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.: Recapitulation of the Apology.
42. I then took up one by one the points in which he had blamed Origen, with the intention of striking at me and discrediting my work of translation. I shewed from those very Commentaries of his from which he had said that we might expect to learn and test his belief, that on three points, namely the previous state of the soul, the restitution of all things, and his views concerning the devil and apostate angels, he has himself written the same things which he blames in Origen. I convicted him of having said that the souls of men were held bound in this body as in a prison; and I proved that he had asserted in these very Commentaries that the whole rational creation of angels and of human souls formed but a single body. I next shewed that, as to an association for perjury, there was no one who had so much to do with it in its deepest mysteries as himself; and in accordance with this I proved that the doctrine that truth and the higher teaching ought not to be disclosed to all men was taught by him in these same Commentaries. I next took up the question of secular literature, as to which he had made this declaration to Christ as he sat on the judgment seat and ordered him to be beaten: “If ever I read or possess the books of the heathen, I have denied Thee;” and I shewed p. 480 clearly that he not only reads and possesses these books now, but that he supports all the bragging of which his teaching is full on his knowledge of them; so much so that he boasts of having been introduced to the knowledge of logic through the Introduction of Porphyry the prince of unbelievers. And, while he says that it is a doctrine of the heathen, to speak in this or that manner both about the soul and about other creatures, I shewed that he had spoken of God in a more degrading manner than any of the heathen when he said that God had a mother-in-law. But further, whereas he had declared that he had only mentioned Origen in two short Prefaces, and then not as a man of apostolic rank but merely as a man of talent, I, though for brevitys sake only bringing forward ten of his Prefaces, established the fact that in each of them he had spoken of him not only as an apostolic man but as a teacher of the churches next after the apostles, and as one whose teaching was followed by himself and all wise men.
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