"This kind of argument admits, perhaps, of being worked out at great length: but this book will exhibit it in the single instance of Mary's privileges, considered as flowing from the Incarnation. What is intended is, not to assert that the present devotion to Mary existed in the early ages; that may be so or not: but that the principle on which it is based naturally led to it, and may be assumed to have been intended by God to lead to it. If Protestants allow that it existed, we and Protestants need not be at variance: if we point to proofs of it, they will not see them with our eyes, and, therefore, they shall not be insisted on here. But what is insisted on is, the marvellous consistency between the principles of the Trinitarian controversialists with those of the authors of the fifth and following centuries who wrote on the Incarnation. If the former prophetically supplied the Church with what she wanted, why suppose the latter deprived of the same prophetic gift? God declares that He will pour out doctrine, as prophecy, and the prophets did not know for whom or what they ministered many things.* You say, the Fathers knew not Mary: we will grant it, but we insist on your explaining by any human principles, how they paved the way to our teaching upon the subject. We hold all that you can prove they held, and something involved in it, which you cannot prove that they did not hold. You have seen the oracles the Church prophetically uttered of old: why not trust her then to be from God, and believe her in other things to be intended for your guide? If natural religion found an oracle that foretold many things truly, it would make that oracle its practical guide in all.+ Why then give us ground to think that Protestantism has discarded the religion of nature?"++

* Ecclus. xxiv. 46; 1 Pet. i. 10-12.

+ Peitheis me/polla gar se thespizonth' oro
Kou pseudophema, choti chre poiein, lege.

    Which may be thus rendered: --
               Now thou persuadest me: for well I see
               Thee many truths divinely uttering,
               Nor prophesying falsely. Prithee, then,
               Tell me my duty, what I ought to do.
               -- Soph., Oed. Col., 1516.

++ Jesus, the Son of Mary, etc., by the Rev. John Brande Morris, M.A., 1851, p. i. ch. i. pp. 25-33.





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