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menced running as fast as he could to overtake the rest of the party.
It was becoming darker every few minutes. The sun was sinking behind the western mountains, whilst heavy dreary clouds rose one after another, in the heavens, adding to the increasing darkness. Again Ernest paused. He fancied he heard strange sounds which made him shudder, the hissing of serpents, creatures he only knew by report, joined with the croaking of frogs and toads. Then a shriek so unearthly that it made him jump and hold his breath, when a great grey owl passed almost over his head, flapping her wings, and screaming. Then followed growling and barking, and sounds very much like snarling. Ernest tried to see if strange dogs were worrying Fido. He looked, no Fido was behind him. He called and whistled, but nothing answered him except the wind. Howling followed; then some more barking, and he heard a voice of agony scream out,“ Save me, oh pray save me !"
Ernest rushed forward, following as well as he could to the spot whence he thought the sound came. “ Can that be dear Rosalie ?” thought the poor fellow, as in his hurry he tripped and fell. He quickly got up, and turning round, something brushed very roughly by him, almost throwing him down, for the road was very bad, and composed of large sharp stones. Before Ernest could think what it was, Henry came running up the hill, screaming, “The wolves ! the wolves! is that you, Ernest ? take care of yourself, for they are coming down that side; they have got hold of my sister, and I ran away for fear they should take me."
You—coward,” Ernest checked himself, and did not utter the hateful word. “ And where is Rosalie, my poor sister? where have you left her ?”
“Go and see ; pray how should I know?" said Henry, in a voice trembling with fear and exertion, for he could hardly be heard, . the noise was so great; “ perhaps eaten up by this time : go on, I cannot stay talking.”
Ernest felt quite dizzy; he staggered, and fell on his knees. It was but a moment; then summoning fresh courage, he continued running as fast as he could, until he reached a place where two paths met, one turning to the right hand, and its neighbour inclining slightly in an opposite direction. Ernest was puzzled ; he blamed himself for not making more minute inquiry of Henry; and making up his mind to follow the former path, he just entered into it when the low growl of a dog met his ears; he listened and heard some one sobbing violently.
It was quite dark; night overshadowed every thing, and he could distinguish nothing, noteven the path where he was going; ho ver, he went on : then again he stumbled over something—he shuddered as he felt it and put it aside. He then went on, another turning brought him to a wider road, and to his great amazement a brilliant light almost dazzled him with its unexpected appearance. Ernest rubbed his eyes, almost blinded from coming out of the dark, and beheld his darling sister, with her back towards him, kneeling, with her head bent down, whilst Fido, with a torn and bloody coat, stood by her side.
THE COMMONITORY OF S. VINCENT OF LERINS.
But the same also is the case with Tertullian ; for as Origen among the Greeks, so he among the Latins is acknowledged as undoubtedly the most pre-eminent of our Fathers. For who more learned than he ? Who more conversant with things human and divine ? For, with such extraordinary capabilities was he gifted, that he knew all philosophy, and all the sects of philosophers, the founders, and the followers of the sects, and all their systems, and every kind of history and studies. And was he not, moreover, pre-eminent for talent, so great and powerful, that he scarcely ever undertook to overthrow anything, which he either did not break to pieces by his penetrating genius, or crush to atoms by the weight of his arguments. Besides which, who now can set forth the praises of his style ? which, somehow or other, is replete with so great cogency of argument, that it compelleth those to assent, whom it cannot persuade ? and there are almost as many sentences as words, and victories as sentences. This know the Marcionites, Appellites, Praxeans, Hermogenites, the Jews, Gentiles, Gnostics, and the rest, whose blasphemies he hath overthrown in many and lengthy treatises, as it were with thunderbolts. And, nevertheless, he after all this, this Tertullian, I say, regardless of Catholic doctrine, i.e. the universal and ancient faith, and far more eloquent than faithful, afterwards changed his opinions, and, at last, did that which the blessed Confessor Hilary saith of him, in a certain passage ; by his later errors, says he, he weakened the authority of his trustworthy writings. And he also was a great trial in the Church, More on this subject I wish not to say. Thus much only will I state, that, by acting in opposition to the precept of Moses, and adopting the novel extravagancies of Montanus springing up in the Church, and affirming that the frantic dreams of those frantic women about novel doctrines, were true prophecies, he deserved that of him, and his writings we should say, If there rise up in the midst of you a prophet : And again, You shall not hearken to the words of that prophet. Why? Because, says he, the LORD your God is trying you, whether you love Him or not.
CHAPTER XIX. By these, then, so many and striking ecclesiastical examples, as well as very many others of the same kind, we may clearly see, and most plainly understand, according to the law of Deuteronomy, that if, at any time, any master in the Church have wandered from the faith, Divine Providence permitteth this to be for the purpose of proving us, whether we love God or not, with all our heart, and all our soul.
Since this is the case, he is a true and genuine Catholic who - loves the truth of God, and the Church of Christ, His Body; who prefers nothing, neither the authority, nor love, nor talent, nor eloquence, nor philosophy of any man to God's religion and the Catholic faith; but despising all these, and remaining firm and sted fast in the faith, resolves to hold, and believe that alone, which he finds the Catholic Church hath universally held from primitive times. But whatever new and before unheard-of doctrine he finds was afterwards stealthily introduced by any one, beside all, or contrary to all saints, let him be assured that that belongeth not to religion, but is a trial, especially when he remembers the words of the blessed Apostle Paul. For this he writes in his first Epistle to the Corinthians : There must needs be heresies, says he, that the faithful may be made manifest among you.
As if he had said, the founders of heresies are not suddenly rooted out by Divive interposition, for this reason, that the faithful may be made manifest, i. e., that it may be shown, how unflinching, and faithful, and firm a lover of the Catholic Faith every one is. And truly when any novelty breaks out, forth with both the weight of the corn, and the lightness of the chaff are seen; then without great endeavours, that is swept off from the floor which was not kept on it by any weight of its own. For some forthwith flee away altogether—but others only shaken, both fear to perish, and blush to return, wounded, half dead, half alive, like those who have drunk such a quantity of poison as neither kills nor is digested, neither cumpels to die, nor suffers to live. Pitiable condition ! By how many seas, and storms of perplexities are they tossed about ? For, at one time, they are carried away by their impetuous error, whithersoever the wind drives them; at another, turning back upon themselves, like contending waves, they are dashed to pieces : at one time with rash presumption they approve what seemeth doubtful: at another, through ill-grounded fears, they shrink even from holding what is indisputable; uncertain where to go, where to return; what to seek, what to avoid ; what to hold, what to let go. And yet this affliction of a wavering and ill
balanced heart, is, if they were but wise, the medicine of Divine mercy towards them. For, being without the safest harbour of the Catholic faith, they are thus shaken, tossed about, and almost destroyed by the manifold storms of contending thoughts, to the intent that they may furl the expanded sails of their haughty minds, which they have unhappily spread before the winds of novelties, and may return to, and keep themselves within the most trustworthy port of their peaceful and holy mother, and so, at first, may cast up the bitter and troubled waves of error, that at length they may be enabled to drink of the life-giving and purest waters.
Let them uplearn well what they learnt not well before; and let them understand all those doctrines of the Church which man's understanding can grasp; what it cannot, let thenı believe.
Seeing that this is the case, when I ponder upon and weigh the self-same truths again and again, I am astonished beyond measure at the excessive madness of some men, the fearful wickedness of blinded minds, and, in a word, the unbridled lust after error, which are so great, that they are not content with the rule of faith, once for all handed down and received from antiquity, but are daily seeking novelty after novelty, and always ardently desire to add to, or change, or take from religion. As though it were not a heavenly doctrine, (which it is sufficient that it hath been once revealed), but were some human institution, which could not otherwise be perfected than by continual emendations, or rather, I should say,censures : whereas the Word of God expressly says, “ Remove not the landmarks which thy fathers have set.” And“ whoso breaketh a hedge, the serpent shall bite." And also that injunction of the Apostle, by which all the accursed novelties of all heretics have oftentimes been, and always must be cut to pieces, as by a spiritual sword. “O Timothy, keep the deposit, avoiding the profane novelties of voices and oppositions of science, falsely so called, which some indeed professing, have fallen from the faith.” And yet after this, men are found, of such confirmed impudence, such brazen effrontery, and such inflexible obstinacy, that they yield not to such forcible passages of Holy Writ; they faint not under such weighty reasons; are not bruised by so many strokes ; nay, in a word, are not shattered as it were by so many thunderbolts. he,“ profane novelties of voices.” He did not say “avoid antiquity; relinquish the ancient faith ;" nay, he clearly shows what on the contrary is to be followed. For if novelty is to be avoided, antiquity is to be held ; if novelty be profane, then is antiquity holy; and he adds,“ oppositions of science falsely so called." False terms beyond doubt are used in the doctrine of heretics, so
“ Avoid,” says
that ignorance is passed off under the name of knowledge : mist is called clearness, and darkness light. “ Which," says he, professing have erred concerning the faith.” They erred professing what, save some new, and heretofore unheard-of doctrine ? For you may hear some of them say, “Come ye foolish and hapless ones, who are generally called Catholics, and learn the true faith, which none but we understand, which hath lain hid for many ages, but hath been lately revealed and brought to light; but learn stealthily and secretly, for it will delight you. And again, when ye have learnt, privily teach; let not the world hear it, nor the Church know it; for to few only is it given to know the secret of so great a mystery.” Are not these the words of that harlot, who, in the Proverbs of Solomon, calleth unto her those passengers, who go right on their own way? “Whoso,” says she, “is simple among you, let him turn in hither;" but those wanting in understanding she exhorteth thus, “ Eat with joy secret bread, and privily drink sweet water.” What then ? " But he knoweth not that earthly men perish with her,”—and who are those earthly men ? Let the Apostle answer: “ those," saith he, “who have erred concerning the faith.”
But it is worth our while to go through the whole of this passage of the Apostle with somewhat greater care. “() Timothy," says he,“ keep the deposit, avoiding profane novelties of voices." Oh! that sentence, one both of foreknowledge and love; for he foresaw the existence of those errors, for which he even grieved beforehand. Who at this day is Timothy, but either the whole Church generally, or the whole body of Priests specifically, who ought both themselves to have, and to instil into others, a sound knowledge of Divine religion? What meaneth, keep the deposit ? Keep it, says he, because of thieves, and enemies, lest, while men sleep, they oversow tares among that good seed of wheat which the Son of Man hath sown in His field. Keep, says he, the deposit. What meaneth the deposit? It is that which has been intrusted to, not found out by thee; what thou hast received, not what thou hast invented; a thing not of talent, but of doctrine ; not of private presumption, but of public tradition; a thing brought down to, not brought forward by thee; of which thou oughtest to be not the author, but the keeper ; not inventor, but adopter; not leader, but follower. Keep, saith he, the deposit: preserve pure and undefiled the talent of the Catholic Faith. What hath been intrusted to thee, let this remain with and be handed down by thee. Thou hast received gold, render gold. I will not that thou givest me one thing for another : do not either impudently place lead, or