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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Jerome's commentaries on Ephesians follow Origen's interpretation of the texts about a secret federation to whom higher truths are to be told.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

2. Let us see what my adversary himself says on this point in those Commentaries which he has selected. In the second book, in commenting on the words 2926 “Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth to his neighbour, for we are members one of another” (after a short introduction) he speaks as follows:

“Hence Paul himself, who was one of the perfect, says in another Epistle “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect.” 2927 This then is what is commanded, that those mystic and secret things, which are full of divine truth, should be spoken by each man to his neighbour, so that day unto day may utter speech and night to night shew knowledge, 2928 that is, that a man should show all those clear and lucid truths which he knows to those to whom the words can be worthily addressed: “Ye are the light of the world.” 2929 On the other hand, he should exhibit everything involved in darkness and wrapped up in the mist of symbols to others who are themselves nothing but mist and darkness, those of whom it is said “And there was darkness under his feet,” 2930 that is, of course, under the feet of God. For on Mount Sinai Moses enters into the whirlwind and the mist where God was; and it is written of God, “He has made darkness his secret place.” 2931 Let each man then thus speak truth in a mystery to his neighbour, and not give that which is holy to dogs nor cast his pearls before swine; 2932 but those who are anointed with the oil of truth, them let him lead into the bridechamber of the spouse, into the inner sanctuary of the King.”

Observe, I beg you, look carefully and see whether in all this passage there is any one else but himself on whom the condemnation can fall. If his adversaries were looking for an opportunity of convicting and destroying him on the ground of what he has written, what other course could they take, and what other testimonies could they wish to produce against him than these which he produces against himself as if he were pleading against another? If it were sought to pronounce a condemnation against him, his own letter would suffice. You have only to change the name; the test of the accusation suits no one but himself alone. What he calls on us on the one hand to condemn, he exhorts us on the other hand to follow: what he asserts, that he reproves: what he hates, that he does. How happy must be his disciples who obey and imitate him!



Eph. iv. 25


1 Cor. ii. 6


Ps. xix. 2


Matt. v. 14


Ps. xviii. 9


Ps. xviii. 11


Matt. vii. 6

Next: But I follow Christ in condemning all falsehood.

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