In this Passage all Room for Doubt is Removed. In the Former Passage You Said that those who Before Hoped in Christ are those Who, Before they were Born in Bodies in this visible World, Dwelt in Heaven and had Hope in Christ. But, to Prevent this Being Supposed to be Your Own Doctrine, You Introduced Another Interpretation, Namely, that at that Time when Every Knee Shall Bow to Jesus as Lord, the Universal Creation, of Things Heavenly, Earthly and Infernal, Will Consist of Persons Subjected to Him in Two Different Ways, Some Willingly, Some by Necessity. You Add that all the Saints, who Now Believe on Him through the Word of Preaching are Subject to Him Willingly, and that These are Called Fore-Hopers, that is those who have Beforehand Hoped in Christ: but that those who are Subject to Him by Necessity are those who have not Believed Now through the Preaching of the Word, but who Then Will no Longer be Able to Deny Him, Such as the Devil and his Angels, and those who with them have Been Obliged by Necessity to Believe: and that all These, and Amongst them the Devil and his Angels, who Shall Afterwards Believe, Shall not be Called Fore-Hopers, Because that Name Belongs to those who Believed in Christ Before, and Hoped in Him Willingly, Whereas These Others Only did So Afterward and by Necessity: and You Add That, Consequently, they Will Receive Different Rewards. But You Assign Rewards, Though they May be Inferior Ones, to All, Even to those who Now do not Believe, that Is, the Devil and his Angels; And, Though Now You Hold the Mere Opinion, not the Mature Judgment, of Another Worthy of Condemnation who Thinks it Possible that the Devil May one Day have a Respite from Punishment, You Bring Him into the Kingdom of God to Receive the Second Reward. This Also You Wish us to Understand, That, as it Matters not Whether Christ is Preached in Truth or by Necessity, So it is of no Consequence Whether we Believe by Necessity or Willingly. CThese are the Things which we Learn from the Commentaries to which You Direct Us. These are the Rules for the Confusion of Our Faith which You Teach Us. You Wish us to Condemn in Others what You Teach Yourself in Private. For, of Course, if You are Now that Other' who do not Admit the Doctrine which Holds that Our Souls Existed in Heaven Before they were Joined to Bodies, You are Undoubtedly the Man who not Only Promise Pardon to the Devil and his Angels and all Unbelievers but Also Undertake that they Shall be Endowed with Rewards of the Second Order. But if You Deny this Second Doctrine, You must be the Author of that which we First Discussed. And I Wonder that those Able and Learned Men who Read These Writings of his About which He Now Writes in Commendation, Should Laugh at Me Because He Calls Me a Mole, and Should not Feel that He is all the While Thinking of them Much More as Moles, for not Seeing that the Things I have Pointed Out are Imbedded in his Books. For, if He Thought that they could Understand as Well as Read, He Would Never have Requested them to Get a Copy of those Books with a view to the Condemnation of the Very Things which their Master There Teaches; for These Very Things which He Urges us to Condemn are Most Plainly and Manifestly Contained in Them. I have Shewn, at all Events, that He Himself in These Chosen Commentaries of his Asserts the Doctrines which He Desires to have Condemned in Another Man's Books, Namely, that Souls Existed in Heaven Before they were Born in Bodies in this World, and that all Sinners and Unbelievers, Together with the Devil and his Angels, Will, at the Time when Every Knee Shall Bow to Jesus of Things Heavenly and Things Earthly and Things Infernal, not Only Receive Pardon, but Also be Summoned to Receive the Second Order of Rewards. Regulas Confusionis Fidei. Another Reading is Confessionis. But Probably Rufinus Meant to Give Point to his Expression by Substituting for the Well Known Words "Rule of Faith" "Rule of Confusion of Faith. " CIt is Indeed a Thing So Unheard of to Believe that a Man Can Pronounce Condemnation on the Fabric which He Himself Has Reared, that I Doubt not it Will with Difficulty Win Credit; and I Feel that what You Desire is that I Should, if Possible, Produce from his Writings Instances of this So Clear that no Room Whatever May be Left for Doubting; that Is, Passages in which that Other' of which He is So Fond is not Named at All; and this I Will Do. In this Same Book He Declares his Belief That, in the End of the Age, Christ and his Saints Will have their Throne Above the Demons in Such a Way that the Demons Themselves Will Act According to the Will of Christ and his Saints who Reign Over Them. In Commenting Upon the Passage Where the Apostle Says, "That in the Ages to Come He Might Show the Exceeding Riches of his Grace in Kindness Toward us in Christ Jesus," after a Few Other Remarks, He Says:
32. In this passage all room for doubt is removed. In the former passage you said that those who before hoped in Christ are those who, before they were born in bodies in this visible world, dwelt in heaven and had hope in Christ. But, to prevent this being supposed to be your own doctrine, you introduced another interpretation, namely, that at that time when every knee shall bow to Jesus as Lord, the universal creation, of things heavenly, earthly and infernal, will consist of persons subjected to him in two different ways, some willingly, some by necessity. You add that all the saints, who now believe on him through the word of preaching are subject to him willingly, and that these are called Fore-hopers, that is those who have beforehand hoped in Christ: but that those who are subject to him by necessity are those who have not believed now through the preaching of the word, but who then will no longer be able to deny him, such as the devil and his angels, and those who with them have been obliged by necessity to believe: and that all these, and amongst them the devil and his angels, who shall afterwards believe, shall not be called Fore-hopers, because that name belongs to those who believed in Christ before, and hoped in him willingly, whereas these others only did so afterward and by necessity: and you add that, consequently, they will receive different rewards. But you assign rewards, though they may be inferior ones, to all, even to those who now do not believe, that is, the devil and his angels; and, though now you hold the mere opinion, not the mature judgment, of another worthy of condemnation who thinks it possible that the devil may one day have a respite from punishment, you bring him into the kingdom of God to receive the second reward. This also you wish us to understand, that, as it matters not whether Christ is preached in truth or by necessity, so it is of no consequence whether we believe by necessity or willingly. c33. These are the things which we learn from the Commentaries to which you direct us. These are the rules for the confusion of our faith which you teach us. You wish us to condemn in others what you teach yourself in private. For, of course, if you are now that other' who do not admit the doctrine which holds that our souls existed in heaven before they were joined to bodies, you are undoubtedly the man who not only promise pardon to the devil and his angels and all unbelievers but also undertake that they shall be endowed with rewards of the second order. But if you deny this second doctrine, you must be the author of that which we first discussed. And I wonder that those able and learned men who read these writings of his about which he now writes in commendation, should laugh at me because he calls me a mole, and should not feel that he is all the while thinking of them much more as moles, for not seeing that the things I have pointed out are imbedded in his books. For, if he thought that they could understand as well as read, he would never have requested them to get a copy of those books with a view to the condemnation of the very things which their master there teaches; for these very things which he urges us to condemn are most plainly and manifestly contained in them. I have shewn, at all events, that he himself in these chosen Commentaries of his asserts the doctrines which he desires to have condemned in another man's books, namely, that souls existed in heaven before they were born in bodies in this world, and that all sinners and unbelievers, together with the devil and his angels, will, at the time when every knee shall bow to Jesus of things heavenly and things earthly and things infernal, not only receive pardon, but also be summoned to receive the second order of rewards.

Regulas confusionis fidei. Another reading is Confessionis. But probably Rufinus meant to give point to his expression by substituting for the well known words "Rule of faith" "Rule of confusion of faith." c34. It is indeed a thing so unheard of to believe that a man can pronounce condemnation on the fabric which he himself has reared, that I doubt not it will with difficulty win credit; and I feel that what you desire is that I should, if possible, produce from his writings instances of this so clear that no room whatever may be left for doubting; that is, passages in which that other' of which he is so fond is not named at all; and this I will do. In this same book he declares his belief that, in the end of the age, Christ and his saints will have their throne above the demons in such a way that the demons themselves will act according to the will of Christ and his saints who reign over them. In commenting upon the passage where the Apostle says, "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus," after a few other remarks, he says:"We who formerly were held bound by the law of the infernal place, and, through our vices and sins were given over both to the works of the flesh and to punishment, shall now reign with Christ and sit together with him. But we shall sit, not in some kind of low place, but [2882] above all Principalities and power and Dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but in the age to come. For, if Christ has been raised from the dead, and sits at the right hand of God in heavenly places, far above all Principality and Power and Dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but in the age to come, we also must of necessity sit and reign with Christ and sit above those things above which he sits. But the careful reader will at this point make his inquiry and say: What? is man then greater than the angels and all the powers of heaven? I make answer, though it is hazardous to do so, that the Principalities and Powers and Mights and Dominions, and all names that are named not only in this age but in that which is to come must refer (since all things are subjected to the feet of Christ) not to the good part of them but the opposite; the Apostle means by these expressions the rebellious angels, and the prince of this world, and Lucifer who once was the morning star, over whom in the end of the age the saints must sit with Christ, who communicates this privilege to them. These powers are now infernal powers, abusing their freedom for the worst purposes, wandering everywhere and running together down the steep places of sin. But when they have Christ and the saints sitting on thrones above them, they will begin to be ruled according to the will of those who reign over them."

Surely there is no ambiguity remaining here; the passage needs no one to bring out its points. He says in the most distinct terms, without bringing in the person of any other,' that the rebellious angels and the prince of this world, and Lucifer who once was the morning star, will in the end, when Christ sits and reigns over them with his saints, be fellows and sharers, not only of his kingdom but also of his will; for to act according to the will of Christ and of all his saints is to have arrived at the highest blessedness, and the perfection which we are taught in the Lord's Prayer to ask of the Father is none other than this, that his will may be done in earth as it is in heaven.


[2880] Sæculi; usually translated by the end of the world,' which, however, hardly gives the true meaning.

[2881] Ephesians 2:7

[2882] Ephesians 1:21

31 but let this pass
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