Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: I praised him but he has wounded me.
3. But, before I begin to clear up these points, there is one in which I confess that he has spoken the truth in an eminent degree; namely, when he says that he is not rendering evil speaking for evil speaking. This, I say, is quite true; for it is not for evil speaking but for speaking well of him and praising him that he has rendered reproach and evil speaking. But it is not true, as he says, that he turns the left cheek to one who smites him on the right. It is on one who is stroking him and caressing him on the cheek that he suddenly turns and bites him. I praised his eloquence and his industry in the work of translating from the Greek. I said nothing in derogation of his faith; but he condemns me on both these points. He must therefore pardon me if I say some things rather roughly and rudely; for he has challenged to a reply a man who has no great rhetorical skill, and who has not, as he knows, the power to make one whom he wishes to injure and to wound appear to have received neither wounds nor injuries. Those who love this kind of eloquence must seek it in a man whom every light report stirs up to fault-finding and vituperation, and who thinks himself bound, as if he were the censor, to be always coming up to set things to rights. A man who desires to clear himself from the stains which have been cast upon him, does not trouble himself, in the answer which he is compelled to make, about the elegance and neat turns of his reply, but only about its truth.
Next: I am no heretic, but declare my faith, that of my baptism.
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