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.: Your Apology for Origen did not save him but involved you in heresy.
37. But what defence can you make in reference to the Apology which you have written for the works of Origen, or rather in reference to the book of Eusebius, though you have altered much, and translated the work of a heretic under the title of a martyr, yet you have set down still more which is incompatible with the faith of the church. You as well as I turn Latin books into Greek; can you prohibit me from giving the works of a foreigner to my own people? If I had made my answer in the case of some other work of yours in which you had not attacked me, it might have been thought that, in translating what you had already translated, I was acting in hostility to you, and wishing to prove you inaccurate or untrustworthy. But this is a new kind of complaint, when you take it amiss that an answer is made you on a point on which you have accused me. All Rome was said to have been upset by your translation; every one was demanding of me a remedy for this; not that I was of any account, but that those who asked this thought me so. You say that you who had made the translation were my friend. But what would you have had me do? Ought we to obey God or man? To guard our masters property or to conceal the theft of a fellow-servant? Can I not be at peace with you unless I join with you in committing acts which bring reproach? If you had not mentioned my name, if you had not tricked me out in your flatteries, I might have had some way of escape, and have made many excuses for not translating what had already been translated. But you, my friend, have compelled me to waste a good many days on this work, and to bring out before the public eye what should have been engulfed in Charybdis; yet still, though I had been injured, I observed the laws of friendship, and as far as possible defended myself without accusing you. It is a too suspicious and complaining temper which you shew when you take home to yourself as a reproach what was spoken against the heretics. If it is impossible to be your friend unless I am the friend of heretics, I shall more easily put up with your enmity than with their friendship.
Next: My friendly letter was to prevent discord: the other to crush false opinions.
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