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Systematic Theology - Volume I
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§ 5. Examination of the Romish Doctrine.

Hundreds of volumes have been written in the discussion of the various points included in the theory above stated. Only a most cursory view of the controversy can be given in such a work as this. So far as Romanists differ from us on the canon of Scripture, the examination of their views belongs to the department of Biblical literature. What concerns their doctrine of the incompleteness and obscurity of the written word, and the consequent necessity of an infallible, visible interpreter, can better be said under the head of the Protestant doctrine of the Rule of Faith. The two points to be now considered are Tradition and the office of the Church as a teacher. These subjects are so related that it is difficult to keep them distinct. Tradition is the teaching of the Church, and the teaching of the Church is tradition. These subjects are not only thus intimately related, but they are generally included under the same head in the Catholic Symbols. Nevertheless, they are distinct, and involve very different principles. They should, therefore, be considered separately.

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