Now if there are no heresies at all but what those who refute them are supposed to have fabricated, then the apostle who predicted them 6671 must have been guilty of falsehood. If, however, there are heresies, they can be no other than those which are the subject of discussion. No writer can be supposed to have so much time on his hands 6672 as to fabricate materials which are already in his possession.
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