disdainful of the ancient authors and ungrateful to those to whom we owe so much, he writes. What could we accomplish in scriptural studies without their help? Not that St. Thomas and Duns Scotus should be entirely rejected, but that our regard for them should not lead us to "clamour against good literature happily springing up again everywhere." Reverence is due the ancient authors and fairness the modern ones, and "let furious contention, the bane of peace and concord, be absent everywhere." 23
Thus he ends his appeal to Carondelet and the statement
and defense of his own point of view at this critical time. His
comments and themes are his own, but it is remarkable --
one might say ingenious -- how he employed this occasion to
present them anew and how he drew on Hilary and used his
example to underscore and support them. However, Erasmus' prescriptions and advice had little effect, and the preface
unfortunately became one of his most controversial writings.
Propositions from it were censured by the Sorbonne in 1526 and bitterly attacked at the Valladolid conference in Spain in 1527. 24 The letter is nevertheless a striking instance of the way Erasmus understood and made use of the patristic heritage, and the edition remains one of the many achievements of his humanist scholarship and his reform purpose.