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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: His confession of faith is unsatisfactory. No one asked him about the Trinity, but about Origen's doctrines of the Resurrection, the origin of souls, and the salvability of Satan. As to the Resurrection and to Satan he is ambiguous. As to souls he professes ignorance.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

6. Of the devil he thus frames his opinion:

“We affirm also a judgment to come, in which judgment every man is to receive the due meed of his bodily life, according to that which he has done, whether good or evil. And, if in the case of men the reward is according to their works how much more will it be so in the case of the devil who is the universal cause of sin. Of the devil himself our belief is that which is written in the Gospel, namely that both he and all his angels will receive as their portion the eternal fire, and with him those who do his works, that is, who become the accusers of their brethren. If then any one denies that the devil is to be subjected to eternal fires, may he have his part with him in the eternal fire, so that he may know by experience the fact which he now denies.”

I will repeat the words one by one. “We affirm also a judgment to come, in which judgment &c.” I had determined to say nothing about verbal faults. But, since his disciples admire the eloquence of their master, I will make one or two strictures upon it. He had already said “a future judgment;” but, being a cautious man, he was afraid of saying simply “in which,” and therefore wrote “in which judgment;” for fear that, if he had not said “judgment” a second time, we, forgetting what had gone before, might have supplied the word “ass.” That which he brings in afterwards “those who become the accusers of their brethren will with him have their portion in the eternal fire,” is in a style of equal beauty. Who ever heard of ‘possessing 3088 the flames’? It would be like ‘enjoying tortures.’ I suppose that, being now a Greek, he had tried to translate himself, and that for the word κληρονομήσουσιν3089 which can be rendered in Latin by the single word Hæreditabunt, he said Hæreditate potientur 3090 supposing it to be something more elaborate and ornate. With such trifles and such improprieties of speech his whole discourse is teeming. But to return to the meaning of his words.


Footnotes

503:3088

Potiri, rendered above ‘have their portion.’

503:3089

Kleronomesousin, they shall inherit.

503:3090

They will enjoy the inheritance.


Next: His confession of faith is unsatisfactory. No one asked him about the Trinity, but about Origen's doctrines of the Resurrection, the origin of souls, and the salvability of Satan. As to the Resurrection and to Satan he is ambiguous. As to souls he professes ignorance.

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