It behoves those who preside over the churches, every day but especially on Lords days, to teach all the clergy and people words of piety and of right religion, gathering out of holy Scripture meditations and determinations of the truth, and not going beyond the limits now fixed, nor varying from the tradition of the God-bearing fathers. And if any controversy in regard to Scripture shall have been raised, let them not interpret it otherwise than as the lights and doctors of the church in their writings have expounded it, and in those let them glory rather than in composing things out of their own heads, lest through their lack of skill 365 they may have departed from what was fitting. For p. 375 through the doctrine of the aforesaid fathers, the people coming to the knowledge of what is good and desirable, as well as what is useless and to be rejected, will remodel their life for the better, and not be led by ignorance, but applying their minds to the doctrine, they will take heed that no evil befall them and work out their salvation in fear of impending punishment.
How great an obligation of preaching rests upon bishops, the successors of the Apostles, is evident from the words of St. Paul, “Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach” (1 Cor. i. 17), and his chief adjuration to Timothy though Jesus Christ and his coming, was “Preach the Word” (2 Tim. ii. 4.). For this reason the fathers formerly called the episcopate the preaching-office (officium predicationis), as is evident from the profession of Adelbert Morinensis, and the form of profession of a future Archbishop. Both of these will be found in Labbe, appendix to Tom. VIII., of his Concilia.
The clergy will be careful to teach nothing in their sermons to be religiously held and believed by the people except what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and what the Catholic Fathers and Ancient Bishops have collected out of the same. 366
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