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.: You pretend not to be Origen's defender, but you publish and enlarge the Apology for him and allege the heretics' falsification of his works.
15. You say that you are not the defender or the champion of Origen; but I will at once confront you with your own book of which you spoke in that notorious preface to your renowned work in these terms:
“The cause of this diversity I have set forth more fully for you in the Apology which Pamphilus wrote among his treatises, adding a very short document of my own, in which I have shewn by what appear to me evident proofs, that his works have been depraved in many places by heretics and ill-disposed persons, and especially those which I am now translating, the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν.”
The defence made by Eusebius, or if you will have it so, by Pamphilus, was not sufficient for you, but you must add something from your superior wisdom and learning to supply what you thought insufficient in what they had said. It would be a long business if I were to insert the whole of your book into the present treatise, and, after setting out each paragraph, to reply to each in turn, and shew what vices there are in the style, what falsehoods in the assertions, what inconsistency in the actual tissue of the language. And therefore, to avoid a redundant discussion which is distasteful to me, I will compress the verbal matter into a narrow compass, and reply to the meaning alone. As soon as he leaves the harbour he runs his ship upon a rock. He recalls the words of the Apology of the Martyr Pamphilus (which however, I have proved to be the work of Eusebius the Chief of the Arians) of which he had said, “I translated it into the Latin tongue as best I was able and as the matter demanded;” he then adds: “It is this as to which I wish to give you a charge, Macarius, man of desires, 3116 that you may feel sure that this rule of faith which I have above set forth out of his books, is such as ought to be embraced and held fast: it is clearly shewn that there is a catholic meaning in them all.” Although he took away many things from the book of Eusebius, and tried to alter in a good sense the expressions about the Son and the Holy Spirit, still there are found in it many causes of offence, and even open blasphemies, which our friend cannot refuse to accept since he pronounces them to be catholic. Eusebius (or, if you please, Pamphilus) says in that book that the Son is the Servant of the Father, the Holy Spirit is not of the same substance with the Father and the Son; that the souls of men have fallen from heaven; and, inasmuch as we have been changed from the state of Angels, that in the restitution of all things angels and devils and men will all be equal; and many other things so impious and atrocious that it would be a crime even to repeat them. The champion of Origen and translator of Pamphilus is in a strange position. If there is so much blasphemy in these parts which he has corrected, what sacrilegious things must there be in the parts which, as he pretends, have been falsified by heretics! What makes him hold this opinion, as he says, is that a man who is neither a fool nor a madman could not have said things mutually repugnant; and, that we may not suppose that he had written different things at different times, and that he put forth contrary views according to the time of writing, he has added:
“What are we to say when sometimes in the same place, and, so to speak, almost in the following paragraph, a sentence with an opposite meaning is found inserted? Can we believe that, in the same work and in the same book, and sometimes, as I have said in the sentence immediately following, he can have forgotten his own words? For example, could he who had before said, we can find no passage throughout the Scriptures in which the Holy Spirit is said to be created or made, immediately add that the Holy Spirit was made among the rest of the creatures? or again, could he who defined the Father and the Son to be of one substance, that namely which is called in Greek Homoousion, say in the following portions that he was of another substance, and that he was created, when but a little before he had declared him to be born from the nature of God the Father?”
Taken from Daniel x. 11, “Thou man greatly beloved” (“a man of desires”).
Next: Your defence gains no support from Eusebius or Didymus, who, each for his own reason, defend the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν as it stands.
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