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.: Chapter 11
11. If, then, you really intend to do an act of repentance for those evil speeches of yours, if you are not merely mocking us by saying this, and if you are not in your heart such a lover of strife and contention that you are willing even to defame yourself on this sole condition that you may be able thereby to besmirch another; if it is not in pretence but in good faith that you repent of what you have said amiss, come and do penance for this great and foul blasphemy; for it is indeed blasphemy against God. For if a man oversteps the mark by speaking erroneously of mere creatures, this is not such a very execrable crime, especially if he does it, as you say, not with a set purpose of blasphemy, but in seeking to vindicate the justice of God. But to lift up your mouth against the heaven is a grave offence; to speak violence and blasphemy against the Most High is worthy of death. Let us bestow our lamentations upon that which is hard to cure; for what man is there who has the jaundice, 2958 and is in danger both of looks and life, who will complain loudly because of a little hangnail on his foot or because a scratch made with his own finger which easily yields to remedies, is not yet cured?
Morbus regius; used variously for jaundice and leprosy. See Jer. Life of Hilarion, c. 34.
Next: Jerome's boast of his teachers, Didymus and the Jew Baranina.
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