Text of Scripture

Text Of Scripture.

This term is used to signify a portion of the text; i.e. a short sentence out of Scripture, used either as the groundwork of a discourse from the pulpit, or brought forward to support an argument or in proof of a position; The custom of taking a text for a sermon is probably coeval with that of preaching set discourses; and the use of texts as authority in doctrinal points is of the very essence of true theology, and was ever the custom even of those who, professing the name of Christians, denied the truth of Christ. One must therefore be on his guard against receiving everything for which a text is quoted, not accepting it as proof until its true sense is known; "otherwise, so many sentences, so many authorized falsehoods." In the application of a text we should always consider its meaning in the passage with which it is connected, else we may be putting forward as truth what is in fact but an authorized falsehood; we should also guard against the practice of taking a text from Scripture in a sense which, however sound and true, is not that of the passage itself, as, for instance, "Hear the Church," employed as if it were a precept, in the imperative mood. The non-observance of the latter caution has a tendency to lead others to the neglect of the former. Textus is a technical term for the book of the Gospels as used at the Christian sacrifice. Copies of the Gospels, richly illuminated, and bound in gold and silver, are often exposed on the high-altars of Continental churches. Sometimes they are kept in shrines, and only brought out for use in the mass at the highest and most important festivals. References to such exist in large numbers in early writers, and many remarkable examples are preserved in the sanctuaries on the Continent, two of which, at Aix-la-Chapelle and Mayence, are known to antiquaries. Numerous rich examples are reckoned up among the treasures of old St. Paul's in London, Lincoln Minster, and Salisbury Cathedral. That in the wood-cut at head of next column is from an early Flemish specimen.

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