Is that by which we take up any system or opinion of another without examination. This has been one of the chief sources of ignorance and error in the church of Rome. The divines of that community teach, “That we are to observe, not how the church proves any thing, but what she says: that the will of God is, that we should believe and confide in his ministers in the same manner as himself.” Cardinal Toletus, in his instructions for priests, asserts, “That if a rustic believes his bishop proposing an heretical tenet for an article of faith, such belief is meritorious.” Cardinal Cusanus tells us, “That irrational obedience is the most consummate and perfect obedience, when we obey without attending to reason, as a beast obeys his driver.” In an epistle to the Bohemians he has these words: “I assert, that there are no precepts of Christ but those which are received as such by the church (meaning the church of Rome.) When the church changes her judgment, God changes his judgment likewise.” What madness! what blasphemy! For a church to demand belief of what she teaches, and a submission to what she enjoins, merely upon her assumed authority, must appear to unprejudiced minds the height of unreasonableness and spiritual despotism. We could wish this doctrine had been confined to this church; but, alas! it has been too prevalent in other communities. A theological system, says Dr. Jortin, is too often no more than a temple consecrated to implicit faith; and he who enters in there to worship, instead of leaving his shoes, after the eastern manner, must leave his understanding at the door; and it will be well if he find it when he comes out again.
Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.