An Exhortation, Part 1.2

What follows is the second instalment from the message delivered on Sunday.  It is taken from The First Book of Homilies.  I will post the third part tomorrow:

“So, rather than holding to the opinions of people whose passions are base, who only care for their flesh, let us reverently hear and read holy Scripture, which is the food of the soul.  Let us diligently search for the well of life in the books of the Old and New Testaments, rather than running to the stinking puddles of the traditions of beings – traditions devised by people’s imaginations – for our justification and salvation.
“In holy Scripture we find what we should do, and what we should refrain from; what to believe; what to love; what to look and hope for from God’s hands.  In holy Scripture we find the Father, from whom, the Son, by whom, and the Holy Spirit, in whom, all things move and have their being; and we find these three persons to be one God and one substance.  In holy Scripture we come to know ourselves – how vile and miserable our condition is; we also come to know God, how good he is of himself, and how he makes us and all of creation to be partakers of his goodness.  In holy Scripture we learn to know God’s will and pleasure, as much as is appropriate for us to know at this time.
“Indeed, as John Chrysostom wrote, slightly paraphrased: “whatsoever is required to the salvation of humanity is fully contained in the Scripture of God.  The one that is ignorant may learn from Scripture and thereby possess knowledge.  The one that is hardhearted and an obstinate sinner will find the everlasting torments of God’s justice, that fear may soften the heart.  The one that is oppressed with misery will find relief in the promises of eternal life, words of great consolation and comfort.  The one that is wounded by the devil, who may expect death, will find in Scripture medicine that will lead to health and life…If a situation requires that truth be taught, false doctrine be reproved, or vice, or that virtue be commended, or good counsel be given, or comfort, or exhortation, or any other thing required for our salvation; all of these things we may learn in plenty from Scripture.”  Fulgentius writes: “There is enough for adults to eat and children to suck.  Whatever is proper for all ages and all degrees and all sorts of people.””

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