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.: You bid me beware of falsification and treachery. You warn me against yourself.
26. I think it a point which should not be passed over, that you have no right to complain that the falsifier of your papers holds in my esteem the glorious position of a confessor, since you who are guilty of this very crime are called a martyr and an apostle by all the partisans of Origen, for that exile and imprisonment of yours at Alexandria. On your alleged inexperience in Latin composition I have answered you above. But, since you repeat the same things, and, as if forgetful of your former defence, again remind me that I ought to know that you have been occupied for thirty years in devouring Greek books, and therefore do not know Latin, I would have you observe that it is not a few words of yours with which I find fault, though indeed all your writing is worthy of being destroyed. What I wished to do was to shew your followers, whom you have taken so much pains in teaching to know nothing, to understand what amount of modesty there is in a man who teaches what he does not know, who writes what he is ignorant of, so that they may expect to find the same wisdom in his opinions. As to what you add “That it is not faults of words which are offensive, but sins, such as lying, calumny, disparagement, false witness, and all evil speaking, and that the mouth which speaketh lies kills the soul,” and your deprecation, “Let not that ill-savour reach my nostrils;” I would believe what you say, were it not that I discover facts inconsistent with this. It is as if a fuller or a tanner in speaking to a dealer in pigments should warn him that he had better hold his nose as he passed their shops. I will do what p. 533 you recommend; I will stop my nose, so that it may not be put to the torture by the delightful odour of your truth-speaking and your benedictions.
Next: There is nothing inconsistent in praising a man for some things and blaming him in others. You have done it in my case.
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