We then move on to Turretin's abuse of Saint Hilary of Poitiers.I answer:
Perhaps, as I say, Mr. Shea believes himself a better Christian scientist or laboratory technician in the laboratory of life than Athanasius. If so, then no doubt he will not be shy to proclaim his experimental superiority over Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315 - 367) who declared:
The Lord enunciated the faith of the Gospel in the simplest words that could be found, and fitted His discourses to our understanding, so far as the weakness of our nature allowed Him, without saying anything unworthy of the majesty of His own nature.
- Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, Book 9, Section 40
Ok one has to ask what this proves? Does this anywhere speak of using Scripture Alone as a sole rule of faith? Is Saint Hilary saying that all the Scripture are easy to understand for anyone who reads them? No he does not. He is merely speaking of Jesus and the Gospel which he preached, which from within the Church is easily understood. But as we can see, those who remain outsiders, they have a real hard time with it because they have to spend hours figuring out how to twist these early Fathers into saying something that they never really said.
Again, notice that Mr. Bellisario starts out on the wrong foot. He first tries to argue that this quotation doesn't prove the entire doctrine of Sola Scriptura. That is hardly a surprise. It was quoted to demonstrate the perspicuity of Scripture.
Next, Mr. Bellisario attacks another straw man. The other straw man is that all of Scripture is clear. That's not what is being argued. The faith of the Gospel is clear (according to us and Hilary) but there are some parts of Scripture that are less clear.
Mr. Bellisario tries to argue that Hilary is saying that the Gospel is easily understood "from within the Church." That's certainly not the case. Hilary argues that Jesus used the "simplest words that could be found" and "fitted His discourses to our understanding, so far as the weakness of our nature allowed Him." Furthermore, while Mr. Bellisario seems to attempt to emphasize the fact that the reference is to the preached word of Jesus, in context the reference to is the recorded preached word of Jesus, namely the account in John 13:31-32.
But to go back to Bellisario's main response, there is no reference here to "within the Church." In fact, quite to the contrary, the context is that Hilary is addressing an heretical view:
The signification of His opening words cannot, I think, be doubted, Now is the Son of Man glorified; that is, all the glory which He obtains is not for the Word but for His flesh: not for the birth of His Godhead, but for the dispensation of His manhood born into the world. What then, may I ask, is the meaning of what follows, And God is glorified in Him? I hear that God is glorified in Him; but what that can be according to your interpretation, heretic, I do not know. God is glorified in Him, in the Son of Man, that is: tell me, then, is the Son of Man the same as the Son of God? And since the Son of Man is not one and the Son of God another, but He Who is Son of God is Himself also Son of Man, Who, pray, is the God Who is glorified in this Son of Man, Who is also Son of God?- Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, Book 9, Section 40
In essence, Hilary is arguing that there is no way to get around the plain sense of the text. Indeed, he later argues (two sections after) as to the plainness and inescapableness of the Scriptural testimony:
The words of the Apostle’s faith are a barrier against your reckless and frenzied profanity, which forbids you to turn the freedom of speculation into licence, and wander into error. Every tongue, he says, shall confess that Jesus is Lord in the glory of God the Father [Phil. ii. 11. The Greek is εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός, to the glory of God the Father (R.V.): see note on c. 8.]. The Father has glorified Him in Himself, therefore He must be confessed in the glory of the Father. And if He is to be confessed in the Father’s glory, and the Father has glorified Him in Himself, is He not plainly all that His Father is, since the Father has glorified Him in Himself and He is to be confessed in the Father’s glory? He is now not merely in the glory of God, but in the glory of God the Father. The Father glorifies Him, not with a glory from without, but in Himself. By taking Him back into that glory, which belongs to Himself, and which He had with Him before, the Father glorifies Him with Himself and in Himself.- Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, Book 9, Section 42 (editor's footnote placed in brackets)
And later we see again the same kind of thing: "The words are those of the Lord Himself, and what, it may be asked, could be more unholy than to corrupt His express assertion by our attempt to explain it away." (Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, Book 9, Section 58)
If that were not sufficient to refute Bellisario's fanciful view of Hilary, the following comment from later in the same book should suffice:
All this is nauseous and irreverent nonsense; common sense condemns the judgment of such silly fancies, as that the Lord could not say what He wanted, or did not say what He said. True, we find Him speaking in parables and allegories, but it is a different thing to strengthen one’s words with illustrations, or satisfy the dignity of the subject with the help of suggestive proverbs, or adapt one’s language to the needs of the moment. But this passage concerning the unity, of which we are speaking, does not allow us to look for the meaning outside the plain sound of the words.- Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, Book 9, Section 70
Short of explicitly stating "you don't need oral tradition," how could Hilary more clearly affirm that these Scriptures are plain in themselves than to say, as he did, "does not allow us to look for the meaning outside the plain sound of the words." We could provide additional examples, but these should suffice for now.
Bellisario's last sentence, "But as we can see, those who remain outsiders, they have a real hard time with it because they have to spend hours figuring out how to twist these early Fathers into saying something that they never really said," is simply a grammatically poor insult. No further response to it is necessary.