Martin Luther on the Church Fathers,
“They boast highly of the Fathers; let them; we have one Father, which is in heaven who is above all fathers; their piece and patchwork is of no weight. They write under the inspiration of a corrupt and vicious heart, and we all know that their works are mere impudent lies.”
“Behold what great darkness is in the books of the Fathers concerning faith: yet if the article of justification be darkened, it is impossible to smother the grossest errors of mankind. St. Jerome, indeed, wrote upon Matthew, upon the Epistles to the Galatians and Titus; but, alas! very coldly. Ambrose wrote six books upon the first book of Moses, but they are very poor. Augustine wrote nothing to the purpose concerning faith; for he was first roused up and made a man by the Pelagians, in striving against them. I can find no exposition upon the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, wherein anything is taught pure and aright. O what a happy time have we now in regard to the purity of the doctrine; but alas! we little esteem it. After the Fathers came the pope, and with his mischievous traditions and human ordinances, like a breaking water-cloud and deluge, overflowed the church, snared consciences, touching eating of meat, friars hoods, masses, etc., so that daily he brought abominable errors into the church of Christ; and to serve his own turn, took hold on St. Augustine’s sentence, where he says, Evangelio non crederem, etc. The asses could not see what occasioned Augustine to utter that sentence, whereas he spoke it against Manicheans, as much as to say: I believe you not, for ye are damned heretics, but I believe and hold with the church, the spouse of Christ, which cannot err.”
I happen to like the early Father, Martin, thank you very much!