The Text

PEREGRINUS' TREATISE ON BEHALF OF THE ANTIQUITY AND ECUMENICITY OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH AGAINST THE PROFANE NOVELTIES OF ALL HERETICS

i. Preface

"Ask your fathers and they will tell you; your elders, and they will speak" (Deut. 32:7, OL).

"Fit your ear to the words of the wise" (Prov. 22:17, OL).

"My son, forget not these speeches but let your heart keep my words" (Prov. 3:1, OL).

Remembering these words of counsel from Scripture, I, Peregrinus, who am the least of all the servants of God, think that it would be of no slight value, and certainly, in view of my own weakness, very necessary, should I entrust to writing what I have faithfully received from the holy fathers.37 Thus, I should have readily available the means of supplementing the defects of a poor memory by constant reading of it. I am encouraged to undertake this task, not only by the fruit of the labor, but also by consideration of time and the opportunity of place: by consideration of time, because as time snatches away everything human, we in turn ought also to snatch from it what may advance us toward life eternal, particularly since "a fearful prospect of the approach of judgment"38 divine exacts from us zeal for religion, and the cunning of new heretics imposes upon us much anxiety and attention. The opportunity of place stimulates me because, shunning as we do the crowdedness of cities and their throngs, we now reside in a small farmhouse belonging to the monastery, and relatively secluded, where, apart from every distraction, there can exist that quiet peace of which the psalmist sings, "Be still and see that I am Lord."39

37 Tertullian, De praescript. kaer. for which see LOG, vol. 5.

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