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THE VATICAN COUNCIL
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baffled and perplexed by the serene vitality of a view which was impervious to proof, sa\v want of principle where there was really a consistent principle, and blamed the ultramontane divines for that which \vas of the essence of ultramontane divinity. How it came that no appeal to revelation or tradition, to reason or conscience, appeared to have any bearing whatever on the issue, is a mystery which Janus and Maret and Döllinger's reflections left unexplained. The resources of mediæval learning were too slender to preserve an authentic record of the growth and settle- ment of Catholic doctrine. Many writings of the Fathers were interpolated; others were unknown, and spurious matter was accepted in their place. Books bearing venerable names-Clement, Dionysius, Isidore-were forged for the purpose of supplying authorities for opinions that lacked the sanction of antiquity. When detection came, and it was found that fraud had been employed in sustaining doctrines bound up with the peculiar interests of Rome and of the religious Orders, there was an inducement to depreciate the evidences of antiquity, and to silence a voice that bore obnoxious testimony. The notion of tradition underwent a change; it was required to produce \vhat it had not preserved, The Fathers had spoken of the un\vritten teaching o.f the apostles, which was to be sought in the churches they had founded, of esoteric doctrines, and views \vhich must be of apostolic origin because they are universal, of the inspiration of general Councils, and a revelation continued beyond the Ne\v Testament. But the Council of Trent resisted the conclusions which this language seemed to countenance, and they \vere left to be pursued by private speculation. One divine deprecated the vain pretence of arguing from Scripture, by which Luther could not be confuted, and the Catholics \vere losing ground; 1 and at
1 Si hujus doctrinae memores fuissemus. haereticos scil cet non esse infirmandos vel convincendos ex Scripturis, meliore sane loco essent res nostrae; sed dum ostentandi ingenii et eruditionis gratia cum Luthero in certamen descenditur Scripturarum, excitatum est hoc, quod, proh dolor I nunc videmus, incendiurn ( Pi ghius).