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saint of the Roman Church ; and seeing thus how contemporary opinions differ widely, so that by some of his friends St. Vincent De Paul became worshipped as a saint, and by others became branded as a fraudulent gamester, the conclusion seems obvious, — how fallible is the judgment of the most infallible men in their verdict on others; and that, far from trusting to their traditions, or to the statement of a man's most intimate friends, we must await the fiat of Him who 'cannot be deceived or mistaken, and who can alone divide the tares from the wheat, the goats from the sheep, the sinners from the saints.
So resolute were the Jews to preserve their own truthful Scriptures in perfect accuracy, that they counted the words, and even the letters, in each book; therefore, no erasure or addition could be made to them. Christians may be grateful for the sanction this gives to Protestant belief in the perfect accuracy of the Old Testament; while no sect of Christians, and no unbelievers, have ever been able to prove a flaw in the accuracy of the English Bible, though so many controversialists have eagerly sifted and cross-examined it for that purpose. The talented author of “ Cautions for the Times” illustrates the uncertainty of tradition compared with Scripture by putting this familiar case: “A footman brings you a letter from a friend upon whose word you can perfectly rely, giving an account of something that has
happened to himself, and the exact account of which you are greatly concerned to know. While you are reading and answering the letter, the footman goes into the kitchen, and there gives your cook an account of the same thing, which, he says, he heard the upper servants at home talking over, as related to them by the valet, who said he had it from your friend's son's own lips. The cook retails the story to your groom, and he, in turn, tells you. Would you judge of that story by the letter?”
The Bible shews how rapidly tradition becomes untruthful from that passage in St. John, where Jesus Christ says to Peter, in answer
xxi. 22. to his question what John should do, “ If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Then went this saying abroad among the brethren" (oral tradition), “ that that disciple should not die." Christ also says, “ Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your traditions."
Without the Bible men would be mere weeds in the garden of life, as within its four corners all infallible truth is contained, — a Protestant's religion is wholly based on the Bible. He works by the Bible, finds his warrant in the Bible, and has his model in the Bible, but a Romanist's religion is solely based on the Pope. The Protestant rule of faith is the Bible, and the Bible
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