Tracts for the Times
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 282 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: to be judged of by Analogy from other practical Matters. 11 extensive inquiry would establish; premising, however, the i 8. following cautions, as necessary to be kept in view throughout the inquiry. First, that since we are to speak of the Fathers collectively, we must be careful to select those points, in which they exhibit a tolerably general agreement. This limitation disposes at once of many of the most plausible objections to the views of Antiquity, and also of many of the unworthy and inadequate allegations of its timid defenders; as I hope to shew hereafter in some important examples. But to make the rule a practical one, we should well understand, secondly, what is to be accounted general agreement among the Fathers. For it is the third particular in the rule of Vincentius, Quod ab omnibus, which has ever afforded most scope for cavil to the rationalist, and for perplexity to the unwary. But let us only apply to this matter the same rules of common sense, which guide us on analogous subjects in ordinary life. A person not regularly trained in medicine desires to know what are safe rules of diet: is he to believe that there are no such rules at all, because he finds none from which, at some time or other, ingenious innovators have not contrived to dissent ? Another wishes to ascertain some point of common law: does he think it necessary for that purpose, that cases in all points exactly like his own shall have come under the cognisance of each former generation of jurists ? Or, in matters of navigation, would it be said there were no fixed rules, because but a few out of many seamen have left the results of their experience anywhere on record ? The question about the Fathers is so far like these, that it is strictly a question of practice: men want to know whi...
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