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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: You wish first to praise, then to amend me, but both with fisticuffs; and make it impossible for me to keep silence.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

8. I confess, I immediately set to work to reply to the insinuations directed against me, and tried with all my might to prove that I was no heretic, and I sent these books of my Apology to those whom your book had pained, so that your poison might be followed by my antidote. In reply to this, you sent me your former books, and now send me this last letter, full of injurious language and accusations. My good friend, what do you expect me to do? To keep silence? That would be to acknowledge myself guilty. To speak? But you hold your sword over my head, and threaten me with an indictment, no longer before the church but before the law-courts. What have I done that deserves punishment? Wherein have I injured you? Is it that I have shewn myself not to be a heretic? or that I could not esteem myself worthy of your praises? or that I laid bare in plain words the tricks and perjuries of the heretics? What is all this to you who boast yourself a true man and a catholic, and who shew more zeal in attacking me than in defending yourself? Must I be thought to be attacking you because I defend myself? or is it impossible that you should be orthodox unless you prove me to be a heretic? What help can it give you to be connected with me? and what is the meaning of your action? You are accused by one set of people and you answer only by attacking another. You find an attack made on you by one man, and you turn your back upon him and attack another who was for leaving you alone.


Next: Why cannot you join with me in condemning Origen, and so put an end to our quarrel?

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