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NPNF-211. Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian
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Chapter VI.

The united doctrine of the Catholics is to be received as the orthodox faith.

This confession of his therefore, which was the faith of all Catholics was approved of by all the Bishops of Africa,23842384    The attesting Bishops who subscribed his recantation as witnesses were Aurelius of Carthage; Augustine of Hippo Regius; Florentius of the other Hippo; and Secundinus of Megarmita. whence he wrote, and by all those of Gaul, to whom he wrote. Nor has there ever been anyone who quarrelled with this faith, without being guilty of unbelief: for to deny what is right and proved is to confess what is wrong. The agreement of all ought then to be in itself already sufficient to confute heresy: for the authority of all shows undoubted truth, and a perfect reason results where no one disputes it: so that if a man endeavours to hold opinions contrary to these, we should in the first instance rather condemn his perverseness than listen to his assertions, for one who impugns the judgment of all announces beforehand his own condemnation, and a man who disturbs what has been determined by all, is not even given a hearing. For when the truth has once for all been established by all men, whatever arises contrary to it is by this very fact to be recognized at once as falsehood, because it differs from the truth. And thus it is agreed that this alone is sufficient to condemn a man; viz., that he differs from the judgment of truth. But still as an explanation of a system does no harm to the system, and truth always shines brighter when thoroughly ventilated, and as it is better that those who are wrong should be set right by discussion rather than condemned by severe censures, we should cure, as far as we can with the Divine assistance, this old heresy appearing in the persons of new heretics, that when through God’s mercy they have recovered their health, their cure may bear testimony to our holy faith instead of their condemnation proving an instance of just severity. Only may the Truth indeed be present at our discussion and discourse concerning it, and assist our human weakness with that goodness with which God vouchsafed to come to men, as for this purpose above all He willed to be born on earth and among men; viz., that there might be no more room for falsehood.


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