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.: It is only in reference to a particular point in his dispute with Candidus that Origen alleges this falsification. The story of Hilary's being condemned through his writings having been falsified has no foundation.
19. Now compare the words of Origen, which I have translated word for word above, with these which by him have been turned into Latin, or rather overturned; and you will see clearly how great a discrepancy between them there is, not only of word but of meaning. I beg you not to consider my translation wearisome because it is longer; for the object I had in translating the whole passage was to exhibit the purpose which he had in suppressing the earlier part. There exists in Greek a dialogue between Origen and Candidus the defender of the heresy of Valentinian, in which I confess it seems to me when I read it that I am looking on at a fight between two Andabatian gladiators. Candidus maintains that the Son is of the substance of the Father, falling into the error of asserting a Probolé or Production. 3125 On the other side, Origen, like Arius and Eunomius, refuses to admit that He is produced or born, lest God the Father should thus be divided into parts; but he says that He was a sublime and most excellent creation who came into being by the will of the Father like other creatures. They then come to a second question. Candidus asserts that the devil is of a nature wholly evil which can never be saved. Against this Origen rightly asserts that he is not of perishable substance, but that it is by his own will that he fell and can be saved. This Candidus falsely turns into a reproach against Origen, as if he had said that the diabolical nature could be saved. What therefore Candidus had falsely accused him of, Origen refutes. But we see that in this Dialogue alone Origen accuses the heretics of having falsified his writings, not in the other books about which no question was ever raised. Otherwise, if we are to believe that all which is heretical is not due to Origen but to the heretics, while almost all his books are full of these errors, nothing of Origens will remain, but everything must be the work of those of whose names we are ignorant.
It is not enough for him to calumniate the Greeks and the men of old time, about whom the distance either of time or space gives him the power to tell any falsehood he pleases. He comes to the Latins, and first takes the case of Hilary the Confessor, whose book, he states, was falsified by the heretics after the Council of Ariminum. A question arose about him on this account in a council of bishops, and he then ordered the book to be brought from his own house. The book in its heretical shape was in his desk, though he did not know it; and when it was produced, the author of the book was condemned as a heretic and excommunicated, and left the council room. This is the story, a mere dream of his own, which he tells to his intimates; and he imagines his authority to be so great that no one will dare to contradict him when he says such things. I will ask him a few questions. In what city was the synod held by which Hilary was excommunicated? What were the names of the Bishops present? Who subscribed the sentence? Who were content, and who non-content? Who were the consuls of the year? and who was the emperor p. 513 who ordered the assembly of the council? Were the Bishops present those of Gaul alone, or of Italy and Spain as well? and for what purpose was the council called together? You tell us none of these things; yet, in order to defend Origen, you treat as a criminal and as excommunicated a man of the highest eloquence, the very clarion of the Latin tongue against the Arians. But we are in the presence of a confessor, and even his calumnies must be borne with patience. He next passes to Cyprian the illustrious martyr, and he tells us that a book by Tertullian entitled “On the Trinity” is read as one of his works by the partisans of the Macedonian heresy at Constantinople. In this charge of his he tells two falsehoods. The book in question is not Tertullians, nor does it pass under the name of Cyprian. It is by Novatian and is called by his name; the peculiarity of the style proves the authorship of the work.
A bringing forth of one thing from another, that is, according to Valentinian, of Christ as a production from another Æon.
Next: That which you tell about myself in Damasus' council is mere after-dinner gossip.
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