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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Chapter 28

Early Church Fathers  Index     

28. I repeat that there are no writings of mine in which there is any error to be corrected. There are many of yours which, as I have shewn, according to your present opinion, ought to be wholly condemned. You made an exception in favour of the Commentaries on the Ephesians, in which you imagined that you had written more correctly. But even you must have seen, as I have shewn, how like they are all through to Origen’s views; and, indeed, how they contain something more extreme than the views of which you demand the condemnation. And, were it not that you had cut yourself off from the power of repentance p. 473 by saying “Read over my Commentaries on the Ep. to the Ephesians, and you will acknowledge that I have opposed the doctrines of Origen;” possibly you might wish to turn round and do penance for those, and in this case, as in the rest, to condemn yourself. As far as I am concerned, I give you full leave to repent of these also; indeed, the best thing that you can do is to do penance for all that you have said and also for all that you are going to say; for it is certain that all that you have ever written is to be repented of. But if any one blame me for having translated anything at all of Origen’s, then I say that I am the last of many who have done the deed, and the blame, if any, should begin with the first. But does any one ever punish a deed the doing of which he had not previously forbidden. We did what was permissible. If there is to be a new law, it holds good only for the future. But it may be said that the works themselves ought to be condemned and their author as well. If that be so, what is to happen to the other author who writes the same things, as I have shewn most fully above? He must receive a similar judgment. I do not ask for this nor press for it, although he acts a hostile part towards me. But I cannot but see that he is heaping up such a judgment for himself by his rash condemnation of others.

Next: He says I shew Origen to be heretical, yet condemns me.

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