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.: His confession of faith is unsatisfactory. No one asked him about the Trinity, but about Origen's doctrines of the Resurrection, the origin of souls, and the salvability of Satan. As to the Resurrection and to Satan he is ambiguous. As to souls he professes ignorance.
8. But what follows about the condition of souls can by no means be excused. He says:
“I am next informed that some stir has been made on the question of the nature of the soul. Whether complaints on a matter of this kind ought to be entertained instead of being put aside, you must yourself decide. If, however, you desire to know my opinion upon this subject, I will state it frankly. I have read a great many writers on this question, and I find that they express divers opinions. Some of these whom I have read hold that the soul is infused together with the material body through the channel of the human seed, and of this they give such proofs as they can. I think that this was the opinion of Tertullian or Lactantius among the Latins, perhaps also of a few others. Others assert that God is every day making new souls and infusing them into the bodies which have been framed in the womb; while others again believe that the souls were all made long ago, when God made all things of nothing, and that all that he now does is to send out each soul to be born in its body as it seems good to him. This is the opinion of Origen, and of some others among the Greeks. For myself, I declare in the presence of God that, after reading each of these opinions, I am unable to hold any of them as certain and absolute: the determination of the truth in this question I leave to God and to any to whom it shall please him to reveal it. My profession on this point is, therefore, first, that these several opinions are those which I have found in books, but, secondly, that I as yet remain in ignorance on the subject, except so far as this, that the p. 505 Church delivers it as an article of faith that God is the creator of souls as well as of bodies.”
Next: What Latin! The poor souls must be tormented by his barbarisms.
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