In chapters 7ff, Whitaker starts to treat each individual book of the Deutero-Canonical (DC) books, asking if they are canonical, and looking at the evidence for each one. First, he quotes Bellarmine’s arguments, and then refutes them.
Bellarmine’s arguments run as follows: 1. 2 Maccabees 2 quotes Baruch; 2. The councils of Florence and Trent place Baruch among the canonical books; 3. The church uses portions of this book in the lectionary; 4. The early church fathers quote Baruch as canonical (see Whitaker, p. 67).
Whitaker answers run as follows: to the first argument, Whitaker argues that 2 Maccabees is not canonical either, so how could one non-canonical book canonize another non-canonical book? To the second argument, he replies that these councils “were popish and altogether antichristian assemblies…we refuse to be pressed or bound by any such authority.” To the third argument, Whitaker replies that just because the church reads a book in the worship service does not mean that said book is canonical. We have already seen from Whitaker’s arguments from Jerome that Jerome says in several places that some books are read by the church but are not canonical. Therefore, that the church reads a book does not make it canonical. To the fourth argument, Whitaker acknowledges more weight, since some of the fathers thought that Jeremiah wrote Baruch (p. 68). However, the mere fact that some ECF believe a book to be canonical does not make that book canonical. He offers this counter-argument: Irenaeus quotes from the Shepherd of Hermas as Scripture (see Eusebius, 5.8.7, Loeb edition vol 1, p. 457). So the early church fathers could, just possibly, err on the matter of which books were in the canon, since the Roman Catholic Church does not acknowledge Shepherd to be canonical. We have already cited before the evidence of Gregory the Great, who believed that Maccabees was not canonical. Similarly, Athanasius and Cyprian believed that 3 Esdras was canonical, which the Romanists deny as well. The point is that we can disagree with the ECF without being heretical. We can disagree with tradition without being heretical. The diversity of the ECF works in Protestants’ favor on canonical issues.