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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 accusations seem inconsistent, but I knew them only by report.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

15. This abandonment of friendship gives no claim to my confidence; and open enmity brings with it the suspicion of falsehood. Still I will be bold enough to go to meet him, and to ask what heretical doctrine I have expressed, so that I may either, like him, express my regret and swear that I never knew the bad doctrines of Origen, and that his infidelity has now for the first time been made known to me by the Pope Theophilus; or that I may at least prove that my opinions were sound and that he, as his habit is, had not understood them. It is impossible that in my Commentaries on the Ephesians which I hear he makes the ground of his accusation, I should have spoken both rightly and wrongly; that from the same fountain should have proceeded both sweet water and bitter; and that whereas throughout the work I condemned those who believe that souls have been created out of angels, I should suddenly have forgotten myself and have defended the opinion which I condemned before. He can hardly raise an objection to me on the score of folly, since he has proclaimed me in his works as a man of the highest culture and eloquence; otherwise such silly verbosity as he imputes is the part, one would think, of a pettifogger and a babbler rather than of an eloquent man. What is the point of his written accusations I do not know, for it is only report of them, not the writings, which has reached me; and, as the Apostle tells us it is a foolish thing to beat the air. However, I must answer in the uncertainty till the certainty reaches me: and I will begin by teaching my rival in my old age a lesson which I learned in youth, that there are many forms of speech, and that, according to the subject matter not only the sentences but the words also of writings vary.


Next: The office of a commentator.

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