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.: There is nothing strange in my praising Origen before I knew the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν.
14. It is said that on a recent occasion where the letters of Theophilus exposing the errors of Origen were read, our friend stopped his ears, and along with all present pronounced a distinct condemnation upon the author of so much evil; and that he said that up to that moment he had never known that Origen had written anything so wrong. I say nothing against this: I do not make the observation which perhaps another might make, that it was impossible for him to be ignorant of that which he had himself translated, and an apology for which by a heretic he had published under the name of a martyr, whose defence also he had undertaken in his own book; as to which I shall have some adverse remarks to make later on if I have time to write them. I only make one observation which does not admit of contradiction. If it is possible that he should have misunderstood what he translated, why is it not possible that I should have been ignorant of the book Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν which I had not before read, and that I should have only read those Homilies which I translated, and in which he himself testifies that there is nothing wrong? But if, contrary to his expressed opinion, he now finds fault with me for those things for which he before had given me praise, he will be in a strait between two; either he praised me, believing me to be a heretic but confessing that he shared my opinion; or else, if he praised me before as orthodox, his present accusations come to nothing, and are due to sheer malice. But perhaps it was only as my friend that he formerly was silent about my errors, and now that he is angry with me brings to light what he had concealed.
Next: The accusations seem inconsistent, but I knew them only by report.
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