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.: The Books against Jovinian.
39. If your reply to him had been couched in terms like these, would you not have ministered grace and edification both to him, since he has been initiated into the fear of God, and to all your other readers, whereas these invectives of yours are the cause of sadness and confusion to all who fear God, since they see you a prey to this hideous lust of detraction, and me driven to the wretched necessity of recrimination. But, as I have said, this evidence was unnecessary. You yourself in the books you published against Jovinian, at one time assert, as can be shewn, the same things which you blamed in him, while at another you fall into the opposite extreme, and declare marriage to be so disgraceful a state that its stain cannot even be washed away by the blood of martyrdom. But, if it appeared to you an easy thing for your friend to procure what amounts to a correction of the dogma of the Manichæans as it was originally expressed in these books, and that when they were already published and placed in the hands of many persons to copy, what difficulty would there have been in my correcting a work which was not my own but a translation of that of another man, if any mistakes could be pointed out in it, I will not say by reason, but even by envy? especially when it was p. 479 still in rough sheets, which I had not read over again or corrected, and which were not published when your friends took possession of them. Was it an impossibility to get these writings corrected which were then in an uncorrected state? But the sting does not proceed from that quarter; he would have found nothing to blame there. It proceeds wholly from the fact that he was afraid that it might come to light what is the source of all that he says, and whence he gains the reputation of a learned man and a great expounder of the Scriptures.
Next: My translation of the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν was meant to aid in a good cause.
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