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.: Why cannot you join with me in condemning Origen, and so put an end to our quarrel?
9. I call Jesus the Mediator to witness that it is against my will, and fighting against necessity, that I come down into the arena of this war of words, and that, had you not challenged me, I would have never broken silence. Even now, let your charges against p. 524 me cease, and my defence will cease. For it is no edifying spectacle that is presented to our readers, that of two old men engaging in a gladiatorial conflict on account of a heretic; especially when both of them wish to be thought catholics. Let us leave off all favouring of heretics, and there will be no dispute between us. We once were zealous in our praise of Origen; let us be equally zealous in condemning him now that he is condemned by the whole world. Let us join hands and hearts, and march with a ready step behind the two trophy-bearers of the East and West. 3172 We went wrong in our youth, let us mend our ways in our age. If you are my brother, be glad that I have seen my errors; if I am your friend, I must give you joy on your conversion. So long as we maintain our strife, we shall be thought to hold the right faith not willingly but of necessity. Our enmity prevents our affording the spectacle of a true repentance. If our faith is one, if we both of us accept and reject the same things, (and it is from this, as even Catiline testifies, that firm friendships arise), if we are alike in our hatred of heretics, and equally condemn our former mistakes, why should we set out to battle against each other, when we have the same objects both of attack and defence? Pardon me for having praised Origens zeal for Scriptural learning in my youthful days before I fully knew his heresies; and I will grant you forgiveness for having written an Apology for his works when your head was grey.
Theophilus of Alexandria—Anastasius of Rome.
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