Erasmus, letter to Jan Šlechta (November 1, 1519; tr. R.A.B. Mynors):
Another thing, it seems to me, which would reconcile many nations to
the Roman church, to which all gravitate now as though to some common
head, would be a readiness not to define everything over a wide field in the
way we should willingly think appropriate for the subject-matter of the faith,
but only such things as are clearly laid down in Holy Writ or without which
the system of our salvation cannot stand. For this a few truths are enough,
and the multitude are more easily persuaded of their truth if they are few. As
things are, we make six hundred articles out of one, some of them of such a
kind that one can be ignorant of them, or unconvinced, without peril to one's
Quin et illud, mea sententia, complures populos conciliaret Ecclesiae Romanae, in quam nunc velut in caput quoddam colliguntur
omnes, si non passim quaelibet sic definiantur vt velimus ad fidei
negocium pertinere; sed ea duntaxat quae euidenter expressa sunt
in sacris literis, aut sine quibus non constat ratio salutis nostrae.
Ad haec pauca sufficiunt, et pauca citius persuadentur pluribus.
Nunc ex vnico articulo sexcentos facimus, quorum aliqui tales sunt
vt citra periculum pietatis vel nesciri possint vel ambigi.