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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: The Translation interpolated by Eusebius of Cremona.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

19. But what did they actually do? Consider what it was and ask yourself whether the crime is not unexampled? Recall the passage which says: “But perhaps you will ask me my opinion as to the Only-begotten himself. Well, if I should say that even to him the nature of God is invisible, since it is its very nature to be invisible, do not dismiss my answer as if it were impious or absurd, for I will at once give you my reason for it.” Well, in the place of the words which I had written, “I will at once give you my reason for it” they put the following words: “Do not dismiss my answer as if it were impious or absurd, for, as the Son does not see the Father, so the Holy Spirit also does not see the Son.” If the man who did this, the man who was sent from their monastery 2852 to Rome as the greatest expert in calumny, had been employed in the forum and had committed this forgery in some secular business every one knows what would be the consequence to him according to the public laws, when he was convicted of the crime. But now, since he has left the secular life, and has turned his back upon business and entered a monastery, and has connected himself with a renowned master, he has learned from him to leave his former self-restraint and to become a furious madman: he was quiet before, now he is a mover of sedition: he was peaceable, now he provokes war: instead of concord, he is the promoter of strife. For faith he has learnt perfidiousness, for truth forgery. He would, you may well think, have been the complete exemplar of wickedness and criminality of this kind, if you had not had before you the image of that woman Jezebel. 2853 She is the same who made up the accusation against Naboth the Zezreelite for the sake of the vineyard, and sent word to the wicked elders to urge against him a false indictment, saying that he had blessed, that is cursed, God and the king. I know not whether of the two is to be accounted the happier, she who sends the command or they who obey it in all its iniquity. These matters are serious; such a crime, as far as I know, is hitherto all but unheard of in the Church. Yet there is something more to be said. What is that you ask. It is this, that those who are guilty should become the judges, that those who plotted the accusation should also pronounce the sentence. It is, indeed, no new thing for a writer to make a mistake or a slip in his words, and in my opinion it is a venial fault, for the Scripture also says, 2854 “In many things we all stumble: if any stumbleth not in word the same is a perfect man.” Is it thought that some word is wrong? Then let it be corrected or amended, or, if expediency so require, let it be taken out. But to insert in what another man has written things he never wrote, to put in false words for no other purpose than to defame your brother, to corrupt his writings in order to attach a mark of infamy to the author, and to insinuate your ideas into the ears of the multitude so as to throw confusion into the minds of the simple; and all this with the object of staining a man’s reputation among his fellows; I ask you whose work this can be except that of him who was a liar from the beginning, and who, from accusing the brethren, received the name of Diabolus, which means accuser. For when he to whom I have alluded 2855 recited at Milan one of these sentences which had been tampered with, and I cried out that what he was reading was falsified, he, being asked from whom he had received the copy of the work said that a certain woman named Marcella had given it him. As to her, I say nothing, whosoever she may be. I leave her to her own conscience and to God. I am content with God’s own witness and with yours. When I say yours, I mean your own and that of Macarius himself, the saintly man for whom I was doing that work: for both of you read my papers themselves at the first, even before they had been completed, and you have by you the completely corrected copies. You can bear witness to what I say. The words “as the Son does not see the Father, so also the Holy Spirit p. 445 does not see the Son” not only were never written by me, but on the contrary I can point out the forger by whom they were written. If any man says that as the Father does not see the Son, so the Son does not see the Father or that the Holy Spirit does not see the Father and the Son as the Father sees the Son and the Son and the Holy Spirit, let him be anathema. For he sees, and sees most truly; only, as God sees God and the Light sees the Light; not as flesh sees flesh, but as the Holy Spirit sees, not with the bodily senses, but by the powers of the Deity. I say, if any one denies this let him be anathema for all eternity. But as the Apostle says, 2856 “He that troubles you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.”


Footnotes

444:2852

Jerome’s friend Eusebius of Cremona, of whom Rufinus complains as having taken occasion from this old friendship to purloin and falsify his mss. See below c. 20, 21.

444:2853

Marcella. See below in this chapter. Also, Jerome Letter cxxvii, c. 9, 10.

444:2854

James iii. 2

444:2855

Eusebius of Cremona, Jerome’s friend and emissary, alluded to above in this chapter.

445:2856

Gal. v. 10


Next: Eusebius, if acting honestly, should have shown me what he thought dangerous.

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