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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: After the condemnation of Origen by Theophilus and Anastasius, it would be wise in Rufinus to give up this pretended defence.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

10. The champion of Origen, you see, the encomiast of Pamphilus, declares that Pamphilus wrote nothing whatever, that he composed no single treatise of his own. And you cannot take refuge in the hypothesis that Pamphilus wrote this book after Eusebius’s publication, since Eusebius wrote after Pamphilus had attained the crown of martyrdom. What then can you now do? The consciences of a great many persons have been wounded by the book which you have published under the name of the martyr; they give no heed to the authority of the bishops who condemn Origen, since they think that a martyr has praised him. Of what use are the letters of the bishop Theophilus or of the pope Anastasius, who follow out the heretic in every part of the world, when your book passing under the name of Pamphilus is there to oppose their letters, and the testimony of the martyr can be set against the authority of the Bishops? I think you had better do with this mistitled 3017 volume what you did with the books Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν. Take my advice as a friend, and do not be distrustful of the power of your art; say either that you never wrote it, or else p. 488 that it has been depraved by the presbyter Eusebius. 3018 It will be impossible to prove against you that the book was translated by you. Your handwriting is not forthcoming to shew it; your eloquence is not so great as that no one can imitate your style. Or, in the last resort, if the matter comes to the proof, and your effrontery is overborne by the multitude of testimonies, sing a palinode after the manner of Stesichnus. It is better that you should repent of what you have done than that a martyr should remain under calumny, and those who have been deceived under error. And you need not feel ashamed of changing your opinion; you are not of such fame or authority as to feel disgraced by the confession of an error. Take me for your example, whom you love so much, and without whom you can neither live nor die, and say what I said when you had praised me and I defended myself.


Footnotes

487:3017

Ψευδεπίγράφῳ

488:3018

Eusebius of Cremona, Jerome’s friend, whom Rufinus accused of stealing and publishing his mss.


Next: I had praised Eusebius as well as Origen only as writers; and was forced to condemn them as heretics. Why should this be taken amiss?

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