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.: Jerome has not only allowed perjury but has practised it.
4. But I should like, now that I have satisfied you on my own account, and supported my opinion by an anathema, to make this plain to you further, that he himself declares that in certain orgies and mystical societies to which he belongs perjury is practised by the votaries and associates. That is a certain and most true saying of our God, “By their fruits ye shall know them,” 2934 and this also “A tree is known by its fruits.” 2935 Well: he says that I have accepted this doctrine of perjury. If then I have been trained to this practice, and this evil tree has indeed its roots within me, it is impossible but that corresponding fruits should have grown upon me, and also that I should have gathered some society of mystic associates around me. As regards myself whom alone he seeks to injure by all p. 462 that he writes, I will not bear witness to myself, nor will I say that there are cases of necessity in which it is right to swear: for I wish to avoid reproach through timidity if not through prudence; and, at all events, if I fail in obedience to the command, I will acknowledge my error. I will therefore make no boast of this. But, whether I have erred or acted prudently, he at all events can lay his finger on no act of mine by which he can convict me. But I can shew from his writings, that he not only holds this doctrine of perjury, but practises this foul vice as a sacred duty. I will bring nothing against him which has been trumped up by ill will, as he does against me; but I will produce him and his writings as witnesses against himself, so that it may be made clear that it is not his enemies who accuse but he who convicts himself.
Matt. vii. 16-20461:2935
Luke vi. 44
Next: His treatise on Virginity (Ep. xxii to Eustochium) defames all orders of Christians.
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