Thomas Cartwright On The True Sense Of Sola Scriptura And The Vincentian Canon

To the fourth we answer, that your conclusion of that which Jerome and Vincentius say, that the Devil and heretics use of the Scriptures is childish. And unless you will conclude that all those that use the Scriptures are heretics, it is utterly vain.

If you say that heretics appeal to the Scriptures alone, which the Catholics do not. First you say an untruth, seeing you may remember him that complained he was rejected with the Fathers.

Secondly you say more than [Vincent of Lerin] does, nay he says the clean contrary, as that the Scripture alone is sufficient against heretics, if it be taken in the right sense And albeit, before he speaks of the tradition of the Catholic Church: yet thereby he means not unwritten verities, but the right exposition of the scriptures, made by the pastors and teachers of the Church. For otherwise how can the Scriptures alone be a perfect and sufficient rule against the heretics, if it need the supply of unwritten verities. Wherefore you are like to him that having arrows to shoot at the armed enemy, spent them vainly in shooting at birds. And we fear not (with a holy vaunt) even to vaunt our selves in the Gospel and Scriptures of God, as in the sword, which never fails to bring us home a spoil and a prey from you, as oft as we join battle with you.

Thomas Cartwright (1535–1603), A confutation of the Rhemists’ Translation… (Leiden, 1618), n.p. [HB editor’s note: The spelling in this passage has been modernized].

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