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.: My departure from Rome for the East had nothing blameable in it as you insinuate.
22. If any one wishes to hear the arrangements for my journey from Rome, they were these. In the month of August, 3182 when the etesian winds were blowing, accompanied by the reverend presbyter Vincentius and my young brother, and other monks who are now living at Jerusalem, I went on board ship at the port of Rome, choosing my own time, and with a very large body of the saints attending me, I arrived at Rhegium. I stood for a while on the shore of Scylla, and heard the old stories of the rapid voyage of the versatile Ulysses, of the songs of the sirens and the insatiable whirlpool of Charybdis. The inhabitants of that spot told me many tales, and gave me the advice that I should sail not for the columns of Proteus but for the port where Jonah landed, because the former of those was the course suited for men who were hurried and flying, but the latter was best for a man who was imprisoned; but I preferred to take the course by Malea and the Cyclades to Cyprus. There I was received by the venerable bishop Epiphanius, of whose testimony to you you boast. I came to Antioch, where I enjoyed the communion of Paulinius the pontiff and confessor and was set forward by him on my journey to Jerusalem, which I entered in the middle of winter and in severe cold. I saw there many wonderful things, and verified by the judgment of my own eyes things which had before come to my ears by report. Thence I made my way to Egypt. I saw the monasteries of Nitria, and perceived the snakes 3183 which lurked among the choirs of the monks. Then making haste I at once returned to Bethlehem, which is now my home, and there poured my perfume upon the manger and cradle of the Saviour. I saw also the lake of ill-omen. Nor did I give myself to ease and inertness, but I learned many things which I did not know before. As to what judgment was formed of me at Rome, or what was written afterwards, you are quite welcome to speak out, especially since you have writings to trust to; for I am not to be tried by your words which you at your will either veil in enigma or blurt out with open falsehood, but by the documents of the church. You may see how little I am afraid of you. If you can produce against me a single record of the Bishop of Rome or of any other church, I will confess myself to be chargeable with all the iniquities which I find assigned to you. It would be easy for me to tell of the circumstances of your departure, your age, the date of sailing, the places in which you lived, the company you kept. But far be it from me to do what I blame you for doing, and in a discussion between churchmen, to make up a story worthy of the ravings of quarrelling hags. Let this word be enough for your wisdom to remember. Do not adopt a method with another which can at once be retorted on yourself.
He means Origenistic heresies; but there is no trace in his early works of this detection of heresy.
Next: Epiphanius, it is true, gave you the kiss of peace; but he showed afterwards that he had come to distrust you.
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