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.: Against Vigilantius I wrote only what was right. I knew who had stirred him up against me.
19. You allude to Vigilantius. What dream this is that you have dreamed about him I do not know. Where have I said that he was defiled by communion with heretics at Alexandria? Tell me the book, produce the letter: but you will find absolutely no such statement. Yet with your wonted carelessness of statement or rather impudence of lying, which makes you imagine that every one will believe what you say, you add: “When you quoted a text of Scripture against him in so insulting a way that I do not dare to repeat it with my own mouth.” You p. 529 do not dare to repeat it because you can make the charge seem worse by keeping silence; and, because your accusation has no facts to rest upon, you simulate modesty, so that the reader may imagine that you are acting from consideration towards me, although your lies show that you do not consider your own soul. What is this text of Scripture which is too shameful to proceed out of that most shameless mouth of yours? What shameful thing, indeed, can you mention in the sacred books? If you are ashamed to speak, at any rate you can write it down, and then I shall be convinced of wantonness by my own words. I might be silent on all other points, and I should still prove by this single passage how brazen is your effrontery. You know how little I fear your impeachment. If you produce the evidence with which you threaten me, all the blame which now rests on you will rest on me. I gave my reply to you when I dealt with Vigilantius; for he brought the same charges against me which you bring first in the guise of friendly eulogy, afterwards in that of hostile accusation. I am aware who it was that stirred up his ravings against me; I know your plots and vices; I am not ignorant of his simplicity which is proclaimed by every one. Through his folly your hatred against me found an outlet for its fury; and, if I wrote a letter to suppress it, so that you should not be thought to be the only one who possesses a literary cudgel, that does not justify you in inventing shameful expressions which you can find in no part of my writings whatever. You must accept and confess the fact that the same document which answered his madness aroused also your calumnies.
Next: As to the letter of Pope Anastasius condemning you, you will find that it is genuine.
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