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.: He gave me fictitious praise in his Preface to the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν. Now, since I defend myself, he writes 3 books against me as an enemy.
3. I have in my hands your letter, 3006 in which you tell me that I have been accused, and expect me to reply to my accuser lest silence should be taken as an acknowledgment of his charges. I confess that I sent the reply; but, though I felt hurt, I observed the laws of friendship, and defended myself without accusing my accuser. I put it as if the objections which one friend had raised at Rome were being bruited about by many enemies in all parts of the world, so that every one should think that I was replying to the charges, not to the man. Will you tell me that another course was open to me, that I was bound by the law of friendship to keep silence under accusation, and, though I felt my face, so to say, covered with dirt and bespattered with the filth of heresy, not even to wash it with simple water, for fear that an act of injustice might be imputed to him. This demand is not such as any man ought to make or such as any man ought to accept. You openly assail your friend, and set out charges against him under the mask of an admirer; and he is not even to be allowed to prove himself a catholic, or to reply that the supposed heresy on which this laudation is grounded arises not from any agreement with a heresy, but from admiration of a great genius. He thought it desirable to translate this book into Latin; or, as he prefers to have it thought he was compelled, though unwilling, to do it. But what need was there for him to bring me into the question, when I was in retirement, and separated from him by vast intervals of land and sea? Why need he expose me to the ill-will of the multitude, and do more harm to me by his praise than good to himself by putting me forward as his example? Now also, since I have repudiated his praise, and, by erasing what he had written, have shewn that I am not what my friend declared, I am told that he is in a fury, and has composed three books against me full of graceful Attic raillery, making those very things the object of attack which he had praised before, and turning into a ground of accusation against me the impious doctrines of Origen; although in that Preface in which he so lauded me, he says of me: “I shall follow the rules of translation laid down by my predecessors, and particularly those acted on by the writer whom I have just mentioned. He has rendered into Latin more than seventy of Origens homiletical treatises, and a few also of his commentaries on the Apostle; and in p. 485 these, wherever the Greek text presents a stumbling block, he has smoothed it down in his version and has so emended the language used that a Latin writer can find no word that is at variance with our faith. In his steps, therefore, I propose to walk, if not displaying the same vigorous eloquence, at least observing the same rules.”
Jerome Letter lxxxiii Pammachius to Jerome: “Refute your accuser; else, if you do not speak out, you will appear to consent.”
Next: He spoke of me as united in faith with him; but what is his faith? Why are his books kept secret? I can meet any attack.
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