One opinion makes not Catholique doctrine, one man makes not a Church; for this knowledge of God, the Church is our Academy, there we must be bred; and there we may be bred all our lives, and yet learne nothing. Therefore, as we must be there, so there we must use the meanes; And the meanes in the Church, are the Ordinances, and Institutions of the Church.
The most powerful meanes is the Scripture; But the Scripture in the Church. Not that we are discouraged from reading the Scripture at home: God forbid we should think any Christian family to be out of the Church. At home, the holy Ghost is with thee in the reading of the Scriptures. But there he is with thee as a Remembrancer, (The Holy Ghost shall bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you, saies our Saviour) Here, in the Church, he is with thee, as a Doctor to teach thee; First learne at church and then meditate at home, Receive the seed by hearing the Scriptures interpreted here, and water it by returning to those places at home. When Christ bids you Search the scriptures, he meanes you should go to them, who have a warrant to search; A warrant in their Calling. To know which are Scriptures, To know what the holy Ghost saies in the Scriptures, apply thy selfe to the Church. Not that the Church is a Judge above the Scriptures, (for the power, and the Commission which the Church hath, it hath from the Scriptures) but the Church is a Judge above thee, which are the Scriptures, and what is the sense of the Holy Ghost in them.
John Donne's sermon for Easter Sunday, 1628