Before writing a sermon in praise of scribes, we call for the help of Him who promised the clarity of eternal life as a reward to the sincere scribe. Indeed:
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
This is to be understood as referring not only to those who create new things with their talents, but also to those who transcribe the old, as we will show by God's grace in what follows.
However useful the tradition of the learned, without the attention of the scribe it would never come to the notice of posterity. However well we behave, however fruitfully we teach, all that would be lost to oblivion if the work of the scribe did not record them in letters. It is therefore scribes who lend strength to words, memory to things, vigor to time. If they were taken from the Church, faith would weaken, charity would freeze, hope would die, law would perish, Scripture fall into oblivion. Finally, if writing was lost, the people would disperse, religious devotion would be extinguished, and the peace of Catholic unity would be a roil of confusion. Without scribes, writing would not long persist safely, but would be shattered by chance and corrupted by age.
The printed book is a thing of paper and in a short time will decay entirely. But the scribe commending letters to parchment extends his own and the letters' lifespan for ages. And he enriches the Church, conserves the faith, destroys heresies, repels vice, teaches morals and helps grow virtue. The devoted scribe, whom we intend to describe, praises God, pleases the angels, strengthens the just, corrects the sinner, commends the humble, protects the good, defeats the proud, and condemns the stubborn. The scribe, distinguished by piety, is the herald of God, because he announces His will to present and future peoples, promising eternal life to the good, pardon to the penitent, penalty to the negligent, and damnation to the contemptible. What is healthier than this art, what is more commendable than this piety which delights God, which the angels praise, which is venerated by the citizens of heaven? It is this piety that creates the weapons of the faithful against the heretics, which casts out the proud, which saps the strength of demons and which sets the norms of Christian life. It is this that teaches the ignorant, supports the timid, helps the devout, and joins the peaceful in love…