Now Suppose that While You were Writing This, as You Tell us You Did, Quickly not Cautiously, by the Poor Glimmering Light of a Lantern, Some Prophet had Stood by You and had Cried Out: "O Writer, Suppress those Words, Restrain Your Pen; for the Time is Coming and is not Far Off when You Will Make a Schism and Separate Yourself from the Church; And, in Order that You May Find a Colorable Excuse for this Schism, You Will Begin to Defame These Very Books which You Now Make Out to be So Admirable. You Will Then Say that the Man whom You Call Your Own Brazen-Heart, and Whose Name You are Just About to Write Down as Adamantine Because of the Merit of his Praise-Worthy Labours, did not Write Books for the Edification of the Soul but Venomous Heresies. This Man, Further, whom You Rightly Describe as not Having Been Condemned by Demetrius on the Ground of his Belief, who You Say was not Accused of Bringing in Strange Doctrines, You Will Then Pronounce Worthy of Execration Because of his Strange Doctrines; as to what You are Writing About Mad Dogs Bringing Feigned Charges against Him, You Will Yourself Feign the Same: and the Senate of Rome as You Call It, You Will Then Stir up against Him as You Complain that they Now do by Your Letters of Admonition, Your Vehement Attestations, and Satellites Flying in all Directions. This is the Return that You Will Make to Your Admirable Brazen-Heart for all his Labours. Therefore Beware How You Write Now, For, if You Write as You are Doing and Afterwards Act as I have Said, You Will with More Justice be Condemned by Your Own Judgment than He by that of Others. " Would You, do You Think, have Given Credit to that Prophet? Would You not have Thought it More Likely that He was Mad than that You Would ever Come to Such a Pass? the Fact is that in Controversies of this Kind There is no Thought of Sparing a Friend if Only an Enemy Can be Injured. But You Go Beyond Even this Point: You do not Spare Yourself in Your Attempt to Ruin not Your Enemies but Your Friends. Chalcenterus as Above. CIn the Preface to his Book on Hebrew Questions, after Many Other Remarks, He Says:
21. Now suppose that while you were writing this, as you tell us you did, quickly not cautiously, by the poor glimmering light of a lantern, some Prophet had stood by you and had cried out: "O writer, suppress those words, restrain your pen; for the time is coming and is not far off when you will make a schism and separate yourself from the church; and, in order that you may find a colorable excuse for this schism, you will begin to defame these very books which you now make out to be so admirable. You will then say that the man whom you call your own Brazen-heart, and whose name you are just about to write down as Adamantine because of the merit of his praise-worthy labours, did not write books for the edification of the soul but venomous heresies. This man, further, whom you rightly describe as not having been condemned by Demetrius on the ground of his belief, who you say was not accused of bringing in strange doctrines, you will then pronounce worthy of execration because of his strange doctrines; as to what you are writing about mad dogs bringing feigned charges against him, you will yourself feign the same: and the Senate of Rome as you call it, you will then stir up against him as you complain that they now do by your letters of admonition, your vehement attestations, and satellites flying in all directions. This is the return that you will make to your admirable Brazen-heart for all his labours. Therefore beware how you write now, for, if you write as you are doing and afterwards act as I have said, you will with more justice be condemned by your own judgment than he by that of others." Would you, do you think, have given credit to that prophet? Would you not have thought it more likely that he was mad than that you would ever come to such a pass? The fact is that in controversies of this kind there is no thought of sparing a friend if only an enemy can be injured. But you go beyond even this point: you do not spare yourself in your attempt to ruin not your enemies but your friends.
Chalcenterus as above. c22. In the Preface to his book on Hebrew Questions, after many other remarks, he says:"I say nothing of Origen. His name (if I may compare small things to great) is even more than my own the object of ill will, because though following the common version in his Homilies which were spoken to common people, yet in his Tomes, that is, in his fuller discussion of Scripture, he yields to the Hebrew as the truth, and though surrounded by his own forces occasionally seeks the foreign tongue as his ally. I will only say this about him, that I should gladly have his knowledge of the Scriptures even if accompanied with all the ill-will which clings to his name, and that I do not care a straw for these shades and spectral ghosts whose nature is said to be to chatter in dark corners and be a terror to babies."
I really can no longer wonder or complain of his unfriendly dealings with me since he has not spared such men, such great men.' For another man whom he tears to pieces is Ambrose that Bishop of sacred memory. In what manner, and with what disparagement he attacks him, I will show in a similar way from one of his Prefaces, in which, nevertheless, he praises Origen. It is the Preface to Origen's homilies on Luke addressed to Paula and Eustochium.
A few days ago you told me that you had read some commentaries on Matthew and Luke, of which one was equally dull in perception and expression, the other frivolous in expression, sleepy in sense. Accordingly, you requested me to translate without such trifling, our Adamantius' 39 homilies on Luke, just as they are found in the original Greek: I replied that it was an irksome task and a mental torment to write, as Cicero phrases it, with another man's heart, not one's own: but yet I will undertake it as your requests reach no higher than this. The demand which the sainted Blæsia once made at Rome, that I should translate into our language his twenty-five volumes on Matthew, five on Luke and thirty-two on John is beyond my powers, my leisure and my energy. You see what weight your influence and wishes have with me. I have laid aside for a time my books on Hebrew Questions to use my energies which your judgment holds fruitful in translating these commentaries which, good or bad, are his work, and not mine: especially as I hear on the left of me the raven -- that ominous bird -- croaking and mocking in an extraordinary way at the colours of all the other birds, because of his own utter blackness. And so, before he change his note, I confess that these treatises are Origen's recreation no less than dice are a boy's: very different are the serious pursuits of his manhood and of his old age. If my proposal meet with your approbation, if I am still able to undertake the task, and if the Lord grant me opportunity to translate them into Latin, so that I may complete the work I have now deferred, you will then be able to see, aye, and all who speak Latin will learn through you, the mass of valuable knowledge of which they have hitherto been ignorant, but which they have now begun to acquire. Besides this I have arranged to send you shortly the commentaries on Matthew of that eloquent man Hilarius, and of the blessed martyr Victorinus, which, different as their style may be, one spirit has enabled them to write: these will give you some idea of the study which our Latins also have in former days bestowed upon the Holy Scriptures.