The Hon. and rev. William Henry Fremantle, M.A. (translator)
Table of Contents
2. Nevertheless, a necessity, as it were, is laid upon me to reply, as a simple matter of justice: I mean, because many, as I hear, are likely to be upset by what he has written unless the true state of the case is laid before them. I am compelled, against my resolution and even my vows, to make reply, lest by keeping silence I should seem to acknowledge the accusation to be true. It is, indeed, in most cases, a Christian's glory to follow our Lord's example of silence, and thereby to repel the accusation; but to follow this course in matters of faith causes stumbling blocks to spring up in vast numbers. It is true that, in the beginning of his invective he promises that he will avoid personalities, and reply only about the things in question and the charges made against him; but his profession in both cases is false; for how can he answer a charge when no charge has been made? and how can a man be said to avoid personalities when he never ceases to attack and tear to pieces the translator of the books in question from the first line to the last of his invective? I shall avoid all pretence of saying less than I mean, and similar subterfuges of hypocrisy which are hateful in God's sight; and, though my words may be uncouth and my style unadorned, I will make my reply. I trust, and I shall not trust in vain, that my readers will pardon my lack of skill, since my object is not to amuse others but to endeavour to clear myself from the reproaches directed against me. My wish is that what may shine forth in me may not be style but truth. c3. But, before I begin to clear up these points, there is one in which I confess that he has spoken the truth in an eminent degree; namely, when he says that he is not rendering evil speaking for evil speaking. This, I say, is quite true; for it is not for evil speaking but for speaking well of him and praising him that he has rendered reproach and evil speaking. But it is not true, as he says, that he turns the left cheek to one who smites him on the right. It is on one who is stroking him and caressing him on the cheek that he suddenly turns and bites him. I praised his eloquence and his industry in the work of translating from the Greek. I said nothing in derogation of his faith; but he condemns me on both these points. He must therefore pardon me if I say some things rather roughly and rudely; for he has challenged to a reply a man who has no great rhetorical skill, and who has not, as he knows, the power to make one whom he wishes to injure and to wound appear to have received neither wounds nor injuries. Those who love this kind of eloquence must seek it in a man whom every light report stirs up to fault-finding and vituperation, and who thinks himself bound, as if he were the censor, to be always coming up to set things to rights. A man who desires to clear himself from the stains which have been cast upon him, does not trouble himself, in the answer which he is compelled to make, about the elegance and neat turns of his reply, but only about its truth. c4. At the very beginning of his work he says, "As if they could not be heretics by themselves, without me." I must first show that, whether with him or without him, we are no heretics: then, when our status is made clear, we shall be safe from having the infamous imputation hurled at us from other men's reports. I was already living in a monastery, where, as both he and all others know, about 30 years ago, I was made regenerate by Baptism, and received the seal of the faith at the hands of those saintly men, Chromatius, Jovinus and Eusebius, all of them now bishops, well-tried and highly esteemed in the church of God, one of whom was then a presbyter of the church under Valerian of blessed memory, the second was archdeacon, the third Deacon, and to me a spiritual father, my teacher in the creed and the articles of belief. These men so taught me, and so I believe, namely, that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are of one Godhead, of one Substance: a Trinity coeternal, inseparable, incorporeal, invisible, incomprehensible, known to itself alone as it truly is in its perfection: For "No man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father but the Son": and the Holy Spirit is he who "searcheth the deep things of God": that this Trinity, therefore, is without all bodily visibility, but that it is with the eye of the understanding that the Son and the Holy Spirit see the Father even as the Father sees the Son and the Holy Spirit; and further, that in this Trinity there is no diversity except that one is Father, another Son and a third Holy Spirit. There is a Trinity as touching the distinction of persons, a unity in the reality of the Substance. We received, further, that the only begotten Son of God, through whom in the beginning all existing things were made, whether visible or invisible, in these last days took upon him a human body and Soul, and was made man, and suffered for our salvation; and the third day he rose again from the dead in that very flesh which had been laid in the sepulchre; and in that very same flesh made glorious he ascended into the heavens, whence we look for his coming to judge the quick and the dead. But further we confess that he gave us hope that we too should rise in a similar manner, so that we believe that our resurrection will be in the same manner and process, and in the same form, as the resurrection of our Lord himself from the dead: that the bodies which we shall receive will not be phantoms or thin vapours, as some slanderously affirm that we say, but these very bodies of ours in which we live and in which we die. For how can we truly believe in the resurrection of the flesh, unless the very nature of flesh remains in it truly and substantially? It is then without any equivocation, that we confess the resurrection of this real and substantial flesh of ours in which we live. Bp. of Aquileia at the time of this Apology and maintaining friendly relations with both Jerome and Rufinus. (Ruf. Pref. to Eusebius in this Volume. Jer. Ep. vii, lx. 19, Pref. to Bks. of Solomon &c. &c.)
7. Since then, in reference to our hope of the resurrection, Christ is set forth all through as the archetype, since he is the first born of those who rise, and since he is the head of every creature, as it is written, "Who is the head of all, the first born from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence;" how is it that we stir up these vain strifes of words, and conflicts of evil surmises? Does not the faith of the church consist in the confession which I have set forth above? And is it not evident that men are moved to accuse others not by difference of belief, but by perversity of disposition? At this point, however, in arguing about the resurrection of the flesh, our friend, as his habit is, mixes up what is ridiculous and farcical with what is serious. He says:
8. But suffer it to be so, I beg you, as you are lovers of Christ, that the body is to be in incorruption and without these conditions when it rises from the dead: then let such things henceforward cease to be mentioned. Let us believe that in the resurrection even lawful intercourse will no longer exist between the sexes, since there would be danger that unlawful intercourse would creep in if such things remained present and unforgotten. What is the use of carefully and minutely going over and discussing "the belly and what is below it?" You tell us that we live amidst carnal delights: but I perceive that it is your belief that we are not to give up such things even in the resurrection. Let us not deny that this very flesh in which we now live is to rise again: but neither let us make men think that the imperfections of the flesh are wrapped up in it and will come again with it. The flesh, indeed, will rise, this very flesh and not another: it will not change its nature, but it will lose its frailties and imperfections. Otherwise, if its frailties remain, it cannot even be immortal. And thus, as I said, we avoid heresy, whether with you or without you. For the faith of the Church, of which we are the disciples, takes a middle path between two dangers: it does not deny the reality of the natural flesh and body when it rises from the dead, but neither does it assert, in contradiction to the Apostle's words, that in the kingdom which is to come corruption will inherit incorruption. We therefore do not assert that the flesh or body will rise, as you put it, with some of its members lost or amputated, but that the body will be whole and complete, having laid aside nothing but its corruption and dishonour and frailty and also having amputated all the imperfections of mortality: nothing of its own nature will be lacking to that spiritual body which shall rise from the dead except this corruption. 1 Cor. xv. 50 c9. I have made answer more at length than I had intended on this single article of the resurrection, through fear lest by brevity I should lay myself open to fresh aspersions. Consequently, I have made mention again and again not only of the body. as to which cavils are raised, but of the flesh: and not only of the flesh; I have added "this flesh;" and further I have spoken not only of "this flesh" but of "this natural flesh;" I have not even stopped here, but have asserted that not even the completeness of the several members would be lacking. I have only demanded that it should be held as part of the faith that, according to the words of the Apostle, it should rise incorruptible instead of corruptible, glorious in stead of dishonoured, immortal instead of frail, spiritual instead of natural; and that we should think of the members of the spiritual body as being without taint of corruption or of frailty. I have set forth my faith in reference to the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Lord our Saviour, to his Passion and Resurrection, his second coming and the judgment to come. I have also set it forth in the matter of the resurrection of our flesh, and have left nothing, I think, in ambiguity. Nothing in my opinion remains to be said, so far as the faith is concerned. c10. But in this, he says, I convict you, that you have translated the work of Origen, in which he says that there is to be a restitution of all things, in which we must believe that not only sinners but the devil himself and his angels will at last be relieved from their punishment, if we are to set before our minds in a consistent manner what is meant by the restitution of all things. And Origen, he says, teaches further that souls have been made before their bodies, and have been brought down from heaven and inserted into their bodies. I am not now acting on Origen's behalf, nor writing an apology for him. Whether he stands accepted before God or has been cast away is not mine to judge: to his own lord he stands or falls. But I am compelled to make mention of him in a few words, since our great rhetorician, though seeming to be arguing against him is really striking at me; and this he does no longer indirectly, but ends by openly attacking me with his sword drawn and turns his whole fury against me. I say too little in saying that he attacks me; for indeed, in order to vent his rage against me, he does not even spare his old teacher: he thinks that in the books which I have translated he can find something which may enable him to hurl his calumnies against me. In addition to other things which he finds to blame in me he adds this invidious remark, that I have chosen for translation a work which neither he nor any of the older translators had chosen. I will begin, therefore, since it is here that I am chiefly attacked, by stating how it came to pass that I attempted the translation of this work in preference to any other, and I will do so in the fewest and truest words. This is, no doubt, superfluous for you, my well-beloved son, since you know the whole affair as it occurred; yet it is desirable that those who are ignorant of it should know the truth: besides, both he and all his followers make this a triumphant accusation against me, that I promised in my Preface to adopt one method of translation but adopted a different one in the work itself. Hence, I will make an answer which will serve not only for them, but for many besides whose judgment is perverted either by their own malice or by the accusations which others make against me. Rom. xiv. 4
11. Some time ago, Macarius, a man of distinction from his faith, his learning, his noble birth and his personal life, had in hand a work against fatalism or, as it is called, Mathesis, and was spending much necessary and fruitful toil on its composition; but he could not decide many points, especially how to speak of the dispensations of divine Providence. He found the matter to be one of great difficulty. But in the visions of the night the Lord, he said, had shown him the appearance of a ship far off upon the sea coming towards him, which ship, when it entered the port, was to solve all the knotty points which had perplexed him. When he arose, he began anxiously to ponder the vision, and he found, as he said, that that was the very moment of my arrival; so that he forthwith made known to me the scope of his work, and his difficulties, and also the vision which he had seen. He proceeded to inquire what were the opinions of Origen, whom he understood to be the most renowned among the Greeks on the points in question, and begged that I would shortly explain his views on each of them in order. I at first could only say that the task was one of much difficulty: but I told him that that saintly man the Martyr Pamphilus had to some extent dealt with the question in a work of the kind he wished, that is in his Apology for Origen. Immediately he begged me to translate this work into Latin. I told him several times that I had no practice in this style of composition, and that my power of writing Latin had grown dull through the neglect of nearly thirty years. He, however, persevered in his request, begging earnestly that by any kind of words that might be possible, the things which he longed to know should be placed within his reach. I did what he wished in the best language in my power; but this only inflamed him with greater desire for the full knowledge of the work itself from which, as he saw, the few translations which I had made had been taken. I tried to excuse myself; but he urged me with vehemence, taking God to witness of his earnest request to me not to refuse him the means which might assist him in doing a good work. It was only because he insisted so earnestly, and it seemed clear that his desire was according to the will of God, that I at length acquiesced, and made the translation. This word originally meant simply learning. It was then applied in a special sense to mathematics. But the mathematici under the later Roman Empire became identified with astrologers. c12. But I wrote a Preface to each of these works, and in both, but especially in the Preface to the work of Pamphilus, which was translated first, I set in the forefront an exposition of my faith, affirming that my belief is in accordance with the catholic faith; and I stated that whatever men might find in the original or in my translation, my share in it in no way implicated my own faith, and further, in reference to the Peri 'Archon I gave this warning. I had found that in these books some things relating to the faith were set forth in a catholic sense, just as the Church proclaims them, while in other places, when the very same thing is in question, expressions of a contrary kind are used. I had thought it right to set forth these points in the way in which the author had set them forth when he had propounded the catholic view of them: on the other hand, when I found things which were contrary to the author's real opinion, I looked on them as things inserted by others, (for he witnesses by the complaints contained in his letter that this has been done), and therefore rejected them, or at all events considered that I might omit them as having none of the "godly edifying in the faith." It will not, I think, be considered superfluous to insert these passages from my Prefaces, so that proof may be at hand for each statement. And further, to prevent the reader from falling into any mistake as to the passages which I insert from other documents, I have, where the quotation is from my own works, placed a single mark against the passage, but, where the words are those of my opponent, a double mark. See these Prefaces translated in the earlier part of this Volume.
14. I wrote these words beforehand as a statement of my faith, when as yet none of these calumniators had arisen, so that it should be in no man's power to say that it was merely because of their admonition or their compulsion that I said things which I had not believed before. Moreover, I promised that, whatever the requirements of translation might be, I would, while complying with them, maintain the principles of my faith inviolate. How then can any room be left for evil, when the very first word of my confession preserves and defends me from the suspicion of holding any doctrine inconsistent with it? Besides, as I have said above. I have learned from the words of the Lord that every one shall be justified or condemned from his own words and not from those of others.
16. I should have thought that this statement, I mean the words, I have expressed nothing in my own words; I have only restored to Origen what was really Origen's, though found in other part of his works,' would of itself have been sufficient for my defence even before the most hostile judges. Have I thrust myself forward in any way? Have I ever led men to expect that I should put in anything of my own? Where can they find the words which they pretend that I have said, and on which they ground their calumnious accusations, namely, that I have removed what was bad and put good words instead, while I had translated literally all that is good? It is time, I think, that they should show some sense of shame, and should cease from false charges and from taking upon themselves the office of the devil who is the accuser of the brethren. Let them listen to the words I have put in no words of my own.' Let them listen to them again and hear them constantly reiterated, I have put in no words of my own; I have only restored to Origen what was really Origen's, though found in other parts of his works.' And let them see how God's mercy watched over me when I put my hand to this work; let them mark how I was led to forebode the very acts which they are doing. For my Preface continues thus:
17. But I have said that these men would have been unable to find grounds for accusation on the points I have mentioned, however they may take them, unless they had first falsified them. It appears to me therefore desirable that the chief matter on which they have laid their forgers' hands should be inserted in this Apology, lest they should think that I am intentionally withdrawing it from notice because they after making their own additions to it allege it as a ground of false accusation. In the book which I translated there is a passage in which I examine the tenets of those who believe that God has a bodily shape and who describe him as clothed with human members and dress. This is openly asserted by the heretical sects of the Valentinians and Anthropomorphites, and I see that those who are now our accusers have been far too ready to hold out the hand to them. Origen in this passage has defended the faith of the church against them, affirming that God is wholly without bodily form, and therefore also invisible; and then, following out his scrutiny in a logical manner, he says a few words in answer to the heretics, which I thus translated into Latin.
18. This is the chief passage which those who were sent from the East to lay snares for me tried to brand as heretical, not only by perversely misunderstanding it, but by falsifying the words. But I could see nothing to suspect in it, as also in several similar passages of the writer I was translating, nor did I think that there was any reason to leave it out, since there was nothing said in it as to a comparison of the Son with the Father, but the question related to the nature of the Deity itself, whether in any sense the word visibility could be applied to it. Origen was answering, as I have said before, the heretics who assert that God is visible because they say that he is corporeal, the faculty of sight being a property of the body; for which reason the Valentinian heretics, of whom I spoke above, declare that the Father begat and the Son was begotten in a bodily and visible sense. He therefore shrank, I presume, from the word Seeing as a suspicious term, and says that it is better, when the question turns upon the nature of the Deity, that is, upon the relation of the Father and the Son, to use the word which the Lord himself definitely chose, when he said: "No man knoweth the Son save the Father, neither doth any know the Father save the Son." He thought that all occasion which might be given to the aforesaid heresies would be shut out if, in speaking of the nature of the Deity he used the word Knowledge rather than Vision. Vision' might seem to afford the heretics some support. The word Knowledge on the other hand preserves the true relation of Father and Son in one nature never to be set apart; and this is specially confirmed by the authoritative language of the Gospel. Origen thought also that this mode of speaking would ensure that the Anthropomorphites should never in any way hear God spoken of as visible. It did not seem to me right that this reasoning, since it made no difference between the persons of the Trinity, should be completely thrown on one side, though indeed there were some words in the Greek, which perhaps were somewhat incautiously used, and which I thought it well to avoid using. I will suppose that readers may hesitate in their judgment whether or not even so, it is an argument which can be employed with effect against the aforesaid heresies. I will even grant that those who are practised in judging of words and their sense in matters of this kind and who, besides being experts, are God-fearing men, men who do nothing through strife or vain glory, whose mind is equally free from envy and favour and prejudice may say that the point is of little value either for edification or for the combating of heresy; even so, is it not competent for them to pass it over and to leave it aside as not valid for the repulse of our adversaries? Suppose it to be superfluous, does that make it criminous? How can we count as a criminal passage one which asserts the equality of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit in this point of invisibility? I do not think that any one can really think so. I say any one: for there is no evidence that anything contained in my writings is offensive in the eyes of my accusers; for, if they had thought so, they would have set down my words as they stood in my translation. c19. But what did they actually do? Consider what it was and ask yourself whether the crime is not unexampled? Recall the passage which says: "But perhaps you will ask me my opinion as to the Only-begotten himself. Well, if I should say that even to him the nature of God is invisible, since it is its very nature to be invisible, do not dismiss my answer as if it were impious or absurd, for I will at once give you my reason for it." Well, in the place of the words which I had written, "I will at once give you my reason for it" they put the following words: "Do not dismiss my answer as if it were impious or absurd, for, as the Son does not see the Father, so the Holy Spirit also does not see the Son." If the man who did this, the man who was sent from their monastery to Rome as the greatest expert in calumny, had been employed in the forum and had committed this forgery in some secular business every one knows what would be the consequence to him according to the public laws, when he was convicted of the crime. But now, since he has left the secular life, and has turned his back upon business and entered a monastery, and has connected himself with a renowned master, he has learned from him to leave his former self-restraint and to become a furious madman: he was quiet before, now he is a mover of sedition: he was peaceable, now he provokes war: instead of concord, he is the promoter of strife. For faith he has learnt perfidiousness, for truth forgery. He would, you may well think, have been the complete exemplar of wickedness and criminality of this kind, if you had not had before you the image of that woman Jezebel. She is the same who made up the accusation against Naboth the Zezreelite for the sake of the vineyard, and sent word to the wicked elders to urge against him a false indictment, saying that he had blessed, that is cursed, God and the king. I know not whether of the two is to be accounted the happier, she who sends the command or they who obey it in all its iniquity. These matters are serious; such a crime, as far as I know, is hitherto all but unheard of in the Church. Yet there is something more to be said. What is that you ask. It is this, that those who are guilty should become the judges, that those who plotted the accusation should also pronounce the sentence. It is, indeed, no new thing for a writer to make a mistake or a slip in his words, and in my opinion it is a venial fault, for the Scripture also says, "In many things we all stumble: if any stumbleth not in word the same is a perfect man." Is it thought that some word is wrong? Then let it be corrected or amended, or, if expediency so require, let it be taken out. But to insert in what another man has written things he never wrote, to put in false words for no other purpose than to defame your brother, to corrupt his writings in order to attach a mark of infamy to the author, and to insinuate your ideas into the ears of the multitude so as to throw confusion into the minds of the simple; and all this with the object of staining a man's reputation among his fellows; I ask you whose work this can be except that of him who was a liar from the beginning, and who, from accusing the brethren, received the name of Diabolus, which means accuser. For when he to whom I have alluded recited at Milan one of these sentences which had been tampered with, and I cried out that what he was reading was falsified, he, being asked from whom he had received the copy of the work said that a certain woman named Marcella had given it him. As to her, I say nothing, whosoever she may be. I leave her to her own conscience and to God. I am content with God's own witness and with yours. When I say yours, I mean your own and that of Macarius himself, the saintly man for whom I was doing that work: for both of you read my papers themselves at the first, even before they had been completed, and you have by you the completely corrected copies. You can bear witness to what I say. The words "as the Son does not see the Father, so also the Holy Spirit does not see the Son" not only were never written by me, but on the contrary I can point out the forger by whom they were written. If any man says that as the Father does not see the Son, so the Son does not see the Father or that the Holy Spirit does not see the Father and the Son as the Father sees the Son and the Son and the Holy Spirit, let him be anathema. For he sees, and sees most truly; only, as God sees God and the Light sees the Light; not as flesh sees flesh, but as the Holy Spirit sees, not with the bodily senses, but by the powers of the Deity. I say, if any one denies this let him be anathema for all eternity. But as the Apostle says, "He that troubles you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be." Jerome's friend Eusebius of Cremona, of whom Rufinus complains as having taken occasion from this old friendship to purloin and falsify his mss. See below c. 20, 21.
20. I remember indeed that one of these people, when he was convicted of having falsified this passage, answered me that it was so in the Greek, but that I had, of purpose, changed it in the Latin. I do not indeed, treat this as a serious accusation because, though what they say is untrue yet, even supposing that the words did stand so in the Greek, and I had changed them in the Latin, this is nothing more than I had said in my Preface that I should do. If I had done this with the view of making an expression which in the Greek was calculated to make men stumble run more suitably in the Latin, I should have been acting only according to my expressed purpose and plan. But I say to my accusers You certainly did not find these words in the Latin copies of my work. Whence then did it come into the papers from which he was reading? I, the translator, did not so write it. Whence then came the words which you who have got no such words of mine turn into a ground of accusation? Am I to be accused on the ground of your forgeries? I put the matter in the plainest possible way. There are four books of the work which I translated; and in these books discussions about the Trinity occur in a scattered way, almost as much as one in each page. Let any man read the whole of these and say whether in any passage of my translation such an opinion concerning the Trinity can be found as that which they calumniously represent as occurring in this chapter. If such an opinion can be found, then men may believe that this chapter also is composed in the sense which they pretend. But if in the whole body of these books no such difference of the persons of the Trinity exists anywhere, would not a critic be mad or fatuous if he decided, on the strength of a single paragraph, that a writer had given his adherence to a heresy which in the thousand or so other paragraphs of his work he had combated? But the circumstances of the case are by themselves sufficient to shew the truth to any one who has his wits about him. For if this man had really found the passage in question in my papers, and had felt a difficulty in what he read, he would of course have brought the documents to me and have at once asked for explanations, since, as you well know, we were living as neighbours in Rome. Up to that time we often saw one another, greeted one another as friends, and joined together in prayer; and therefore he would certainly have conferred with me about the points which appeared to him objectionable; he would have asked me how I had translated them, and how they stood in the Greek. c21. I am sure that he would have felt that he had enjoyed a triumph if he could have shown that through his representations I had been induced to correct anything that I had said or written. Or, if he had been driven by his mental excitement to expose the error publicly instead of correcting it, he certainly would not have waited till I had left Rome to attack me, when he might have faced me there and put me to silence. But he was deterred by the consciousness that he was acting falsely; and therefore he did not bring to me as their author the documents which he was determined to incriminate, but carried them round to private houses, to ladies, to monasteries, to Christian men one by one, wherever he might make trouble by his ex parte statements. And he did this just when he was about to leave Rome, so that he might not be arraigned and made to give an account of his actions. Afterwards, by the directions, as I am told, of his master, he went about all through Italy, accusing me, stirring up the people, throwing confusion into the churches, poisoning even the minds of the bishops, and everywhere representing my forbearance as an acknowledgment that I was in the wrong. Such are the arts of the disciple. Meanwhile the master, out in the East, who had said in his letter to Vigilantius "Through my labour the Latins know all that is good in Origen and are ignorant of all that is bad," set to work upon the very books which I had translated, and in his new translation inserted all that I had left out as untrustworthy, so that now, the contrary of what he had boasted has come to pass. The Romans by his labour know all that is bad in Origen and are ignorant of all that is good. By this means he endeavours to draw not Origen only but me also under the suspicion of heresy: and he goes on unceasingly sending out these dogs of his to bark against me in every city and village, and to attack me with their calumnies when I am quietly passing on a journey, and to attempt every speakable and unspeakable mischief against me. What crime, I ask you, have I committed in doing exactly what you have done? If you call me wicked for following your example, what judgment must you pronounce upon yourself? Jerome, Letter lxi, c, 2; a passage which shows that Jerome had adopted much the same method as Rufinus in translating Origen. c22. But now I will turn the tables and put my accuser to the question. Tell me, O great master, if there is anything to blame in a writer, is the blame to be laid on one who reads or translates his works? Heaven forbid, he will say; certainly not; why do you try to circumvent me by your enigmatical questions? Am not I myself both a reader and a translator of Origen? Read my translations and see if you can find any one of his peculiar doctrines in them; especially any of those which I now mark for condemnation. When driven to the point he says:
23. But let us come to these two Commentaries which he alone excepts from the general condemnation and renunciation which he pronounces upon all the rest of his works; we shall see with what modesty and self-restraint he conducts himself in these: Remember that it is by these alone that he has chosen to prove that he is sound in the faith, and that he is altogether opposed to Origen. Let us examine then as witnesses these two books which alone of all his writings are satisfactory to him, namely, the three books of his commentary on the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, and the single book (I think) on Ecclesiastes. Let us for a moment look into the one which comes forward first, the Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians. Even here recognize in his arguments the influence of him who is as his fellow, his partner and his brother mystic, to use his own expression. And first of all, as to these poor weak women about whom he makes himself merry, because they say that after the resurrection they will not have their frail bodies since they will be like the angels. Let us hear what he has to say about them. In the third book of his Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, on the passage in which it is said, "He who loveth his own wife loveth himself, for no man ever hated his own flesh;" after a few other remarks, he says:
24. How, I ask, can you, seeing that your Commentaries contain such doctrines, put them forward to prove your soundness in the faith, and to confute those ideas which you reprove? How do your words tend to reprove those women whom we have spoken of? Besides, has any woman gone so far as to say what you write, namely, that women are to be turned into men and bodies into souls? If bodies are to be turned into spirits, then, according to you, there will be no resurrection not only of the flesh but even of the body, which you admit to be the doctrine even of those whom you have set down as heretics. Where are we to look any more for the body, if it is reduced to a spirit? In that case everything will be spirit, the body will be nowhere. And again, if the wives are to be turned into men, according to this suggestion of yours, that there is to be no difference of sex whatever, by which I suppose you mean that the female sex will entirely cease, being converted into the male, and the male sex will alone remain; I am not sure that you would have the permission of the women to speak here on behalf of their sex. But, even suppose that they grant you this, then with what consistency can you argue that the male sex is any longer necessary, when the female is shown not to be necessary? for there is a natural bond which unites the sexes in mutual dependence, so that, if one does not exist, there is no need of the other. And further, if it is man alone who is to receive at the resurrection the form of clay which was originally given in paradise, what becomes of that which is written, "He made them male and female, and blessed them"? And then, if, as both you yourself say, and also these poor women whom you arraign, there is neither man nor woman, how can bodies be turned into souls, or women into men, since Paradise does not allow the existence of either sex, nor does the likeness of angels, as you say, admit it? And I marvel how you can demand from others a strict opinion upon the continuance of the diversity of sex when you yourself, as soon as you begin to discuss it, find yourself involved in so many knotty questions that to evolve yourself out of them becomes impossible. How much more right would your action be if you were to imitate us whom you blame in such matters as these and allow God to be the only judge of them, as is indeed the truth. It would be far better for you to confess your ignorance of them than to write things which in a little while you have to condemn. I should like to ask my accuser whether he can conscientiously say that he would ever have found, I do not say in any, even the least, work of mine, but even in any familiar letter which I might have written carelessly to a friend, such things as that bodies were to be turned into spirits and wives into men, were it not that he had put them forward as if he wished them to be inserted in brazen letters on the gates of cities, and recited in the forum, in the Senate house and in front of the rostra. If he had found any such thing in my writings, imagine how many heads of accusation he would have set down, how many volumes he would have compiled, how he would be assailing me with all the arms and shafts of that teeming breast of his; how he would have said: "I tell you that he is deceiving you by speaking of the resurrection of the body, for he denies the resurrection of the flesh; or even if he confesses the resurrection of the flesh he denies that of the members and the sex: but, if you do not believe me, behold and see the very words of his letter, in which he says that bodies are to be turned into souls and wives into men." Yet, when you write this, we are not to call you a heretic, but are to give satisfaction to you as though you were our master. And as for those women whom you have attacked with your indecent reproaches, they will, when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ, bring forward what you have taught them in these Commentaries as well as the things which you have since written, with insults which show that you had forgotten yourself; and both the one and the other will be read out there, where the favour of men will have ceased, and the applause for which you pay by flattery will be silent, and they will be judged together with their author for these words and deeds of yours before Christ the righteous judge. Gen. i. 27 c25. But now let us go on to discuss what he writes further as to God's judgment, for this too is a matter of the faith. We shall find that as he alters the faith about the resurrection of the flesh in other points, so he does in reference to God's judgment. In the first book of the Commentaries on the Ep. of Paul to the Ephesians, he deals with that passage in which the Apostle says: "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blemish before him." On this he says:
26. So far he has set forth a single exposition of the passage; but on whose authority he wishes us to receive this interpretation he has not made clear. What he has done is to make void this first interpretation by what comes after: for he goes on: "But there is another, who tries to show that God is just." He therefore points out that by that first exposition the justice of God is not vindicated, which of course is contrary to the faith: and he goes on through the mouth of this other,' whose assertions he evidently wishes to exhibit as being what is everywhere held for catholic and indubitable, to give a testimony by which he will, as he asserts, seek to show that God is just. Let us see then what this other man' says, who proclaims the justice of God.
27. Such are the doctrines which are to be found in these works of yours which you single out from all that you have written, and which you desire men to read over again to the prejudice of all the rest. It is in these very Commentaries that these doctrines are written. There was, you say, an invisible world before this visible one came into being. You say that in this world, along with the other inhabitants, that is the angels, there were also souls. You say that these souls, for reasons known to God alone, enter into bodies at the time of birth in this visible world: those souls, you say, who in a former age had been inhabitants of heaven, now dwell here, on this earth, and that not without reference to certain acts which they had committed while they lived there. You say further that all the saints, such as Paul and others like him in each generation were predestinated by God for the purpose of recalling them by their preaching to that habitation from which they had fallen: and all this you support by very copious warranties of Scripture. But are not these statements precisely those for which you now arraign Origen, and for which alone you demand that he should be condemned? What other' than him who says such things as these do you condemn in your writings? And yet if these statements are to be condemned, as you now urge, you will first pronounce judgment on these statements, and then find that you have condemned yourself by anticipation. No other refuge remains for you. There is no room for any of these twists and turns for which you blame others: for it is just when you are doing penance and have been converted, when you have been corrected and put in the way of amendment, that you have stamped these books with fresh authority, to prove to us by their means what your opinion was as to the doctrines which ought to be condemned: and therefore what you have there written must be taken as if we heard you now distinctly making the statements contained in them. Yet in these very books you yourself make the statements which you say are to be condemned. But no! you will say: it is not I that make them. It is the other' who thus speaks, that is, of course, the man who I now declare ought to be condemned. Well, let us recall, if you please, that particular line in which you change the person of the speaker, that we may see who it is whom you represent as building up this strange theory. You say, then, that it is another,' who is endeavouring to show that God is just, who says these things which we have set down just above. If you say that this other' who by this assertion of his proves God to be just is separate and divers from yourself, what then, I ask, is your own opinion? Must we say that you deny that God is just? Oh, great Master, you who see so sharply, and are so hard upon the moles that have no eyes: you seem to have got yourself into a most impossible position, where you are shut in on every side. Either you must deny that God is just by declaring yourself other than, and contrary to, him who says these things, or if you confess God to be just, as all the Church does, then it is you yourself who make the assertions in question; in which case the sentence which you pass upon another falls upon you, you are thrust through with your own spear. I think that this is enough for your conviction before the most righteous judges whose judgment anticipates that of God: not that they would condemn the man who sees the mote in his brother's eye but does not see the beam in his own; but they would try to bring him to a better mind and to true repentance. Talpas oculis captos. Virg, Georg. i, 183. c28. But it is possible that this particular passage may have escaped his observation, although he thought that he had revised these books so as to make them perfectly clear, and put them forward as giving a profession of his faith, to the prejudice of all the rest. Let us see then what are his opinions in other parts. In the same book when he comes to the passage where it is written "According to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glory," he makes these remarks among others:
29. What can be more distinct than this statement? What could possibly be thought or said whether by Origen or by any of those whom you say that you condemn, which would be clearer than this, that the inequality of conditions which exists among those who are born into this world is ascribed to the justice of God? You say that the cause of the salvation or perdition of each soul is to be found in itself, that is, in the passions and dispositions which it has shown in its previous life in that new Jerusalem which is the mother of us all. "But this too," he will say no doubt, "is not said by myself. I described it as the opinion of another: moreover, I used the expression they seize upon the opportunity.'" Well, I do not deny that you make it appear that you are speaking of another. But you have not denied that this man about whom you are speaking is in agreement and accord with you: you have not said that he is in opposition or hostility to you. For, when you use this formula of another' in reference to one who is really opposed to you, you habitually, after setting down a few of his words, at once impugn and overthrow them: you do this in the case of Marcion, Valentinus, Arius and others. But when, as in this instance, you use, indeed, this formula of another,' but report his words fortified by the strongest assertions and by the most abundant testimonies of Scripture, is it not evident even to us who are so slow of understanding, and whom you speak of as moles,' that he whose words you set down and do not overthrow, is no other than yourself, and that we have here a case of the figure well known to rhetoricians, when they use another man's person to set forth their own opinions. Such figures are resorted to by rhetoricians when they are afraid of offending particular people, or when they wish to avoid exciting ill-will against themselves. But, if you think that you have avoided blame by putting forward another' as the author of these statements, how much more free from it is he whom you accuse. For his mode of action is much more cautious. He is not content with merely saying, "This is what others say," or "so some men think," but, "As to this or that I do not decide, I only suggest," and, "If this seems to any one more probable, let him hold to it, putting the other aside." He has been very careful in his statements, as you know; and yet you summon him to be tried and condemned. You think that you have escaped because you speak of another': but the points on which you condemn him are precisely those in which you follow and imitate him. c30. But let us proceed in our study of these Commentaries; otherwise, in dwelling too long upon a few special points, we may be prevented from taking notice of the greater number. In the same book and the same passage are the words "To the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ." His comment is:
31. But let this pass, for what follows is of more importance. I thank God that he has relieved me from a very serious burden of suspicion. Perhaps I seemed to some people to be acting contentiously and calumniously when I insinuated that, according to a figure of rhetoric, when he spoke of another' he meant himself. But to prevent all further doubt from resting in the minds of his hearers, he has himself declared that it is so. Like a truly good teacher, who would not wish any ambiguity about his sayings to remain in the minds of his pupils, he has been so good as to shew quite clearly who that other' was of whom he had spoken before. He therefore says, "But, as it stands, the addition of the preposition before' leads us to explain it according to the ideas which we argued in a former place to be necessary." You see, he means that it is we, and not some other, no one knows who, as you may have thought, who in the former place argued thus, when we were expounding the words "Who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." It was to meet the case of the less intelligent persons, who might think that what was there said was spoken by some one else, to prevent any error on the point remaining in the minds of those whom he had begged to read these books so that they might see what his opinion of Origen was, that he now acknowledges this opinion as his own, and, no longer speaking of another,' says what we have quoted before; namely, that, as God had before blessed us with all spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly places, and had chosen us before the foundation of the world; so also we are said to have trusted in Christ at that former time in which we were elected and predestinated and blessed in heaven. He himself therefore, as it seems to me, has by his own testimony, absolved me from all suspicion of speaking a calumny when I say that that other' is no other' than himself. c30 (a). But, I undertook to shew something of more importance still in what follows. After he had said that we had hoped in Christ before, and that in the time before the foundation of the world and before we were born in our bodies, we had been blessed and chosen in heaven, he again introduces that other' of his, and says: "Another, who does not admit this doctrine that we had a previous existence and had hope in Christ before we lived in this body, would have us understand the matter in his own way." In this passage this other,' whoever he may be, has put forth all his ill savour. Let him tell us then whom he means by this other' who does not admit this opinion that before we lived in this body we both existed and hoped in Christ--for which he requires us to condemn Origen. Whom does he wish us to understand by this other'? Is it some one opposed to himself? What do you say, great master? You are pressed by that two-horned dilemma of which you are so fond of speaking to your disciples. For, if you say that by this other' who does not admit that souls existed before they lived in the body you mean yourself, you have betrayed the secret which in the previous passages was concealed. It is now found out that you by your own confession are that other who have fashioned all the doctrines of which you now demand the condemnation. But if we are not to believe you to be the other' of the former passage, so that the doctrines which you now impugn may not be ascribed to you, we have no right to consider you in this case to be the other' who does not admit that our souls existed before we lived in bodies. Choose either side you like as the ground of your acquittal. This other,' whom you so frequently bring in, are we to understand by him yourself or some one else? Do you wish that he should be thought by us to be a catholic or a heretic? Is he to be acquitted or condemned? If that other' of yours is a catholic, the man who said in the former passage that before this visible world our souls had their abode among the angels and the other heavenly powers in the heavenly places in Jerusalem which is above, and that they there contracted those dispositions which caused the diversities of their birth into the world and of the other conditions to which they are now subject, then these must be esteemed to be catholic doctrines, and we know that it is an impiety to condemn what is catholic. But if you call this other' a heretic, you must also brand as a heretic the other' who will not admit that souls existed and hoped in Christ before they were born in the body. Which way can you get out of this dilemma, my master? Whither will you break forth? To what place will you escape? Whichever way you betake yourself, you will stick fast. Not only is there no avenue by which you can withdraw yourself; there is not even the least breathing space left you. Is this all the profit you have gained from Alexander's Commentaries on Aristotle, and Porphyry's Introduction? Is this the result of the training of all those great Philosophers by whom you tell us you were educated, with all their learning, Greek and Latin, and Jewish into the bargain? Have they ended by bringing you into these inextricable straits, in which you are so pitifully confined that the very Alps could give you no refuge? c31 (a). But let us spare him now. We must bend to our examination of the books; for, to use an expression of his own, a great work leaves no time for sleep; though indeed he himself spares nobody, and does not so much use reasonable speech as lash with the scourge of his tongue whomsoever he pleases; and any one who refuses to flatter him must expect to be branded at once as a heretic both in his treatises and in hundreds of letters sent to all parts of the world. Let us not follow his example, but rather that of the patriarch David, who, when he had surprised his enemy Saul in the cave and might have slain him, refused to do so, but spared him. This man knows well how often I have done the same by him, both in word and deed; and if he does not choose to confess it, he has it fixed at least in his mind and conscience. I will pardon him then, though he never pardons others, but condemns men for their words without any consideration or charity; and for the present I will let him come out from this pit, until he falls into that other, from which all of us together will be unable to deliver him, however much we may wish and strive. He has to explain how it comes to pass that, in the first passage, where that doctrine was being asserted which sought to vindicate the justice of God, he really meant to speak of some one else, and that that person was the one whom he now wishes to have condemned; yet in the second passage, where the speaker says the opposite and does not admit what has been said before, the other' whom he speaks of means himself. It is possible that he may feel sure that this was what he meant, but that he was not able to make it plain in writing. Let us give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that in this latter passage the other' is himself, and that it is he who does not admit the doctrine which holds that before our life in the body began our souls existed and hoped in Christ. I will quote the entire passage, and prosecute a fresh and diligent inquiry to see what it tends to. He says thus:
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:
35. But I beg you to listen patiently as I follow him in his continual recurrence to these same doctrines--not indeed in all that he says of them, for it is so much that I should have to write many volumes if I tried to exhaust it--but as much as will satisfy the reader that it is not by chance that he slips into these notions which he now proposes for imitation to his disciples, but that he supports them by large and frequent assertion. Let us see what it is that he teaches us in these the most approved of his Commentaries. In this same book he teaches that there is for men the possibility of both rising and falling, not in the present age only but in that which is to come. On the passage in which the words occur: "Far above all Principality and Power and Might and Dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but in that which is to come," he has the following among other remarks:
36. I will address the Master in one of his own phrases. Why, after nearly four hundred years, do you give such teachings as these to the Latin people with their peaceable and simple minds! Why do you inflict on unaccustomed ears new-sounding words, which no one finds in the writings of the Apostles? I beseech you, spare the ears of the Romans, spare that faith which the Apostle praised. Why do you bring out in public what Peter and Paul were unwilling to publish? Did not the Christian world exist without any of these things until--not as you say I made my translations, but up to the time when you wrote what I have quoted, that is till some fifteen years ago? For what is this teaching of yours, that in the world to come there will still be risings and fallings,--that some will go forward and some go back? If that be true, then what you say, that in this world life is either acquired or lost, is not true; unless it has some occult meaning. I do not find that you repent of any of these doctrines which these commentaries contain. Again, you teach that the Church is to be understood as being one body made up not of men only but of angels and all the powers of heaven. You say in commenting on the passage of the same book, in which the words occur "And gave him to be head over all the Church," a little way down: "The Church may be understood as consisting not of men alone, but also of angels, and of all the powers, and reasonable creatures." Again, you say that souls, because in that former life they knew God, now know him not as one previously unknown, but as though after having forgotten him they came to recognize him again. These are the words used in a passage of the same book:
38. Now, as to the expression which he uses, "Some persons say," I think it has been made clear by what I have previously said, that, when he says "some persons say" or "Another says," and does not controvert the opinions which are thus introduced, it is he himself who is this certain' or other' person. And this is proved by the numerous cases which I have pointed out in which he expresses opinions agreeing with these without the introduction of any such person. We must consider therefore in each case whether he expresses any dissent from the other.' For instance, an opinion is put forward that the stars and the other things that are in heaven are reasonable beings and capable of sinning. We must see, therefore, what his own opinion is on this point. Turn to his note, in this book, upon the passage "He must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet." You will find, some way down, the words:
39. You observe how much difference he makes between the souls of men and the angels. Merely the difference between the one sheep and the others, between one drachma and the rest. But he adds something more, a little way further; he says:
40. There are one or two more things on which he wishes condemnation to be passed. One is this: that these men say that the body is a prison, and like a chain round the soul; and that they assert that the soul does not depart, but returns to the place where it originally was. Let me give quotations to show his opinion on this point also. In the second book of these Commentaries, on the passage "For this cause, I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ," he says, a little way down;
41. You see how he represents these opinions as things which are held as a kind of esoteric mystery by certain persons, of whom, however, he is one, as we have shewn over and over again: only, he uses this figure of speech so that he may escape the imputations attached to this mystic gnosis. You see, he will tell us, how the matter stands. You would never think of attributing to me the opinion that all things are eventually to be restored to one condition, and to be made up again into one body. I beg you not to impute this to me. If I say that an opinion is another man's, let it be another's; if you afterwards find any opinion written down without any other' person being thrown in, you will be right in ascribing it to me. What then? are we to lose the fruit of all the trouble we have taken further back on this point? Such is the power of effrontery. However, let it be as he chooses; I put aside the truth of the matter and accept his own terms; but he will still be convicted. I will refer on the matter now in hand to the second book of these Commentaries, at the passage "Giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit, even as ye were called in one hope of your calling." After several remarks, he proceeds:
42. I have given you one instance in which he has expressed his own opinion without any ambiguity on the universal resurrection. I will give one more, and with this bring to an end the first book of my Apology. His statements, indeed, on this point are innumerable. The one I select is on the passage where it is written: "From whom all the body, fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love." He begins thus:
43. These things which you have said are read by all who know Latin, and you yourself request them to read them: such sayings, I mean as these: that all rational creatures, as can be imagined by taking a single rational animal as an example, are to be formed anew into one body, just as if the members of a single man after being torn apart should be formed anew by the art of Æsculapius into the same solid body as before: that there will be among them as amongst the members of the body various offices, which you specify, but that the body will be one, that is, of one nature: this one body made up of all things you call the original church, and to this you give the name of the body of Christ; and further you say that one member of this church will be the apostate angel, that is, of course, the devil, who is to be formed anew into that which he was first created: that man in the same way, who is another of the members, will be recalled to the culture of the garden of Eden as its original husbandman. All those things you say one after the other, without bringing in the person of that other' whom you usually introduce when you speak of such matters cautiously, and like one treading warily, so as to make men think that you had some hesitation in deciding matters so secret and abstruse. Origen indeed, the man whose disciple you do not deny that you are, and whose betrayer you confess yourself to be, always did this, as we see, in dealing with such matters. But you, as if you were the angel speaking by the mouth of Daniel or Christ by that of Paul, give a curt and distinct opinion on each point, and declare to the ears of mortals all the secrets of the ages to come. Then you speak thus to us: "O multitude of the faithful, place no faith in any of the ancients. If Origen had some thoughts about the more secret facts of the divine purposes, let none of you admit them. And similarly if one of the Clements said any such things, whether he who was a disciple of the apostle or he of the church of Alexandria who was the master of Origen himself; yes even if they were said by the great Gregory of Pontus, a man of apostolic virtues, or by the other Gregory, of Nazianzus, and Didymus the seeing prophet, both of them my teachers, than whom the world has possessed none more deeply taught in the faith of Christ. All these have erred as Origen has erred; but let them be forgiven, for I too have erred at times, and I am now behaving myself as a penitent, and ought to be forgiven. But Origen, since he said the same things which I have said, shall receive no forgiveness though he has done penance; nay, for saying the things which we all have said, he alone shall be condemned. He it is who has done all the mischief; he who betrayed to us the secret of all that we say or write, of all which makes us seem to speak learnedly, of all that was good in Greek but which we have made bad in Latin. Of all these let no man listen to a single one. Accept those things alone which you find in my Commentaries, and especially in those on the Epistle to the Ephesians, in which I have most painfully confuted the doctrines of Origen. My researches have reached this result, that you must believe and hold the resurrection of the flesh in this sense that men's bodies will be turned into spirits and their wives into men; and that before the foundation of the world souls existed in heaven, and thence, for reasons known to God alone, were brought down into this valley of tears, and were inserted into this body of death; that, in the end of the ages the whole of nature, being reasonable, will be fashioned again into one body as it was in the beginning, that man will be recalled into Paradise, and the apostate angel will be exalted above Peter and Paul, since they, being but men, must be placed in the lower position of paradise, while he will be restored to be that which he was originally created; and that all shall together make up the Church of the first born in heaven, and, while placed each in his separate office, shall be equally members of Christ: but all of them taken together will be the perfect body of Christ. Hold then to these things, my faithful and discreet disciples, and guard them as my unhesitating definitions of truth; but for the same doctrines pronounce your condemnation upon Origen; so you will do well. Fare ye well." Didymus, the blind teacher of Alexandria. Jerome who admired him, though he was a disciple of Origen, delights in calling him, in contrast to his blindness, the Seer. c44. You do all this, you know well enough, laughing at us in your sleeve: and you profess penitence merely to deceive those to whom you write. Even if your penitence is sincere, as it should be, what is to become of all those souls who for so many years have been led astray by this poisonous doctrine as you call it which you then professed. Besides, who will ever mend his ways on account of your penitence, when that very document, in which you are at once the penitent, the accuser and the judge, sends your readers back to those same doctrines as those which they are to read and to hold. Lastly, even if these things were not so, yet you yourself, after your penitence, have stopped up every avenue of forgiveness. You say that Origen himself repented of these doctrines, and that he sent a document to that effect to Fabian who was at that time Bishop of the city of Rome; and yet after this repentance of his, and after he has been dead a hundred and fifty years, you drag him into court and call for his condemnation. How is it possible then that you should receive forgiveness, even though you repent, since he who before was penitent for emitting those doctrines gains no forgiveness? He wrote just as you have written: he repented as you have repented. You ought therefore either both of you to be absolved for your repentance, or, if you refuse forgiveness to a penitent (which I do not desire to see you insist upon), to be both of you equally condemned. There is a parable of the Gospel which illustrates this. A woman taken in adultery was brought before our Lord by the Jews, so that they might see what judgment he would pronounce according to the law. He, the merciful and pitying Lord, said: "He that is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her." And then, it is said, they all departed. The Jews, impious and unbelieving though they were, yet blushed through their own consciousness of guilt; since they were sinners, they would not appear publicly as executing vengeance on sinners. And the robber upon the cross, said to the other robber who was hanging like him on a cross, and was blaspheming, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing we are in the same condemnation?" But we condemn in others the things of which we ourselves are conscious; yet we neither blush like the Jews nor are softened like the robber. John viii. 9 cBook II.
2. Let us see what my adversary himself says on this point in those Commentaries which he has selected. In the second book, in commenting on the words "Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth to his neighbour, for we are members one of another" (after a short introduction) he speaks as follows:
3. He has endeavoured, indeed, to brand us with the stain of this false teaching by speaking to some of our brethren, and he repeats this by various letters, according to his recognized plan of action. It is nothing to me what he may write or assert, but, since he raises this question about a doctrine of perjury, I will state my opinion upon it, and then leave him to pass judgment upon himself. It is this. Since our Lord and Saviour says in the Gospels "It was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt pay to the Lord thy vows, but I say unto you, Swear not at all;" I say that every one who teaches that for any cause whatever we may swear falsely, is alien from the faith of Christ and from the unity of the catholic church. Matt. v. 33, 34 c4. But I should like, now that I have satisfied you on my own account, and supported my opinion by an anathema, to make this plain to you further, that he himself declares that in certain orgies and mystical societies to which he belongs perjury is practised by the votaries and associates. That is a certain and most true saying of our God, "By their fruits ye shall know them," and this also "A tree is known by its fruits." Well: he says that I have accepted this doctrine of perjury. If then I have been trained to this practice, and this evil tree has indeed its roots within me, it is impossible but that corresponding fruits should have grown upon me, and also that I should have gathered some society of mystic associates around me. As regards myself whom alone he seeks to injure by all that he writes, I will not bear witness to myself, nor will I say that there are cases of necessity in which it is right to swear: for I wish to avoid reproach through timidity if not through prudence; and, at all events, if I fail in obedience to the command, I will acknowledge my error. I will therefore make no boast of this. But, whether I have erred or acted prudently, he at all events can lay his finger on no act of mine by which he can convict me. But I can shew from his writings, that he not only holds this doctrine of perjury, but practises this foul vice as a sacred duty. I will bring nothing against him which has been trumped up by ill will, as he does against me; but I will produce him and his writings as witnesses against himself, so that it may be made clear that it is not his enemies who accuse but he who convicts himself. Matt. vii. 16-20
5. When he was living at Rome he wrote a treatise on the preservation of virginity, which all the pagans and enemies of God, all apostates and persecutors, and whoever else hate the Christian name, vied with one another in copying out, because of the infamous charges and foul reproaches which it contained against all orders and degrees among us, against all who profess and call themselves Christians, in a word, against the universal church; and also because this man declared that the crimes imputed to us by the Gentiles, which were before supposed to be false were really true, and indeed that much worse things were done by our people than those laid to their charge. First, he defames the virgins themselves of whose virtue he professed to be writing, speaking of them in these words:
6. For I will now return, after a sort of digression, to the point I had proposed, and for the sake of which it was necessary to mention this treatise. I will shew that perjury is looked upon by him as lawful, to such a point that he does not care for its being detected in his writings. In this same treatise he admonishes the reader that it is wrong to study secular literature, and says, "What has Horace to do with the Psaltery, or Virgil with the Gospels, or Cicero with St. Paul? Will not your brother be offended if he sees you sitting at meat in that idol's temple?" And then, after more of the same kind, in which he declares that a Christian must have nothing to do with the study of secular literature, he gives an account of a revelation divinely made to him and filled with fearful threatenings upon the subject. He reports that, after he had renounced the world, and had turned to God, he nevertheless was held in a tight grip by his love of secular books, and found it hard to put away his longing for them.
7. You observe how new and terrible a form of oath this is which he describes. The Lord Jesus Christ sits on the tribunal as judge, the angels are assessors, and plead for him; and there, in the intervals of scourgings and tortures, he swears that he will never again have by him the works of heathen authors nor read them. Now look back over the work we are dealing with, and tell me whether there is a single page of it in which he does not again declare himself a Ciceronian, or in which he does not speak of our Tully,' our Flaccus,' our Maro.' As to Chrysippus and Aristides, Empedocles and all the rest of the Greek writers, he scatters their names around him like a vapour or halo, so as to impress his readers with a sense of his learning and literary attainments. Amongst the rest, he boasts of having read the books of Pythagoras. Many learned men, indeed, declare these books to be non-extant: but he, in order that he may illustrate every part of his vow about heathen authors, declares that he has read even those which do not exist in writing. In almost all his works he sets out many more and longer quotations from these whom he calls his own' than from the Prophets and Apostles who are ours. Even in the works which he addresses to girls and weak women, who desire, as is right, only to be edified by teaching out of our Scriptures, he weaves in illustrations from his own' Flaccus and Tullius and Maro. Cicero, Horace and Virgil. c8. Take the treatise which he entitles "On the best mode of translating," though there is nothing in it except the addition of the title which is of the best, for all is of the worst; and in which he proves those to be heretics with whom he is now in communion, thus incurring the condemnation of our Apostle (not his, for those whom he calls his' are Flaccus and Tully) who says, "He who judges is condemned if he eat." In that treatise, which tells us that no works of any kind reasonably admit of a rendering word for word (though he has come round now to think such rendering reasonable) he inserts whole passages from a work of Cicero. But had he not said, "What has Horace to do with the Psalter, or Maro with the Gospels, or Cicero with the Apostle? Will not your brother be offended if he sees you sitting in that idol temple?" Here of course he brings himself in guilty of idolatry; for if reading causes offence, much more does writing. But, since one who turns to idolatry does not thereby become wholly and completely a heathen unless he first denies Christ, he tells us that he said to Christ, as he sat on the judgment seat with his most exalted angel ministers around him, "If I ever hereafter read or possess any heathen books, I have denied thee," and now he not only reads them and possesses them, not only copies them and collates them, but inserts them among the words of Scripture itself, and in discourses intended for the edification of the Church. What I say is well enough known to all who read his treatises, and requires no proof. But it is just like a man who is trying to save himself from such a gulf of sacrilege and perjury, to make up some excuse for himself, and to say, as he does: "I do not now read them, I have a tenacious memory, so that I can quote various passages from different writers without a break, and I now merely quote what I learned in my youth." Well: if some one were to ask me to prove that before the sun rose this morning there was night over the earth, or that at sunset the sun had been shining all day, I should answer that, if a man doubted about what all men knew, it was his business to shew cause for his doubts, not for me to shew cause for my certainty. Still in this instance, where a man's soul is at stake, and the crime of perjury and of impious denial of Christ is alleged, a condemnation must not be thought to be a thing of course, even though the facts are known and understood by all men. We are not to imitate him who condemns the accused before they have undergone any examination; and not only without a hearing, but without summoning them to appear; and not only unsummoned, but when they are already dead; and not only the dead, but those whom he had always praised, till then; and not only those whom he had praised, but whom he had followed and had taken as his masters. We must fear the judgment of the Lord, who says "Judge not and ye shall not be judged," and again, "With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again." Therefore, though it is really superfluous, I will bring against him a single witness, but one who must prevail, and whom he cannot challenge, that is, once more, himself and his own writings. All can attest what I say in reference to this treatise of his; and my assertion about it seems to be superfluous; but I must make use of some special testimony, lest what I say should seem unsatisfactory to those who have not read his works. Letter lvii.
9. When he wrote his treatises against Jovinian, and some one had raised objections to them, he was informed of these objections by Domnio, that old man whose memory we all revere; and in his answer to him he said that it was impossible that a man like him should be in the wrong, since his knowledge extended to everything that could be known: and he proceeded to enumerate the various kinds of syllogisms, and the whole art of learning and of writing (of course supposing that the man who found fault with him knew nothing about such things). He then goes on thus:
10. You chose a bad introducer. If you will take my counsel, both you and I will by preference turn to him who introduces us to the Father and who said No man cometh unto the Father but by me.' I lament for you, my brother, if you believe this; and if you believe it not, I still lament that you hunt through all sorts of ancient and antiquated documents for grounds for suspecting other men of perjury, while perjury, lasting and endless with all its inexplicable impiety, remains upon your own lips. Might not these words of the Apostle be rightly applied to you: "Thou that art called a Jew and restest in the law, and makest thy boast in God, being instructed out of the law, and trustest that thou thyself art a leader of the blind, a light of them that sit in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, who hast a form of knowledge and of the truth in the law: Thou therefore, that teachest others, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that preachest that a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege"--that is perjury? And, what comes last and most important, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you," and your love of strife. John xiv. 6
11. If, then, you really intend to do an act of repentance for those evil speeches of yours, if you are not merely mocking us by saying this, and if you are not in your heart such a lover of strife and contention that you are willing even to defame yourself on this sole condition that you may be able thereby to besmirch another; if it is not in pretence but in good faith that you repent of what you have said amiss, come and do penance for this great and foul blasphemy; for it is indeed blasphemy against God. For if a man oversteps the mark by speaking erroneously of mere creatures, this is not such a very execrable crime, especially if he does it, as you say, not with a set purpose of blasphemy, but in seeking to vindicate the justice of God. But to lift up your mouth against the heaven is a grave offence; to speak violence and blasphemy against the Most High is worthy of death. Let us bestow our lamentations upon that which is hard to cure; for what man is there who has the jaundice, and is in danger both of looks and life, who will complain loudly because of a little hangnail on his foot or because a scratch made with his own finger which easily yields to remedies, is not yet cured? Morbus regius; used variously for jaundice and leprosy. See Jer. Life of Hilarion, c. 34. c12. I think very little, indeed, of one reproach which he levels against me, and think it hardly worthy of a reply; that, namely, in which, in recounting the various teachers whom he hired, as he says, from the Jewish synagogue, he says, in order to give me a sharp prick, "I have not been my own teacher, like some people," meaning me of course, for he brings the whole weight of his invective to bear against me from beginning to end. Indeed, I wonder that he should have chosen to make a point of this, when he had a greater and easier matter at hand by which to disparage me, namely this, that, though I stayed long among many eminent teachers, yet I have nothing to show which is worthy of their teaching or their training. He indeed, has not in his whole life stayed more than thirty days at Alexandria where Didymus lived; yet almost all through his books he boasts, at length and at large, that he was the pupil of Didymus the seer, that he had Didymus as his initiator, that is, his preceptor in the holy Scriptures; and the material for all this boasting was acquired in a single month. But I, for the sake of God's work, stayed six years, and again after an interval for two more, where Didymus lived, of whom alone you boast, and where others lived who were in no way inferior to him, but whom you did not know even by sight, Serapion and Menites, men who are like brothers in life and character and learning; and Paul the old man, who had been the pupil of Peter the Martyr; and, to come to the teachers of the desert, on whom I attended frequently and earnestly, Macarius the disciple of Anthony, and the other Macarius, and Isidore and Pambas, all of them friends of God, who taught me those things which they themselves were learning from God. What material for boasting should I have from all these men, if boasting were seemly or expedient! But the truth is, I blush even while I weave together these past experiences, which I do with the intention, not of showing you, as you put it, that my masters did not do justice to my talents, but, what I grieve over far more, that my talents have not done justice to my masters.
13. But why should I prolong this discussion? I shall take no notice of his reproaches and railings; I shall make no answer to his violent attacks, that daily task of his, for which Porphyry sharpened his pen. For I have chosen Jesus, not Barabbas, for my master, and he has taught me to be silent when reviled. I will come to the point where I will shew how much truth there is in the excuses for himself and the accusations against me which he has heaped together. He says that it is only in two short Prefaces that he ever was known to have praised Origen; and that his praise extended only to his work as an interpreter of Scripture, in which nothing is said of doctrine or of the faith, and that in those parts of his works which he has himself translated there is absolutely nothing advanced of the kind which he now reproves in the interest of the Synagogue rather than that of the edification of Christians. It ought, one would think, be enough to put him to silence, that those very things which he set forth in his own books he blames in those of others; nevertheless, let us see how far these other assertions of his are true. In the Preface to the commentaries of Origen on Ezekiel, contained in fourteen homilies or short orations, he writes thus to one Vincentius:
19. But perhaps you will say to me: "Why do you fill your paper with this superfluous matter? Does even my friend say that it is a crime to name Origen, or to give him praise for his talents? If Origen is proclaimed as such and so great a man,' this makes us the more anxious to be told whether he is in other passages spoken of as an apostolic man,' or a teacher of the churches,' or by any similar expressions which appear to commend not only his talents but his faith." This then shall be done. It was indeed for this purpose that I produced the passage where he speaks of him as such and so great a man,' because it was, if I am not mistaken, in the Preface this laudatory expression is used about him that he also claims the right of Origen to be called an Apostle or a Prophet, and to be praised even to the heavens. And in the same way, if there are passages in which I happen to have praised Origen's learning, all my praise is just of this kind. This man rouses all this alarm in you because of such expressions of mine; but he maintains that it is unjust to bring up similar expressions against him when they occur in his own writings. But, since he does not choose to stand on equal terms with us before the tribunal of opinion, but condemns us on mere suspicion, while he himself does not hold himself bound even by his own handwriting; since he, I say, does not think it necessary in such a matter to observe the rule of holy Scripture which demands that each man should be judged without respect of persons; I will make answer for myself, not according to the demands of justice, but according to his wishes. He says to me: "If you have translated Origen, you are to be blamed; but I, even if I have said the very things for which I blame him, have done well, and these ought to be read and held as true. If you have praised his talents or his knowledge, you have committed a crime; if I have praised his talents, it goes for nothing." c20. Well then; he says, "Give me an instance in which I have so praised him as to defend his system of belief." You have no right to ask this, I reply; yet I will follow where you lead. There is a certain writing of his in which he gives a short catalogue of the works which Varro wrote for the Latins, and of those which Origen wrote in Greek for the Christians. In this 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:
23. You see by this what his opinions are about Origen and also about Ambrose. If he should deny that his strictures apply to Ambrose, which every one knows, he will be convicted in the first place by the fact that there is a Commentary of his on Luke which is current among the Latins, and none by any other hand. But secondly he knows that I possess a letter of his in which, while he discharges others, he makes his strictures fall upon Ambrose. But, since that letter contains certain more secret matters, I do not wish to see it published before the right time; and therefore I will corroborate what I say by other proofs similar to it. In the meantime let this be counted as demonstrated by what I have said above, that he extols Origen's writings as in every way admirable, and declares that if he translates them, the Roman tongue will then recognize what a store of good it had hitherto been ignorant of and now has begun to understand,' that is the twenty six books on Matthew, the five on Luke, and the thirty two on John. These are the books to which he gives the highest honour; and in these absolutely everything is to be found which is contained in the books on Peri 'Archon, the groundwork of his charges against me, only set forth with greater breadth and fulness. If then he promises that he will translate these, why does he condemn me for a similar course? But now I have undertaken to prove how violently he attacks a man who is worthy of all admiration, Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, who was not to that church alone but to all the churches like a column or an impregnable fortress. I will therefore set forth a Preface of his by which you may see in what foul and unworthy terms he assails even a man of such eminence, and also how he praises Didymus to the sky, though he has since cast him down even to the infernal region; and further how he speaks of the city of Rome, which now through the grace of God is reckoned by Christians as their capital, words which were only applicable when its inhabitants were a nation who were heathens and princes who were persecutors. c24. The Preface is that for the treatise of Didymus on the Holy Spirit. It is addressed to Paulinianus, and is as follows.
25. You observe how he treats Ambrose. First, he calls him a crow and says that he is black all over; then he calls him a jackdaw who decks himself in other birds' showy feathers; and then he rends him with his foul abuse, and declares that there is nothing manly in a man whom God has singled out to be the glory of the churches of Christ, who has spoken of the testimonies of the Lord even in the sight of persecuting kings and has not been alarmed. The saintly Ambrose wrote his book on the Holy Spirit not in words only but with his own blood; for he offered his life-blood to his persecutors, and shed it within himself, although God preserved his life for future labours. Suppose that he did follow some of the Greek writers belonging to our Catholic body, and borrowed something from their writings, it should hardly have been the first thought in your mind, (still less the object of such zealous efforts as to make you set to work to translate the work of Didymus on the Holy Spirit,) to blaze abroad what you call his plagiarisms, which were very possibly the result of a literary necessity when he had to reply at once to some ravings of the heretics. Is this the fairness of a Christian? Is it thus that we are to observe the injunction of the Apostle, "Do nothing through faction or through vain glory"? But I might turn the tables on you and ask, Thou that sayest that a man should not steal, dost thou steal? I might quote a fact I have already mentioned, namely, that, a little before you wrote your commentary on Micah, you had been accused of plagiarizing from Origen. And you did not deny it, but said: "What they bring against me in violent abuse I accept as the highest praise; for I wish to imitate the man whom we and all who are wise admire." Your plagiarisms redound to your highest praise; those of others make them crows and jackdaws in your estimation. If you act rightly in imitating Origen whom you call second only to the Apostles, why do you sharply attack another for following Didymus, whom nevertheless you point to by name as a Prophet and an apostolic man? For myself I must not complain, since you abuse us all alike. First you do not spare Ambrose, great and highly esteemed as he was; then the man of whom you write that he was second only to the Apostles, and that all the wise admire him, and whom you have praised up to the skies a thousand times over, not as you say in two, but in innumerable places, this man who was before an Apostle, you now turn round and make a heretic. Thirdly, this very Didymus whom you designate the Seer-Prophet, who has the eye of the bride in the Song of Songs, and whom you call according to the meaning of his name an Apostolic man, you now on the other hand criminate as a perverse teacher, and separate him off with what you call your censor's rod, into the communion of heretics. I do not know whence you received this rod. I know that Christ once gave the keys to Peter: but what spirit it is who now dispenses these censors' rods, it is for you to say. However, if you condemn all those I have mentioned with the same mouth with which you once praised them, I who in comparison of them am but like a flea, must not complain, I repeat, if now you tear me to pieces, though once you praised me, and in your Chronicle equalled me to Florentius and Bonosus for the nobleness, as you said, of my life. Ps. cxix. 46
26. There is also an astonishing action of his in relation to Melania, which I must not pass by in silence because of the shame which those who hear it may feel. She was the granddaughter of the Consul Marcellinus; and in these very Chronicles he had narrated how she was the first lady of the Roman nobility to visit Jerusalem; how she had left her son, then a little child, behind her at Rome, and how the name of Thecla was given her on account of her signal merit and virtue. But afterwards, when he found that some of his deeds were disapproved by this lady through the stricter discipline of her life, he erased her name from all the copies of his work.
27. But there is danger of expanding my treatise too far and becoming burdensome to the reader; it is sufficient that in the passages I have cited he speaks of Origen as almost an Apostle and a teacher of the churches, and says that it is not because of his novel doctrines as the mad dogs pretend that the senate of Rome is excited against him; that he follows him because he himself and all the wise approve him; and all the other testimonies, adduced from his prefaces which are inserted above. But, however these matters may stand, and whatever your relations may be to these writers whether ancient or modern, and whether you call them Apostles or mere wantons, Prophets or perverse teachers, what is that to me? It is for you to do penance for all your changes of opinion, your violent words and the wounds you have inflicted on good men, whether you have yet done so or not. As for myself, what is the meaning of your saying "If they have followed me when I erred, let them follow me also in my amendment?" Get thee behind me! Far be such a thing from me. I never followed you or any other man in your errors, but in the strength of Christ I will follow, not you nor any other man, but the Catholic church. But you, who have written all these things who have followed those whom you knew to be in error, you who, as I have shewn, have written so unworthily of God, go you, I say, and do penance, if at least you have any hope that your crime of blasphemy can be pardoned. Venerarios, belonging to Venus or love. It might mean beloved ones.' c27 a. I ask whether you can produce anything which I have written, by which you may convict me of having fallen into heresy even in my youth,--anything of such a character as the heresies of which, though you will not confess it, you now stand convicted. I said that I had followed or imitated you in your system of translating, in that alone and in nothing else. Yet you say that by this I have done you all the injury which you complain of. I followed you in such things as I saw that you had done in the Homilies on the Gospel according to Luke. Take the passage: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." When you found that the Greek Commentary had something relating to the Son of God which was not right, you passed it over; whereas the words about the Spirit, which as you may remember, are expressed in the ordinary way, you not only did not pass over but added a few words of your own to make the expression more clear. And so in the note on the words, "Behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into my ears, the babe leaped in my womb," you render: "Because this was not the beginning of his substance," and you add of your own the words "and nature," though both these and a thousand other things in your translations of these homilies or those on Isaiah or Jeremiah, but more particularly in those on Ezekiel, you have now withdrawn. But, in certain places where you found things relating to the faith, that is the Trinity, expressed in a strange manner, you left out words at your discretion. This mode of translation we have both of us observed, and if any one finds fault with it, it is you who ought to make answer, since you made use of it before me. But now the practice which you blame is undoubtedly one for which you may yourself incur blame. The practice of translating word for word you formerly pronounced to be both foolish and injurious. In this I followed you. You can hardly mean that I am to repent of this because you have now changed your opinion, and say that you have translated the present work with literal exactness. In previous cases you took out what was unedifying in matters of faith, though you did so in such a way as not to excise them wholly nor in all cases. For instance, in the Homilies on Isaiah, at the Vision of God Origen refers the words to the Son and the Holy Spirit; and so you have translated, adding, however, words of your own which would make the passage have a more acceptable sense. It stands thus: "Who are then these two Seraphim? My Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit:" but you add of your own, "And do not think that there is any difference in the nature of the Trinity, when the functions indicated by the several persons are preserved." The same thing I have done in a great many cases, either cutting out words or bending them into a sounder meaning. For this you bid me do penance. I do not think that you are of this opinion as regards yourself. If then on this ground no penitence is due from either of us, what other things are there of which you invite me to repent? Luke i. 44
28. I repeat that there are no writings of mine in which there is any error to be corrected. There are many of yours which, as I have shewn, according to your present opinion, ought to be wholly condemned. You made an exception in favour of the Commentaries on the Ephesians, in which you imagined that you had written more correctly. But even you must have seen, as I have shewn, how like they are all through to Origen's views; and, indeed, how they contain something more extreme than the views of which you demand the condemnation. And, were it not that you had cut yourself off from the power of repentance by saying "Read over my Commentaries on the Ep. to the Ephesians, and you will acknowledge that I have opposed the doctrines of Origen;" possibly you might wish to turn round and do penance for those, and in this case, as in the rest, to condemn yourself. As far as I am concerned, I give you full leave to repent of these also; indeed, the best thing that you can do is to do penance for all that you have said and also for all that you are going to say; for it is certain that all that you have ever written is to be repented of. But if any one blame me for having translated anything at all of Origen's, then I say that I am the last of many who have done the deed, and the blame, if any, should begin with the first. But does any one ever punish a deed the doing of which he had not previously forbidden. We did what was permissible. If there is to be a new law, it holds good only for the future. But it may be said that the works themselves ought to be condemned and their author as well. If that be so, what is to happen to the other author who writes the same things, as I have shewn most fully above? He must receive a similar judgment. I do not ask for this nor press for it, although he acts a hostile part towards me. But I cannot but see that he is heaping up such a judgment for himself by his rash condemnation of others. c29. But I must deal with you once more by quoting your own words. You say of me in that invective of yours that I have by my translation shewn that Origen is a heretic while I was a Catholic. The words are: "That is to say, I am a Catholic, but he whom I was translating is a heretic." Yes you say it, I have read it. Well then, if, as you tell us, the result of my whole work is to show that I am a Catholic and Origen a heretic, what more do you want? Is not your whole object gained if Origen is proved a heretic and I a Catholic? If you bear witness that I have said this and have thus given you satisfaction by the whole of my work, what cause of accusation against me remains? What purpose was served by that Invective of yours against me? If I proved Origen to be a heretic and myself a Catholic, was I right or not? If I was, then why do you subject to blame and accusation what was rightly done? But, if it was not right that Origen should be called a heretic, why do you make a charge against me on that head? What need was there for you to translate in a worse sense what I had already translated according to your principles, though in a less elegant style? Especially what need was there for you to play your readers false, and, when they expected one thing, for you to do another? They imagine that you are acting in opposition to those who defend Origen as Catholic; but the person whom you combat and accuse is the man who you say has pronounced him a heretic. Perhaps it was for this that you invited me to do penance; and I had misunderstood you. But even of this I must say that I could not repent, if my repentance implied that I thought all things which are found in his works are catholic. Whether what is uncatholic is his own or, as I think, inserted by others, God only knows: at all events these things, when brought to the standard of the faith and of truth are wholly rejected by me. What then is it that you want me to say? That Origen is a heretic? That is what you say that I have done, and you blame it. That he is a catholic then? Again you make this a ground of accusation against me. Point out more clearly what you mean; possibly there is something which you can find out that lies between the two. This is all the wit that you have gathered from the acuteness of Alexander and Porphyry and Aristotle himself: This is the issue of all the boasting which you make of having from infancy to old age been versed and trained in the schools of rhetoric and philosophy, that you set forth with the intention of pronouncing sentence on Origen as a heretic, and in the very speech in which you are delivering judgment turn upon the man whom you are addressing and accuse him because he also has shown Origen to be a heretic. I beg all men to note that there is in all this no care for the faith or for truth, no earnest thought of religion and sound judgment; there is nothing but the practised lust of evil speaking and accusing the brethren which works in his tongue, nothing but rivalry with his fellow men in his heart, nothing but malice and envy in his mind. So much is this the case that, before any cause of ill feeling existed, and I spoke of you with praise as my brother and colleague, you nevertheless were angry at my advances. Forgive me for not knowing that you were what the Greeks call acatonomastos (akatonomastos), one whom no one dares to address by name. Still, I wonder that you should call upon me to condemn what you complain of me for branding as wrong. Namely, Ep. lxxxiv. c. 7. c30. It seems needless to make any answer to that part of his indictment in which he says that the works of the Martyr Pamphilus, expressed as they are with so much faithfulness and piety, are either not to be considered genuine or if genuine, to be treated with contempt. Is there any one to whose authority he will bow? Is there any one whom he will refrain from abusing? All the old Greek writers of the church, according to him, have erred. As to the Latins, how he disparages them, how he attacks them one by one, both those of the old and those of modern times, any one who reads his various work knows well. Now even the Martyrs fail to gain any respect from him. "I do not believe," he says "that this is really the work of the Martyr." If such an argument were admitted in the case of the works of any writer, how can we prove their genuineness in any particular case? If I were to say, It is not true that books of Miscellanies are Origen's as you maintain, how can they be proved to be his? His answer is, From their likeness to the rest. But, just as, when a man wants to forge some one's signature, he imitates his handwriting, so he who wishes to introduce his own thoughts under another man's name, is sure to imitate the style of him whose name he has assumed. But, to pass over for brevity's sake all that might with great justice be said on this point, if you were determined to be so bold as to question the works of the Martyr, you ought to have brought out publicly the actual statements which seemed to you liable to question, and then every reader could have seen what was absurd in them and what was reasonable, what was unsuitable to or against the system of the Apostles; and especially the great impiety, whatever it may have been, in expiation of which you tell us that the Martyr shed his blood. A man who read those actual words would be able to say, not, as now, on your judgment but on his own, either that the martyr had gone wrong, or that a treatise which was so full of absurdity and unbelief had been composed by some one else. But, as it is, you know well that if the writings which you impugn are read by any one, the blame will be turned back upon him who has unjustly found fault; and therefore you do not cite the passages which you impugn, but with that censor's rod' of yours, and by your own arrogant authority, you make your decrees in this style: "Let this book be cast out of the libraries, let that book be retained; and again, if today a book is accepted, tomorrow if any one but myself has praised it, let it be cast out, and with it the man who praised it. Let this one be counted as Catholic, even though he seems at times to have gone wrong; let that man have no pardon for his error, even though he has said the same things as myself, and let no man translate him nor read him, for fear he should recognize my plagiarisms. This man indeed was a heretic, but he was my master. And this other, though he is a Jew, and of the Synagogue of Satan, and is hired to sell words for gain, yet he is my master who must be preferred to all others, because it is among the Jews alone that the truth of the Scriptures dwells." If the universal Church had with one voice conferred on you this authority, and had demanded of you that you should be the judge of each and all, would it not have been your duty to refuse to allow so heavy and perilous a burden to be laid upon you? But now we have made such progress in the daily habit of disparaging others that we no longer spare even the martyrs. But let us suppose that the work is not that of the martyr Pamphilus, but of some other unknown member of the church; did he, whoever he may have been, employ his own words, I ask, so that we are called upon to defer to the merits of the writer? No. He sets out quotations from the works of Origen himself, and exhibits his opinion upon each question not in the words of the apologist but in those of the accused himself; and, just as in the present treatise what I have quoted from your writings carried much more force than what I have said myself, so also the defence of Origen lies not in the authority of his apologist, but in his own words. The question of authorship is superfluous, when the defence is so conducted as to dispense with the author's aid. c31. But I must come to that head of his inculpation of me which is most injurious and full of ill-will; nay, not of ill-will only but of malice. He says: Which of all the wise and holy men before us has dared to attempt the translation of these books which you have translated? I myself, he adds, though asked by many to do it, have always refused. But the fact is, the excuse to be made for those holy men is easy enough; for it by no means follows because a man of Latin race is a holy and a wise man, that he has an adequate knowledge of the Greek language; it is no slur upon his holiness that he is wanting in the knowledge of a foreign tongue. And further, if he has the knowledge of the Greek language, it does not follow that he has the wish to make translations. Even if he has such a wish, we are not to find fault with him for not translating more than a few works, and for translating some rather than others. Every man has power to do as he likes in such matters according to his own free will or according to the wish of any one who asks him to make the translation. But he brings forward the case of the saintly men Hilary and Victorinus, the first of whom, though well-known as a commentator, translated nothing, I believe, from the Greek; while the other himself tells us that he employed a learned presbyter named Heliodorus to draw what he needed from the Greek sources, while he himself merely gave them their Latin form because he knew little or nothing of Greek. There is therefore a very good reason why these men should not have made this translation. That you should have acted in the same way is, I admit, a matter for wonder. For what further audacity, what larger amount of rashness, would have been required to translate those books of Origen, after you had put almost the whole of their contents into your other works, and, indeed, had already published in books bearing your own name all that is said in those which you now declare worthy of blame? c32. Perhaps it was a greater piece of audacity to alter the books of the divine Scriptures which had been delivered to the Churches of Christ by the Apostles to be a complete record of their faith by making a new translation under the influence of the Jews. Which of these two things appears to you to be the less legitimate? As to the sayings of Origen, if we agree with them, we agree with them as the sayings of a man; if we disagree, we can easily disregard them as those of a mere man. But how are we to regard those translations of yours which you are now sending about everywhere, through our churches and monasteries, through all our cities and walled towns? are they to be treated as human or divine? And what are we to do when we are told that the books which bear the names of the Hebrew Prophets and lawgivers are to be had from you in a truer form than that which was approved by the Apostles? How, I ask, is this mistake to be set right, or rather, how is this crime to be expiated? We hold it a thing worthy of condemnation that a man should have put forth some strange opinions in the interpretation of the law of God; but to pervert the law itself and make it different from that which the Apostles handed down to us,--how many times over must this be pronounced worthy of condemnation? To the daring temerity of this act we may much more justly apply your words: "Which of all the wise and holy men who have gone before you has dared to put his hand to that work?" Which of them would have presumed thus to profane the book of God, and the sacred words of the Holy Spirit? Who but you would have laid hands upon the divine gift and the inheritance of the Apostles? c33. There has been from the first in the churches of God, and especially in that of Jerusalem, a plentiful supply of men who being born Jews have become Christians; and their perfect acquaintance with both languages and their sufficient knowledge of the law is shewn by their administration of the pontifical office. In all this abundance of learned men, has there been one who has dared to make havoc of the divine record handed down to the Churches by the Apostles and the deposit of the Holy Spirit? For what can we call it but havoc, when some parts of it are transformed, and this is called the correction of an error? For instance, the whole of the history of Susanna, which gave a lesson of chastity to the churches of God, has by him been cut out, thrown aside and dismissed. The hymn of the three children, which is regularly sung on festivals in the Church of God, he has wholly erased from the place where it stood. But why should I enumerate these cases one by one, when their number cannot be estimated? This, however, cannot be passed over. The seventy translators, each in their separate cells, produced a version couched in consonant and identical words, under the inspiration, as we cannot doubt, of the Holy Spirit; and this version must certainly be of more authority with us than a translation made by a single man under the inspiration of Barabbas. But, putting this aside, I beg you to listen, for example, to this as an instance of what we mean. Peter was for twenty-four years Bishop of the Church of Rome. We cannot doubt that, amongst other things necessary for the instruction of the church, he himself delivered to them the treasury of the sacred books, which, no doubt, had even then begun to be read under his presidency and teaching. What are we to say then? Did Peter the Apostle of Christ deceive the church and deliver to them books which were false and contained nothing of truth? Are we to believe that he knew that the Jews possessed what was true, and yet determined that the Christians should have what was false? But perhaps the answer will be made that Peter was illiterate, and that, though he knew that the books of the Jews were truer than those which existed in the church, yet he could not translate them into Latin because of his linguistic incapacity. What then! Was the tongue of fire given by the Holy Spirit from heaven of no avail to him? Did not the Apostles speak in all languages? c34. But let us grant that the Apostle Peter was unable to do what our friend has lately done. Was Paul illiterate? we ask; He who was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, touching the law a Pharisee, brought up at the feet of Gamaliel? Could not he, when he was at Rome, have supplied any deficiencies of Peter? Is it conceivable that they, who prescribed to their disciples that they should give attention to reading, did not give them correct and true reading? These men who bid us not attend to Jewish fables and genealogies, which minister questioning rather than edification; and who, again, bid us beware of, and specially watch, those of the circumcision; is it conceivable that they could not foresee through the Spirit that a time would come, after nearly four hundred years, when the church would find out that the Apostles had not delivered to them the truth of the old Testament, and would send an embassy to those whom the apostles spoke of as the circumcision, begging and beseeching them to dole out to them some small portion of the truth which was in their possession: and that the Church would through this embassy confess that she had been for all those four hundred years in error; that she had indeed been called by the Apostles from among the Gentiles to be the bride of Christ, but that they had not decked her with a necklace of genuine jewels; that she had fondly thought that they were precious stones, but now had found out that those were not true gems which the Apostles had put upon her, so that she felt ashamed to go forth in public decked in false instead of true jewels, and that she therefore begged that they would send her Barabbas, even him whom she had once rejected to be married to Christ, so that in conjunction with one man chosen from among her own people, he might restore to her the true ornaments with which the Apostles had failed to furnish her. 1 Tim. iv. 13 c35. What wonder is there then that he should tear me to pieces, being as I am of no account; or that he should wound Ambrose, or find fault with Hilary, Lactantius and Didymus? I must not greatly grieve over any injury of my own in the fact that he has attempted to do my work of translating over again, when he is only treating me with the same contempt with which he has treated the Seventy translators. But this emendation of the Seventy, what are we to think of it? Is it not evident, how greatly the grounds for the heathens' unbelief have been increased by this proceeding? For they take notice of what is going on amongst us. They know that our law has been amended, or at least changed; and do you suppose they do not say among themselves, "These people are wandering at random, they have no fixed truth among them, for you see how they make amendments and corrections in their laws whenever they please," and indeed it is evident that there must have been previous error where amendment has supervened, and that things which undergo change at the hand of man cannot possibly be divine. This has been the present which you have made us with your excess of wisdom, that we are all judged even by the heathen as lacking in wisdom. I reject the wisdom which Peter and Paul did not teach. I will have nothing to do with a truth which the Apostles have not approved. These are your own words: "The ears of simple men among the Latins ought not after four hundred years to be molested by the sound of new doctrines." Now you are yourself saying: "Every one has been under a mistake who thought that Susanna had afforded an example of chastity to both the married and the unmarried. It is not true. And every one who thought that the boy Daniel was filled with the Holy Spirit and convicted the adulterous old men, was under a mistake. That also was not true. And every congregation throughout the universe, whether of those who are in the body or of those who have departed to be with the Lord, even though they were holy martyrs or confessors, all who have sung the Hymn of the three children have been in error, and have sung what is false. Now therefore after four hundred years the truth of the law comes forth for us, it has been bought with money from the Synagogue. When the world has grown old and all things are hastening to their end, let us change the inscriptions upon the tombs of the ancients, so that it may be known by those who had read the story otherwise, that it was not a gourd but an ivy plant under whose shade Jonah rested; and that, when our legislator pleases, it will no longer be the shade of ivy but of some other plant. Jer. Letter lxxxiv. c. 8.
36. But Origen also, you will tell us, in composing his work called the Hexapla, adopted the asterisks, taking them from the translation of Theodotion. How is this? You produce Origen sometimes for condemnation, sometimes for imitation, at your own caprice. But can it be admitted as right that you should bring in the same man as your advocate whom just now you were accusing? Can you take as an authority for your actions one whom you yourself have previously condemned, and to the condemnation of whom you stirred up the Roman senate? You ought to have made provision for this beforehand. No man begins by cutting the trunk of a tree when he is intending to lean against it; and no man first impugns the faith of another and then invokes his faith in his own defence. Whether Origen did as you say or not, makes no difference to you. If you wish that his case should be a precedent for yours, read over your judgment upon him, and see what you have said. You used the expression: "This is not clearing yourself but only seeking abettors of your crime." Apply this to yourself; your business is not to seek abettors of your crime, but to find means of justification for your conduct. However, let us see whether anything of the kind was done by Origen whom you make both plaintiff and defendant. I do not find a single passage which he translated from the Hebrew. How then can your action and his be said to be alike? What he did was this. He proved that apostates and Jews had translated the writings which the Jews specially read: and, since it would frequently happen in the course of discussion that they falsely asserted that some things had been taken out and others put in in our copies of the Scriptures, Origen desired to shew to our people what reading obtained among the Jews. He therefore wrote out each of their versions in separate pages or columns, and pointed out by means of certain specified marks at the head of each line what had been added or subtracted by them; and he merely put these marks of his in the work of others, not in his own; so that we might understand not what we ourselves but what the Jews believed to have been either removed or inserted. This was no more than what is done in the army when a list is made out containing the names of the soldiers. If the captain wishes to see how many of them have survived after an action, he sends a man to make inquiry; and he makes his own mark, a (th) (theta), for instance, as is commonly done, against the name of each soldier who has fallen, and puts some other mark of his own to designate the survivors. Do you suppose that he who makes one mark against the name of a dead man and another of his own against that of a survivor, will be thought to have done anything which causes the one to be dead and the other to be alive? He has only, as is well understood, marked the names of those who have been killed by others, so as to call attention to the fact. Just in the same way, Origen pointed out by certain marks of his own, namely, the signs of asterisks and obeli, which words had been, so to speak, killed by other translators, and those which had been superfluously introduced. But he put in no single word of his own, nor did he make it appear that the certainty of our copies was in any point shaken; but those things which, as the actual words run, seemed wanting in plainness and clearness, he showed to be full of the mysteries of a spiritual meaning. What comfort then can the conduct of Origen give you in this matter, when your work is shown to be quite unlike his, and when all your labour is spent upon making one letter kill the next, whereas his endeavour, on the contrary, is to vindicate the Spirit which giveth life? The asterisks denoted that the words to which they were attached were added, and the obeli () that something had been subtracted. See Jerome's Preface to the Books of Kings in this Series.
37. This action is yours, my brother, yours alone. It is clear that no one in the church has been your companion or confederate in it, but only that Barabbas whom you mention so frequently. What other spirit than that of the Jews would dare to tamper with the records of the church which have been handed down from the Apostles? It is they, my brother, you who were most dear to me before you were taken captive by the Jews, it is they who are hurrying you into this abyss of evil. It is their doing that those books of yours are put forth in which you brand your Christian brethren, not sparing even the martyrs, and heap up accusations speakable and unspeakable against Christians of every degree, and mar our peace, and cause a scandal to the church. It is they who cause you to pass sentence upon yourself and your own writings as upon words which you once spoke as a Christian. We all of us have become worthless in your eyes, while they and their evil acts are all your delight. If you had but listened to Paul where he says in his Epistle: "If any brother be overtaken in a fault ye who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness," you would never have let your passions swell up so as altogether to break through the order of our spiritual discipline. Suppose that I had written something which was injurious to you; suppose that I had done some injustice to you a man of the highest eloquence, who were my brother and my brother presbyter, whom also I had pronounced worthy of imitation in your method of translation: even so, this was the first complaint which you had received of any injury on my part since friendship had been restored between us, and that with difficulty and much trouble. But suppose that you had reason to be offended at the fact that, in my translation of Origen, I passed over some things which appeared to me unedifying in point of doctrine--though in this I only did what you had done. Possibly I was deserving of blame and correction for this. You say that some of the brethren sent letters to you demanding that the faults of the translator should be pointed out. What then did you do, you who are a man of spiritual attainments? What a model, what an example of conduct in such matters is this which you have given! You not only blazen forth the shame of your brother's nakedness to those who are without, but you yourself tear away the covering of his nakedness. Suppose even that what I did was not done as you had done it, suppose that, through some access of drunkenness creeping unawares upon me, I had laid bare my own shame as the Patriarch did; would it have been a curse which you would have incurred if you had walked backward and made your reply like a soft cloak to cover my reproach, if the letter of the brother who was wide-awake had veiled the brother who lay exposed through his own drowsiness in writing? Gal. vi. 1 c38. But you will say, It was impossible for me to reply otherwise than I did. The letter which I received was such that, if I had not replied and retranslated literally the books which you had translated paraphrastically, I should myself have been thought to be a follower of Origen. I will not at present say anything as to the character of that letter, except that it bears the name of a man of high rank, Pammachius: but I ask, would there have been anything uncourteous in such a reply as this: "My brothers we ought not readily to judge of other men's works. You remember what you did when I had sent my books against Jovinian to Rome, and when some persons understood them in a different sense from that in which, if my memory serves me, I had composed them. They were read by a great many people, and almost every one was offended by them, you yourself, as was believed, amongst them. Did you not on that occasion withdraw from circulation the copies which had been exposed to sale publicly in the forum, and send them, not to some one else, but to me, at the same time pointing out the grounds on which you thought so many had been offended? And I, as you remember, wrote an Apology in new terms, so as to give a sounder meaning, as far as I could, to expressions to which a different sense had been attributed. Well, it is but fair that as we would that men should do to us so we should do to them: and therefore, as you sent me back my books for correction, so do now with these books: send them back to their author, and hint to him what you think blameable in them, so that, if in anything he has gone wrong, he may correct it. Besides, though I have exercised my talents on many subjects, and laboured out many works, this is almost the first work which he has attempted, and possibly even this he has done under compulsion, so that it is not strange if he has not gone quite straight at first. We should not seize upon opportunities for disparaging men who are Christians, but seek their advantage by correcting what they have done wrong." See Jerome's letter to Pammachius (Letter xlviii) describing his friend's remonstrance, and defending himself. c39. If your reply to him had been couched in terms like these, would you not have ministered grace and edification both to him, since he has been initiated into the fear of God, and to all your other readers, whereas these invectives of yours are the cause of sadness and confusion to all who fear God, since they see you a prey to this hideous lust of detraction, and me driven to the wretched necessity of recrimination. But, as I have said, this evidence was unnecessary. You yourself in the books you published against Jovinian, at one time assert, as can be shewn, the same things which you blamed in him, while at another you fall into the opposite extreme, and declare marriage to be so disgraceful a state that its stain cannot even be washed away by the blood of martyrdom. But, if it appeared to you an easy thing for your friend to procure what amounts to a correction of the dogma of the Manichæans as it was originally expressed in these books, and that when they were already published and placed in the hands of many persons to copy, what difficulty would there have been in my correcting a work which was not my own but a translation of that of another man, if any mistakes could be pointed out in it, I will not say by reason, but even by envy? especially when it was still in rough sheets, which I had not read over again or corrected, and which were not published when your friends took possession of them. Was it an impossibility to get these writings corrected which were then in an uncorrected state? But the sting does not proceed from that quarter; he would have found nothing to blame there. It proceeds wholly from the fact that he was afraid that it might come to light what is the source of all that he says, and whence he gains the reputation of a learned man and a great expounder of the Scriptures. c40. I explained the reasons which induced me to make the translation so that it should be seen that I acted, not in the spirit of contention and rivalry, in which he so often acts, but from the necessity which I have explained above; and I did it as an aid to a good and useful undertaking. I hoped that it might impart something both of lucidity and of brightness to one who, though with little culture, was composing a serious work. Do we not know cases in which old houses have been of use in the construction of new ones? Sometimes a stone is taken from the parts of an old house which are remote and concealed, to decorate the portal of the new house and adorn its entrance. And at times an edifice of modern architecture is supported by the strength of a single ancient beam. Are we then to place ourselves in opposition to those who rightly use what is old in building up what is new? Are we to say, You are not allowed to transfer the materials of the old house to the new, unless you join each beam to its beam, each stone to its stone, unless you make a portico of what was a portico before, a chamber of what was a chamber; and this must further involve building up the most secret recesses from what were such before, and the sewers from the former sewers: for every large house must have such places. This is the process of translating word for word, which in former days you esteemed inadmissible, but which you now approve. But you claim that what is in itself unlawful is lawful for you, while for us even what is lawful you impute as a crime. You think it right that you should be praised for changing the words of the Sacred Books and Divine volumes; but if we, when we imitate you in translating a human work, pass over anything which seems to us not to be edifying, we are to have no pardon for this at your hands, though you yourself set us the example. That is, the work which Macarius was writing upon fate, as explained in this Apology i. 11. c41. However, let him act in these matters as he himself thinks lawful or expedient. Let me recapitulate in the end of this book what I have said in a scattered way in my own defence. He had said of me that it seemed as if I could not be a heretic without him; I therefore set forth my belief and, in respect of the resurrection of the dead I proved that he rather than I was in error, since he spoke of the resurrection body as frail. I shewed also that he did away with the distinction of sex in the other world, saying that bodies would become souls women men. I next revealed the causes which had led to my translation--very proper causes in my opinion; I shewed that it was not because I was stimulated by contentiousness, nor because I was desirous of glory, but because I was incited by the fear of God, that I imported a store of old Greek material to be used in the new Latin construction, that I furbished up the old armour which had become enveloped in rust, not with a view to excite a civil war but to repel a hostile attack. I then introduced the chief matter on which they have laid their forgers' hands, the adulterous blasphemy against the Son of God and the Holy Spirit, a thing quite alien from me, but brought in by these men in their wickedness as I shewed by quotations. c42. I then took up one by one the points in which he had blamed Origen, with the intention of striking at me and discrediting my work of translation. I shewed from those very Commentaries of his from which he had said that we might expect to learn and test his belief, that on three points, namely the previous state of the soul, the restitution of all things, and his views concerning the devil and apostate angels, he has himself written the same things which he blames in Origen. I convicted him of having said that the souls of men were held bound in this body as in a prison; and I proved that he had asserted in these very Commentaries that the whole rational creation of angels and of human souls formed but a single body. I next shewed that, as to an association for perjury, there was no one who had so much to do with it in its deepest mysteries as himself; and in accordance with this I proved that the doctrine that truth and the higher teaching ought not to be disclosed to all men was taught by him in these same Commentaries. I next took up the question of secular literature, as to which he had made this declaration to Christ as he sat on the judgment seat and ordered him to be beaten: "If ever I read or possess the books of the heathen, I have denied Thee;" and I shewed clearly that he not only reads and possesses these books now, but that he supports all the bragging of which his teaching is full on his knowledge of them; so much so that he boasts of having been introduced to the knowledge of logic through the Introduction of Porphyry the prince of unbelievers. And, while he says that it is a doctrine of the heathen, to speak in this or that manner both about the soul and about other creatures, I shewed that he had spoken of God in a more degrading manner than any of the heathen when he said that God had a mother-in-law. But further, whereas he had declared that he had only mentioned Origen in two short Prefaces, and then not as a man of apostolic rank but merely as a man of talent, I, though for brevity's sake only bringing forward ten of his Prefaces, established the fact that in each of them he had spoken of him not only as an apostolic man but as a teacher of the churches next after the apostles, and as one whose teaching was followed by himself and all wise men. c43. Moreover, I pointed out clearly that it is habitual to him to disparage all good men, and that, if he can find something to blame in one man after another of those who are highly esteemed and have gained a name in literature, he thinks that he has added to his own reputation. I shewed also how shamefully some of Christ's priests have been assailed by him; and how he has spared neither the monks nor the virgins, nor those who live in continency, whom he had praised before; how he has defamed in his lampoons every order and degree of Christians; how shamefully and foully he assailed even Ambrose, that saintly man, the memory of whose illustrious life still lives in the hearts of all men: how even Didymus, whom he had formerly ranked among the seer-prophets and Apostles, now he places among those whose teaching diverges from that of the churches; how he brands with the marks of ignorance or of folly every single writer of ancient and of modern days; and finally does not spare even the martyrs. All these things I have brought to the proof of his own works and his own testimony, not to that of external witnesses. I have gone through each particular, and have brought out the evidence from those very books of his which he most commends, books which alone he excepted as containing nothing of which he needed to repent, while he says that he repents of all his other sayings and writings; not that his repentance is sincere, but that he is driven into such straits that he must choose either to feign penitence or to forfeit the vantage ground which enables him to bite and wound any one whom he pleases. I therefore preferred not to touch his other writings, so that his conviction might come out of those alone out of which he had himself closed the door of repentance. Last of all I have shown that he has altered the sacred books which the Apostles had committed to the churches as the trustworthy deposit of the Holy Spirit, and that he who calls out about the audacity shewn in translating mere human works himself commits the greater crime of subverting the divine oracles. Sacerdotes. This is almost always applied to Bishops. Here the allusion is chiefly to Jerome's attack upon Ambrose. See Sect. 23-25. c44. It remains that every reader of this book should give his suffrage for one or the other of us, judging as he desires that he may himself be judged by God; and that he should not injure his own soul by favoring either party unjustly. Also, my beloved son Apronianus, go to Pammachius, that saintly man whose letter is put forward by our friend in this Invective or Bill of Indictment of his, and adjure him in Christ's name to incline in his judgment to the cause of innocence not that of party-spirit: it is the cause of truth that is at stake, and religion not party should be our guide. It is a precept of our Lord to "judge not according to the appearance, but judge a righteous judgment," and, just as in each one of the least of his brethren it is Christ who is thirsty and hungry, who is clothed and fed; so in these who are unjustly judged it is He who is judged unrighteously. When some are hated without a cause, he will speak on their behalf and say: "You have hated me without a cause." What judgment does he think will be formed of this cause and of his action in it before the tribunal of Christ? He remembers well no doubt how, when the men we are speaking of had written and published his books against Jovinian, and men were already reading them and finding fault with them, he withdrew them from the hands of the readers, and stopped their remarks, and blamed them for their blame of his friend; and how, further, he sent the books back to the author, with the suggestion that he should either correct those passages which had been found fault with, or in any way that he would set matters right. But when what I had written fell into his hands,--it was not then a book but merely a number of imperfect, uncorrected papers, which had been subtracted by fraud and theft by some scoundrel; he did not bring it to me and complain of it, though I was close at hand; he did not deign even to rebuke me or to convict me of wrong through some friend, as it might have been, or even some enemy; but sent my papers to the East, and set to work the tongue of that man who never yet knew how to control it. Would it have been against the precepts of our religion if he had met me face to face? Did he think me so utterly unworthy of holding converse with him, that it was not worth while even to argue with me? Yet for us too Christ died, for our salvation also He shed his blood. We are sinners, I grant, but we belong to his flock and are numbered among his sheep. Pammachius, however, must be held in honour for his excellent deeds wrought through faith in Christ, which should be an example to all others; for he has counted his rank as nothing worth, and has made himself equal to the humble; consequently, I was unwilling to see him carried away by human partisanship and contention, lest his faith should suffer damage in any way. At all events we shall see how far he preserves a right judgment when he sees that that great master Jerome taught, in the commentaries which he selected as satisfactory even after his repentance, the very things which he condemns in others as being alien to his own teaching. We shall think that his former action was a mistake due to ignorance if he recognizes it and sets it right. As for myself, though under the compulsion of necessity, I have endeavoured to make answer to him who had attacked me with such great bitterness, yet for this also I ask for forgiveness if I have handled the matter too sharply; for God is my witness how truly I can say that I have kept silence on many more points than I have brought forward. I could not wholly keep silence in the presence of accusations which I know to be undeserved, when I heard from many that my silence would bring their own faith into peril. John vii. 24
45. After this Apology had been written, one of the brethren who came to us from you at Rome and helped me in revising it, observed that one point in my defence had been passed over which he had heard adversely dwelt upon by my detractors there. The point turns upon a statement in my Preface, where I said of him who is now my persecutor and accuser that in the works of Origen which he translated there are found certain grounds of offence in the Greek, but that he has in his translation so cleared them away that the Latin reader will find nothing in them which is dissonant from our faith. On this sentence they remark: "You see how he has praised his method of translation and has borne his testimony that in the books he has translated no grounds of offence are to be found, and promised that he would himself follow the same method. Why then is not his own translation free from grounds of offence, as he bears witness is the case with the writings of the other?" c46. I suppose it is not to be wondered at that I am always blamed for the points in which I have praised him. It is quite right, no doubt. But to come to the matter itself. I said that when grounds of offence appeared in the Greek he had cleared them away in his Latin translation; and not wrongly; but he had done this just in the same sense as I have done it. For instance, in the Homilies on Isaiah, he explains the two Seraphim as meaning the Son and the Holy Ghost, and he adds this of his own: "Let no one think that there is a difference of nature in the Trinity when the offices of the Persons are distinguished"; and by this he thinks that he has been able to remedy the grounds of offence. I in a similar way occasionally removed, altered or added a few words, in the attempt to draw the meaning of the writer into better accordance with the straight path of the faith. What did I do in this which was different or contrary to our friend's system? what which was not identical with it? But the difference lies in this, that I was judging of his writings without ill-will or detraction, and therefore saw in them not what might lend itself to depreciation, but what the translator aimed at; whereas he is seeking for occasions for calumniating others, and therefore finds fault with those things in my writings which he himself has formerly written. And indeed he is right in blaming me, since I have pronounced what he has said to be right, whereas in his judgment it is reprehensible. This holds in reference to the doctrine he has expressed about the Trinity; namely, that the two Seraphim are the Son and the Holy Ghost, from which especially the charge of blasphemy is drawn, that is, if he is to be judged according to the system which he has adopted in dealing with me. But according to the system which I have adopted in judging of his writings, apart from the matter of calumny, he is not to be held guilty because of what he has added on his own account to explain the author's meaning. c47. As regards the resurrection of the flesh, I think that my translation contains the same doctrines which are preached in the churches. As to the other points which relate to the various orders of created beings, I have already said that they have nothing to do with our faith in the Deity. But if he appeals to these for the sake of calumniating others, though they have hitherto presented no ground of offence, I do not deny his right to do so, if he thinks well to revoke my judgment by which he might have been absolved, and to enforce his own, by which he ought to be condemned. It is not my judgment on him which is blameable, but his own, which takes others to task for doing what he approves in himself. But this is a new method of judgment according to which I am defending my own accuser, and he considers that he has at last gained the victory over me when he has brought himself in guilty. But suppose that a Synod of Bishops should accept the sentences you have pronounced, and should demand that all the books which contain the impugned doctrines, together with their authors, should be condemned; then these books must be condemned first as they stand in the Greek; and then what is condemned in Greek must undoubtedly be condemned in the Latin. Then will come the turn of your own books; they will be found to contain the same things, even according to your own judgment. And as it has been of no advantage to Origen that you have praised him, so it will be of no profit to you that I have pleaded in your behalf. I shall then be bound to follow the judgment of the Catholic Church whether it is given against the books of Origen or against yours. cJerome's Apology for Himself Against the Books of Rufinus.
2. What good does it do me that he declares on his oath that it was through simplicity that he went wrong? His praises are, as you know, cast in my teeth, and the laudation of this most simple friend (which however has not much either of simplicity or of sincerity in it) is imputed to me as a crime. If he was seeking a foundation of authority for what he was doing, and wishing to shew who had gone before him in this path he had at hand the Confessor Hilary, who translated the books of Origen upon Job and the Psalms consisting of forty thousand lines. He had Ambrose whose works are, almost all of them, full of what Origen has written; and the martyr Victorinus, who acts really with simplicity,' and without setting snares for others. As to all these he keeps silence; he does not notice those who are like pillars of the church; but me, who am but like a flea and a man of no account, he hunts out from corner to corner. Perhaps the same simplicity which made him unconscious that he was attacking his friend will make him swear that he knew nothing of these writers. But who will believe that he does not know these men whose memory is quite recent, even though they were Latins, being as he is such a very learned man, and one who has so great a knowledge of the old writers, especially the Greeks, that, in his zeal for foreign knowledge he has almost lost his own language? The truth is it is not so much that I have been praised by him as that those writers have not been attacked. But whether what he has written is praise (as he tries to make simpletons believe) or an attack, (as I feel it to be from the pain which his wounds give me), he has taken care that I should have none of my contemporaries to bring me honor by a partnership in praise, nor consolation by a partnership in vituperation. See Ruf. Apol. i, 11. "I had grown dull in my Latinity through the disuse of nearly 30 years." c3. I have in my hands your letter, in which you tell me that I have been accused, and expect me to reply to my accuser lest silence should be taken as an acknowledgment of his charges. I confess that I sent the reply; but, though I felt hurt, I observed the laws of friendship, and defended myself without accusing my accuser. I put it as if the objections which one friend had raised at Rome were being bruited about by many enemies in all parts of the world, so that every one should think that I was replying to the charges, not to the man. Will you tell me that another course was open to me, that I was bound by the law of friendship to keep silence under accusation, and, though I felt my face, so to say, covered with dirt and bespattered with the filth of heresy, not even to wash it with simple water, for fear that an act of injustice might be imputed to him. This demand is not such as any man ought to make or such as any man ought to accept. You openly assail your friend, and set out charges against him under the mask of an admirer; and he is not even to be allowed to prove himself a catholic, or to reply that the supposed heresy on which this laudation is grounded arises not from any agreement with a heresy, but from admiration of a great genius. He thought it desirable to translate this book into Latin; or, as he prefers to have it thought he was compelled, though unwilling, to do it. But what need was there for him to bring me into the question, when I was in retirement, and separated from him by vast intervals of land and sea? Why need he expose me to the ill-will of the multitude, and do more harm to me by his praise than good to himself by putting me forward as his example? Now also, since I have repudiated his praise, and, by erasing what he had written, have shewn that I am not what my friend declared, I am told that he is in a fury, and has composed three books against me full of graceful Attic raillery, making those very things the object of attack which he had praised before, and turning into a ground of accusation against me the impious doctrines of Origen; although in that Preface in which he so lauded me, he says of me: "I shall follow the rules of translation laid down by my predecessors, and particularly those acted on by the writer whom I have just mentioned. He has rendered into Latin more than seventy of Origen's homiletical treatises, and a few also of his commentaries on the Apostle; and in these, wherever the Greek text presents a stumbling block, he has smoothed it down in his version and has so emended the language used that a Latin writer can find no word that is at variance with our faith. In his steps, therefore, I propose to walk, if not displaying the same vigorous eloquence, at least observing the same rules." Jerome Letter lxxxiii Pammachius to Jerome: "Refute your accuser; else, if you do not speak out, you will appear to consent." c4. These words are his own, he cannot deny them. The very elegance of the style and the laboured mode of speech, and, surpassing all these, the Christian simplicity' which here appears, reveal the character of their author. But there is a different phase of the matter: Eusebius, it seems, has depraved these books; and now my friend who accuses Origen, and who is so careful of my reputation, declares that both Eusebius and I have gone wrong together, and then that we have held correct opinions together, and that in one and the same work. But he cannot now be my enemy and call me a heretic, when a moment before he has said that his belief was not dissonant from mine. Then, I must ask him what is the meaning of his balanced and doubtful way of speaking: "The Latin reader," he says, "will find nothing here discordant from our faith." What faith is this which he calls his? Is it the faith by which the Roman Church is distinguished? or is it the faith which is contained in the works of Origen? If he answers "the Roman," then we are the Catholics, since we have adopted none of Origen's errors in our translations. But if Origen's blasphemy is his faith, then, though he tries to fix on me the charge of inconsistency, he proves himself to be a heretic. If the man who praises me is orthodox, he takes me, by his own confession as a sharer in his orthodoxy. If he is heterodox, he shews that he had praised me before my explanation because he thought me a sharer in his error. However, it will be time enough to reply to these books of his which whisper in corners and made their venomous attacks in secret, when they are published and come out from their dark places into the light, and when they have been able to reach me either through the zeal of my friends or the imprudence of my adversaries. We need not be much afraid of attacks which their author fears to publish and allows only his confederates to read. Then and not till then will I either acknowledge the justice of his charges, or refute them, or retort upon the accuser the accusations he has made: and will shew that my silence has been the result not of a bad conscience but of forbearance. c5. In the meantime, I desired to free myself from suspicion in the implicit judgment of the reader, and to refute the gravest of the charges in the eyes of my friends. I did not wish it to appear that I had been the first to strike, seeing that I have not, even when wounded, aimed a blow against my assailant, but have only sought to heal my own wound. I beg the reader to let the blame rest on him who struck the first blow, without respect of persons. He is not content with striking; but, as if he were dealing with a man whom he had reduced to silence and who would never speak again, he has written three elaborate books and has made out from my works a list of "Contradictions" worthy of Marcion. Our minds are all on fire to know at once what his doctrine is and what is this madness of mine which we had not expected. Perhaps he has learnt (though the time for it has been short) all that is necessary to make him my teacher, and a sudden flow of eloquence will reveal what no one imagined that he knew.
7. One who was not his friend would probably say to him: Either change everything which is bad, or else make known everything which you think thoroughly good. If for the sake of simple Christians you cut out everything which is pernicious, and do not choose to put into a foreign language the things that you say have been added by heretics; tell us everything which is pernicious. But, if you mean to make a veracious and faithful translation, why do you change some things and leave others untouched? You make an open profession in the prologue that you have amended what is bad and have left all that is best: and therefore, if anything in the work is proved to be heretical, you cannot enjoy the license given to a translator but must accept the authority of a writer: and you will be openly convicted of the criminal intent of besmearing with honey the poisoned cup so that the sweetness which meets the sense may hide the deadly venom. These things, and things much harder than these, an enemy would say; and he would draw you before the tribunal of the church, not as the translator of a bad work but as one who assents to its doctrines. But I am satisfied with having simply defended myself. I expressed in Latin just what I found in the Greek text of the books Peri 'Archon, not wishing the reader to believe what was in my translation, but wishing him not to believe what was in yours. I looked for a double advantage as the result of my work, first to unveil the heresy of the author and secondly to convict the untrustworthiness of the translator. And, that no one might think that I assented to the doctrine which I had translated, I asserted in the Preface how I had been compelled to make this version and pointed out what the reader ought not to believe. The first translation makes for the glory of the author, the second for his shame. The one summons the reader to believe its doctrines, the other moves him to disbelieve them. In that I am claimed against my will as praising the author; in this I not only do not praise him, but am compelled to accuse the man who does praise him. The same task has been accomplished by each, but with a different intention: the same journey has had two different issues. Our friend has taken away words which existed, alleging that the books had been depraved by heretics: and he has put in those which did not exist, alleging that the assertions had been made by the author in other places; but of this he will never convince us unless he can point out the actual places whence he says that he has taken them. My endeavour was to change nothing from what was actually there; for my object in translating the work was to expose the false doctrines which I translated. Do you look upon me as merely a translator? I was more. I turned informer. I informed against a heretic, to clear the church of heresy. The reasons which led me formerly to praise Origen in certain particulars are set forth in the treatise prefixed to this work. The sole cause which led to my translation is now before the reader. No one has a right to charge me with the author's impiety, for I did it with a pious intention, that of betraying the impiety which had been commended as piety to the churches. c8. I had given Latin versions, as my friend tauntingly says, of seventy books of Origen, and of some parts of his Tomes, but no question was ever raised about my work; no commotion was felt on the subject in Rome. What need was there to commit to the ears of the Latins what Greece denounces and the whole world blames? I, though translating many of Origen's work in the course of many years, never created a scandal: but you, though unknown before, have by your first and only work become notorious for your rash proceeding. Your Preface tells us that you have also translated the work of Pamphilus the martyr in defence of Origen; and you strive with all your might to prevent the church from condemning a man whose faith the martyr attests. The real fact is that Eusebius Bishop of Cæsarea, as I have already said before, who was in his day the standard bearer of the Arian faction, wrote a large and elaborate work in six books in defence of Origen, showing by many testimonies that Origen was in his sense a catholic, that is, in our sense, an Arian. The first of these six books you have translated and assigned it to the martyr. I must not wonder, therefore, that you wish to make me, a small man and of no account, appear as an admirer of Origen, when you bring the same calumny against the martyr. You change a few statements about the Son of God and the holy Spirit, which you knew would offend the Romans, and let the rest go unchanged from beginning to end; you did, in fact, in the case of this Apology of Pamphilus as you call it, just what you did in the translation of Origen's Peri 'Archon. If that book is Pamphilus's, which of the six books is Eusebius's first? In the very volume which you pretend to be Pamphilus's, mention is made of the later books. Also, in the second and following books, Eusebius says that he had said such and such things in the first book and excuses himself for repeating them. If the whole work is Pamphilus's, why do you not translate the remaining books? If it is the work of the other, why do you change the name? You cannot answer; but the facts make answer of themselves: You thought that men would believe the martyr, though they would have turned in abhorrence from the chief of the Arians. See this question fully argued out by Lightfoot in the Dict. of Christian Biography, Art. Eusebius of Cæsaria. He says: "The Defence of Origen was the joint work of Pamphilus and Eusebius:" and "Jerome's treatment of this matter is a painful exhibition of disingenuousness, &c." See De V. Ill. lxxv. c9. Am I to say plainly what your intention was, my most simple-minded friend? Do you think that we can believe that you unwittingly gave the name of the martyr to the book of a man who was a heretic, and thus made the ignorant, through their trust in Christ's witness, become the defenders of Origen? Considering the erudition for which you are renowned, for which you are praised throughout the West as an illustrious litterateur, so that the men of your party all speak of you as their Coryphæus, I will not suppose that you are ignorant of Eusebius' Catalogue, which states the fact that the martyr Pamphilus never wrote a single book. Eusebius himself, the lover and companion of Pamphilus, and the herald of his praises, wrote three books in elegant language containing the life of Pamphilus. In these he extols other traits of his character with extraordinary encomiums, and praises to the sky his humility; but on his literary interests he writes as follows in the third book: "What lover of books was there who did not find a friend in Pamphilus? If he knew of any of them being in want of the necessaries of life, he helped them to the full extent of his power. He would not only lend them copies of the Holy Scriptures to read, but would give them most readily, and that not only to men, but to women also if he saw that they were given to reading. He therefore kept a store of manuscripts, so that he might be able to give them to those who wished for them whenever occasion demanded. He himself however, wrote nothing whatever of his own, except private letters which he sent to his friends, so humble was his estimate of himself. But the treatises of the old writers he studied with the greatest diligence, and was constantly occupied in meditation upon them." Sungrapheus
10. The champion of Origen, you see, the encomiast of Pamphilus, declares that Pamphilus wrote nothing whatever, that he composed no single treatise of his own. And you cannot take refuge in the hypothesis that Pamphilus wrote this book after Eusebius's publication, since Eusebius wrote after Pamphilus had attained the crown of martyrdom. What then can you now do? The consciences of a great many persons have been wounded by the book which you have published under the name of the martyr; they give no heed to the authority of the bishops who condemn Origen, since they think that a martyr has praised him. Of what use are the letters of the bishop Theophilus or of the pope Anastasius, who follow out the heretic in every part of the world, when your book passing under the name of Pamphilus is there to oppose their letters, and the testimony of the martyr can be set against the authority of the Bishops? I think you had better do with this mistitled volume what you did with the books Peri 'Archon. Take my advice as a friend, and do not be distrustful of the power of your art; say either that you never wrote it, or else that it has been depraved by the presbyter Eusebius. It will be impossible to prove against you that the book was translated by you. Your handwriting is not forthcoming to shew it; your eloquence is not so great as that no one can imitate your style. Or, in the last resort, if the matter comes to the proof, and your effrontery is overborne by the multitude of testimonies, sing a palinode after the manner of Stesichnus. It is better that you should repent of what you have done than that a martyr should remain under calumny, and those who have been deceived under error. And you need not feel ashamed of changing your opinion; you are not of such fame or authority as to feel disgraced by the confession of an error. Take me for your example, whom you love so much, and without whom you can neither live nor die, and say what I said when you had praised me and I defended myself. Pseudepigrapho
11. Eusebius the Bishop of Cæsarea, of whom I have made mention above, in the sixth book of his Apology for Origen makes the same complaint against Methodius the bishop and martyr, which you make against me in your praises of me. He says: How could Methodius dare to write now against Origen, after having said this thing and that of his doctrines? This is not the place in which to speak of the martyr; one cannot discuss every thing in all places alike. Let it suffice for the present to mention that one who was an Arian complains of the same things in a most eminent and eloquent man, and a martyr, which you first make a subject of praise as a friend and afterwards, when offended turn into an accusation. I have given you an opportunity of constructing a calumny against me if you choose, in the present passage. "How is it," you may ask, "that I now depreciate Eusebius, after having in other places praised him?" The name Eusebius indeed is different from Origen; but the ground of complaint is in both cases identical. I praised Eusebius for his Ecclesiastical History, for his Chronicle, for his description of the holy land; and these works of his I gave to the men of the same language as myself by translating them into Latin. Am I to be called an Arian because Eusebius, the author of those books, is an Arian? If you should dare to call me a heretic, call to mind your Preface to the Peri 'Archon, in which you bear me witness that I am of the same faith with yourself: and I at the same time entreat you to hear patiently the expostulation of one who was formerly your friend. You enter into a warm dispute with others, and bandy mutual reproaches with men of your own order; whether you are right or wrong in this is for you to say. But as against a brother even a true accusation is repugnant to me. I do not say this to blame others; I only say that I would not myself do it. We are separated from one another by a vast interval of space. What sin had I committed against you? What is my offence? Is it that I answered that I was not an Origenist? Are you to be held to be accused because I defend myself? If you say you are not an Origenist and have never been one, I believe your solemn affirmation of this: if you once were one, I accept your repentance. Why do you complain if I am what you say that you are? Or is my offence this that I dared to translate the Peri 'Archon after you had done it, and that my translation is supposed to detract from your work? But what was I to do? Your laudation of me, or accusation against me, was sent to me. Your praise' was so strong and so long that, if I had acquiesced in it, every one would have thought me a heretic. Look at what is said in the end of the letter which I received from Rome: "Clear yourself from the suspicions which men have imbibed against you, and convict your accuser of speaking falsely; for if you leave him unnoticed, you will be held to assent to his charges." When I was pressed by such conditions, I determined to translate these books, and I ask your attention to the answer which I made. It was this: "This is the position which my friends have made for me, (observe that I did not say my friend,' for fear of seeming to aim at you); if I keep silence I am to be accounted guilty: if I answer, I am accounted an enemy. Both these conditions are hard; but of the two I will choose the easier: for a quarrel can be healed, but blasphemy admits of no forgiveness." You observe that I felt this as a burden laid upon me; that I was unwilling and recalcitrating; that I could only quiet my presentiment of the quarrel which would ensue from this undertaking by the plea of necessity. If you had translated the books Peri 'Archon without alluding to me, you would have a right to complain that I had afterwards translated them to your prejudice. But now you have no right to complain, since my work was only an answer to the attack you had made on me under the guise of praise; for what you call praise all understand as accusation. Let it be understood between us that you accused me, and then you will not be indignant at my having replied. But now suppose that you wrote with a good intention, that you were not merely innocent but a most faithful friend, out of whose mouth no untruth ever proceeded, and that it was quite unconsciously that you wounded me. What is that to me who felt the wound? Am I not to take remedies for my wound because you inflicted it without evil intention? I am stricken down and stricken through, with a wound in the breast which will not be appeased; my limbs which were white before are stained with gore; and you say to me: "Pray leave your wound untouched, for fear that I may be thought to have wounded you." And yet the translation in question is a reproof to Origen rather than to you. You altered for the better the passages which you considered to have been put in by the heretics. I brought to light what the whole Greek world with one voice attributes to him. Which of our two views is the truer it is not for me nor for you to judge; let each of them be touched by the censor's rod of the reader. The whole of that letter in which I make answer for myself is directed against the heretics and against my accusers. How does it touch you who profess to be both an orthodox person and my admirer, if I am a little too sharp upon heretics, and expose their tricks before the public? You should rejoice in my invectives: otherwise, if you are vexed at them, you may be thought to be yourself a heretic. When anything is written against some particular vice, but without the mention of any name, if a man grows angry he accuses himself. It would have been the part of a wise man, even if he felt hurt, to dissemble his consciousness of wrong, and by the serenity of his countenance to dissipate the cloud that lay upon his heart. Jerome translated the Chronicle and the Description of the Holy Land, but not this History. This was done later by Rufinus.
12. Otherwise, if everything which goes against Origen and his followers is supposed to be said by me against you, we must suppose that the letters of the popes Theophilus and Epiphanius and the rest of the bishops which at their desire I lately translated are meant to attack you and tear you to pieces; we must suppose too that the rescripts of the Emperors which order that the Origenists should be banished from Alexandria and from Egypt have been written at my dictation. The abhorrence shown by the Pontiff of the city of Rome against these men was nothing but a scheme of mine. The outburst of hatred which immediately after your translation blazed up through the whole world against Origen who before had been read without prejudice was the work of my pen. If I have got all this power, I wonder that you are not afraid of me. But I really acted with extreme moderation. In my public letter I took every precaution to prevent your supposing that anything in it was directed against you; but I wrote at the same time a short letter to you, expostulating with you on the subject of your praises.' This letter my friends did not think it right to send you, because you were not at Rome, and because, as they tell me, you and your companions were scattering accusations of things unworthy of the Christian profession about my manner of life. But I have subjoined a copy of it to this book, so that you may understand what pain you gave me and with what brotherly self-restraint I bore it. Jerome, Letters 91-94.
13. I am told, further, that you touch with some critical sharpness upon some points of my letter, and, with the well-known wrinkles rising on your forehead and your eyebrows knitted, make sport of me with a wit worthy of Plautus, for having said that I had a Jew named Barabbas for my teacher. I do not wonder at your writing Barabbas for Baranina, the letters of the names being somewhat similar, when you allow yourself such a license in changing the names themselves, as to turn Eusebius into Pamphilus, and a heretic into a martyr. One must be cautious of such a man as you, and give you a wide berth; otherwise I may find my own name turned in a trice, and without my knowing it, from Jerome to Sardanapalus. Listen, then, O pillar of wisdom, and type of Catonian severity. I never spoke of him as my master; I merely wished to illustrate my method of studying the Holy Scriptures by saying that I had read Origen just in the same way as I had taken lessons from this Jew. Did I do you an injury because I attended the lectures of Apollinarius and Didymus rather than yours? Was there anything to prevent my naming in my letter that most eloquent man Gregory? Which of all the Latins is his equal? I may well glory and exult in him. But I only mentioned those who were subject to censure, so as to show that I only read Origen as I had listened to them, that is, not on account of his soundness in the faith but on account of the excellence of his learning. Origen himself, and Clement and Eusebius, and many others, when they are discussing scriptural points, and wish to have Jewish authority for what they say, write: "A Hebrew stated this to me," or "I heard from a Hebrew," or, "That is the opinion of the Hebrews." Origen certainly speaks of the Patriarch Huillus who was his contemporary, and in the conclusion of his thirtieth Tome on Isaiah (that in the end of which he explains the words "Woe to Ariel which David took by storm") uses his exposition of the words, and confesses that he had adopted through his teaching a truer opinion than that which he had previously held. He also takes as written by Moses not only the eighty-ninth Psalm which is entitled "A prayer of Moses the Man of God," but also the eleven following Psalms which have no title according to Huillus's opinion; and he makes no scruple of inserting in his commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures the views of the Hebrew teachers. Nazianzen, to whose instructions Jerome attached himself at Constantinople in 381.
14. It is said that on a recent occasion where the letters of Theophilus exposing the errors of Origen were read, our friend stopped his ears, and along with all present pronounced a distinct condemnation upon the author of so much evil; and that he said that up to that moment he had never known that Origen had written anything so wrong. I say nothing against this: I do not make the observation which perhaps another might make, that it was impossible for him to be ignorant of that which he had himself translated, and an apology for which by a heretic he had published under the name of a martyr, whose defence also he had undertaken in his own book; as to which I shall have some adverse remarks to make later on if I have time to write them. I only make one observation which does not admit of contradiction. If it is possible that he should have misunderstood what he translated, why is it not possible that I should have been ignorant of the book Peri 'Archon which I had not before read, and that I should have only read those Homilies which I translated, and in which he himself testifies that there is nothing wrong? But if, contrary to his expressed opinion, he now finds fault with me for those things for which he before had given me praise, he will be in a strait between two; either he praised me, believing me to be a heretic but confessing that he shared my opinion; or else, if he praised me before as orthodox, his present accusations come to nothing, and are due to sheer malice. But perhaps it was only as my friend that he formerly was silent about my errors, and now that he is angry with me brings to light what he had concealed. c15. This abandonment of friendship gives no claim to my confidence; and open enmity brings with it the suspicion of falsehood. Still I will be bold enough to go to meet him, and to ask what heretical doctrine I have expressed, so that I may either, like him, express my regret and swear that I never knew the bad doctrines of Origen, and that his infidelity has now for the first time been made known to me by the Pope Theophilus; or that I may at least prove that my opinions were sound and that he, as his habit is, had not understood them. It is impossible that in my Commentaries on the Ephesians which I hear he makes the ground of his accusation, I should have spoken both rightly and wrongly; that from the same fountain should have proceeded both sweet water and bitter; and that whereas throughout the work I condemned those who believe that souls have been created out of angels, I should suddenly have forgotten myself and have defended the opinion which I condemned before. He can hardly raise an objection to me on the score of folly, since he has proclaimed me in his works as a man of the highest culture and eloquence; otherwise such silly verbosity as he imputes is the part, one would think, of a pettifogger and a babbler rather than of an eloquent man. What is the point of his written accusations I do not know, for it is only report of them, not the writings, which has reached me; and, as the Apostle tells us it is a foolish thing to beat the air. However, I must answer in the uncertainty till the certainty reaches me: and I will begin by teaching my rival in my old age a lesson which I learned in youth, that there are many forms of speech, and that, according to the subject matter not only the sentences but the words also of writings vary. c16. For instance, Chrysippus and Antipater occupy themselves with thorny questions: Demosthenes and Æschines speak with the voice of thunder against each other; Lysias and Isocrates have an easy and pleasing style. There is a wonderful difference in these writers, though each of them is perfect in his own line. Again: read the book of Tully To Herennius; read his Rhetoricians; or, since he tells us that these books fell from his hands in a merely inchoate and unfinished condition, look through his three books On the orator, in which he introduces a discussion between Crassus and Antony, the most eloquent orators of that day; and a fourth book called The Orator which he wrote to Brutus when already an old man; and you will realize that History, Oratory, Dialogue, Epistolary writing, and Commentaries, have, each of them, their special style. We have to do now with Commentaries. In those which I wrote upon the Ephesians I only followed Origen and Didymus and Apollinarius, (whose doctrines are very different one from another) so far as was consistent with the sincerity of my faith: for what is the function of a Commentary? It is to interpret another man's words, to put into plain language what he has expressed obscurely. Consequently, it enumerates the opinions of many persons, and says, Some interpret the passage in this sense, some in that; the one try to support their opinion and understanding of it by such and such evidence or reasons: so that the wise reader, after reading these different explanations, and having many brought before his mind for acceptance or rejection, may judge which is the truest, and, like a good banker, may reject the money of spurious mintage. Is the commentator to be held responsible for all these different interpretations, and all these mutually contradicting opinions because he puts down the expositions given by many in the single work on which he is commenting? I suppose that when you were a boy you read the commentaries of Asper upon Virgil and Sallust, those of Vulcatius upon Cicero's Orations, of Victorinus upon his Dialogues and upon the Comedies of Terence, and also those of my master Donatus on Virgil, and of others on other writers such as Plautus, Lucretius, Flaccus, Persius and Lucan. Will you find fault with those who have commented on these writers because they have not held to a single explanation, but enumerate their own views and those of others on the same passage? c17. I say nothing of the Greeks, since you boast of your knowledge of them, even to the extent of saying that, in attaching yourself to foreign literature, you have forgotten your own language. I am afraid that, according to the old proverbs, I might be like the pig teaching Minerva, and the man carrying fagots into the wood. I only wonder that, being as you are the Aristarchus of our time, you should have shewn ignorance of these matters which every boy knows. It is, no doubt, from your mind being fixed on the meaning of what you write, but partly also from your being so sharp-sighted for the manufacture of calumnies against me, that you despise the precepts of Grammarians and orators, that you make no attempt to set straight words which have got transposed when the sentence has become complicated, or to avoid some harsh collocation of consonants, or to escape from a style full of gaps. It would be ridiculous to point to one or two wounds when the whole body is enfeebled and broken. I will not select portions for criticism; it is for him to select any portion which is free from faults. He must have been ignorant even of the Socratic saying: "Know thyself."
18. Our friends take it amiss that I have spoken of the Origenists as confederated together by orgies of false oaths. I named the book in which I had found it written, that is, the sixth book of Origen's Miscellanies, in which he tries to adapt our Christian doctrine to the opinions of Plato. The words of Plato in the third book of the Republic are as follows: "Truth, said Socrates, is to be specially cultivated. If, however, as I was saying just now, falsehood is disgraceful and useless to God, to men it is sometimes useful, if only it is used as a stimulant or a medicine; for no one can doubt that some such latitude of statement must be allowed to physicians, though it must be taken out of the hands of those who are unskilled. That is quite true, it was replied; and if one admits that any person may do this, it must be the duty of the rulers of states at times to tell lies, either to baffle the enemy or to benefit their country and the citizens. On the other hand to those who do not know how to make a good use of falsehood, the practice should be altogether prohibited." Now take the words of Origen: "When we consider the precept Speak truth every man with his neighbour,' we need not ask, Who is my neighbour? but we should weigh well the cautious remarks of the philosopher. He says, that to God falsehood is shameful and useless, but to men it is occasionally useful. We must not suppose that God ever lies, even in the way of economy; only, if the good of the hearer requires it, he speaks in ambiguous language, and reveals what he wills in enigmas, taking care at once that the dignity of truth should be preserved and yet that what would be hurtful if produced nakedly before the crowd should be enveloped in a veil and thus disclosed. But a man on whom necessity imposes the responsibility of lying is bound to use very great care, and to use falsehood as he would a stimulant or a medicine, and strictly to preserve its measure, and not go beyond the bounds observed by Judith in her dealings with Holofernes, whom she overcame by the wisdom with which she dissembled her words. He should act like Esther who changed the purpose of Artaxerxes by having so long concealed the truth as to her race; and still more the patriarch Jacob who, as we read, obtained the blessing of his father by artifice and falsehood. From all this it is evident that if we speak falsely with any other object than that of obtaining by it some great good, we shall be judged as the enemies of him who said, I am the truth." This Origen wrote, and none of us can deny it. And he wrote it in the book which he addressed to the perfect,' his own disciples. His teaching is that the master may lie, but the disciple must not. The inference from this is that the man who is a good liar, and without hesitation sets before his brethren any fabrication which rises into his mouth, shows himself to be an excellent teacher. p. 389.
19. I am told that he also carps at me for the translation I have given of a phrase in the Second Psalm. In the Latin it stands: "Learn discipline," in the Hebrew it is written Nescu Bar; and I have given it in my commentary, Adore the Son; and then, when I translated the whole Psalter into the Latin language, as if I had forgotten my previous explanation, I put "Worship purely." No one can deny, of course, that these interpretations are contrary to each other; and we must pardon him for being ignorant of the Hebrew writing when he is so often at a loss even in Latin. Nescu, translated literally, is Kiss. I wished not to give a distasteful rendering, and preferring to follow the sense, gave the word Worship; for those who worship are apt to kiss their hands and to bare their heads, as is to be seen in the case of Job who declares that he has never done either of these things, and says "If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness, and my heart rejoiced in secret and I kissed my hand with my mouth, which is a very great iniquity, and a lie to the most high God." The Hebrews, according to the peculiarity of their language use this word Kiss for adoration; and therefore I translated according to the use of those whose language I was dealing with. The word Bar, however in Hebrew has several meanings. It means Son, as in the words Barjona (son of a dove) Bartholomew (son of Tholomæus), Bartimæus, Barjesus, Barabbas. It also means Wheat, and A sheaf of corn, and Elect and Pure. What sin have I committed, then, when a word is thus uncertain in its meaning, if I have rendered it differently in different places? and if, after taking the sense "Worship the Son" in my Commentary, where there is more freedom of discussion, I said "Worship purely" or "electively" in my version of the Bible itself, so that I should not be thought to translate capriciously or give grounds for cavil on the part of the Jews. This last rendering, moreover, is that of Aquila and Symmachus: and I cannot see that the faith of the church is injured by the reader being shewn in how many different ways a verse is translated by the Jews. To the elements of nature, or the idols.
20. Your Origen allows himself to treat of the transmigration of souls, to introduce the belief in an infinite number of worlds, to clothe rational creatures in one body after another, to say that Christ has often suffered, and will often suffer again, it being always profitable to undertake what has once been profitable. You also yourself assume such an authority as to turn a heretic into a martyr, and to invent a heretical falsification of the books of Origen. Why may not I then discuss about words, and in doing the work of a commentator teach the Latins what I learn from the Hebrews? If it were not a long process and one which savours of boasting, I should like even now to shew you how much profit there is in waiting at the doors of great teachers, and in learning an art from a real artificer. If I could do this, you would see what a tangled forest of ambiguous names and words is presented by the Hebrew. It is this which gives such a field for various renderings: for, the sense being uncertain, each man takes the translation which seems to him the most consistent. Why should I take you to any outlandish writers? Go over Aristotle once more and Alexander the commentator on Aristotle; you will recognize from reading these what a plentiful crop of uncertainties exists; and you may then cease to find fault with your friend in reference to things which you have never had brought to your mind even in your dreams. c21. My brother Paulinian tells me that our friend has impugned certain things in my commentary on the Ephesians: some of these criticisms he committed to memory, and has indicated the actual passages impugned. I must not therefore refuse to meet his statements, and I beg the reader, if I am somewhat prolix in the statement and the refutation of his charges, to allow for the necessary conditions of the discussion. I am not accusing another but endeavouring to defend myself and to refute the false accusation of heresy which is thrown in my teeth. On the Epistle to the Ephesians Origen wrote three books. Didymus and Apollinarius also composed works of their own. These I partly translated, partly adapted; my method is described in the following passage of my prologue: "This also I wish to state in my Preface. Origen, you must know, wrote three books upon this Epistle, and I have partly followed him. Apollinarius also and Didymus published certain commentaries on it, from which I have culled some things, though but few; and, as seemed to me right, I put in or took out others; but I have done this in such a way that the careful reader may from the very first see how far the work is due to me, how far to others." Whatever fault there is detected in the exposition given of this Epistle, if I am unable to shew that it exists in the Greek books from which I have stated it to have been translated into Latin, I will acknowledge that the fault is mine and not another's. However, that I should not be thought to be raising quibbles, and by this artifice of self-excuse to be escaping from boldly meeting him, I will set out the actual passages which are adduced as evidences of my fault. c22. To begin. In the first book I take the words of Paul: "As he hath chosen us before the foundation of the world, that we might be holy and unspotted before him." This I have interpreted as referring not, according to Origen's opinion, to an election of those who had existed in a previous state, but to the foreknowledge of God; and I close the discussion with these words:
23. I will deal shortly with the second passage which my brother tells me has been marked for blame, because the complaint is exceedingly frivolous, and bears on its face its calumnious character. The passage is that in which Paul declares that God "made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come." After stating various expositions which have been given, I came to the offices of the ministers of God, and spoke of the principalities and powers, the virtues and dominions: and I add:
24. A third passage with which he finds fault is that in which I gave a threefold interpretation of the Apostle's words: "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus." The first was my own opinion, the second the opposite opinion held by Origen, the third the simple explanation given by Apollinarius. As to the fact that I did not give their names, I must ask for pardon on the ground that it was done through modesty. I did not wish to disparage men whom I was partly following. and whose opinions I was translating into the Latin tongue. But, I said, the diligent reader will at once search into these things and form his own opinion. And I repeated at the end: Another turns to a different sense the words That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace.' "Ah," you will say, "I see that in the character of the diligent reader you have unfolded the opinions of Origen." I confess that I was wrong. I ought to have said not The diligent but The blasphemous reader. If I had anticipated that you would adopt measures of this kind I might have done this, and so have avoided your calumnious speeches. It is, I suppose, a great crime to have called Origen a diligent reader, especially when I had translated seventy books of his and had praised him up to the sky,--for doing which I had to defend myself in a short treatise two years ago in answer to your trumpeting of my praises. In those praises' which you gave me you laid it to my charge that I had spoken of Origen as a teacher of the churches, and now that you speak in the character of an enemy you think that I shall be afraid because you accuse me of calling him a diligent reader. Why, even shopkeepers who are particularly frugal, and slaves who are not wasteful, and the care-takers who made our childhood a burden to us and even thieves when they are particularly clever, we speak of as diligent; and so the conduct of the unjust steward in the Gospel is spoken of as wise. Moreover "The children of this world are wiser than the children of light," and "The serpent was wiser than all the beasts which the Lord had made on the earth." Eph. ii. 7
25. The fourth ground of his censure is in the beginning of my Second Book, in which I expounded the statement which St. Paul makes "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles." The passage in itself is perfectly plain; and I give, therefore, only that part of the comment on it which lends itself to malevolent remark:
26. The fifth passage selected by him for blame is the most important, that in which I explain the statement of the Apostle. "From whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through every juncture of ministration, according to the working in due measure of every several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love." Here I summed up in a short sentence Origen's exposition which is very long and goes over the same ideas in various words, yet so as to leave out none of his illustrations or his assertions. And when I had come to the end, I added:
27. I wonder that you with your consummate wisdom have not understood my method of exposition. When I say, But not in such a way that, as held by another heresy, all should be placed in one rank, that is, all by a reforming process become angels,' I clearly shew that the things which I put forward for discussion are heretical, and that one heresy differs from the other. Which (do you ask?) are the two heresies? The one is that which says that all reasonable creatures will by a reforming process become angels; the other, that which asserts that in the restitution of the world each thing will become what it was originally created; as for instance that devils will again become angels, and that the souls of men will become such as they were originally formed; that is, by the reforming process will become not angels but that which God originally made them, so that the just and the sinners will be on an equality. Finally, to shew you that it was not my own opinion which I was developing but two heresies which I was comparing with one another, both of which I had found stated in the Greek, I completed my discussion with this ending:
28. The sixth and last point which I am told that he brings against me (that is if my brother has not left anything unreported) is that, in the interpretation of the Apostle's words, "He that loveth his wife loveth himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church," after my own simple explanation I propounded the question raised by Origen, speaking his views though without mentioning his name, and saying:
30. But now, since my pleading has steered its course out of these rough and broken places, and I have refuted the charge of heresy which had been urged against me by looking my accuser freely in the face, I will pass on to the other articles of charge with which he tries to assail me. The first is that I am a scurrilous person, a detractor of every one; that I am always snarling and biting at my predecessors. I ask him to name a single person whose reputation I have disparaged, or whom, according to an art practised by my opponent, I have galled by pretended praise. But, if I speak against ill-disposed persons, and wound with the point of my pen some Luscius Lanuvinus or an Asinius Pollio of the race of the Cornelii, if I repel the attacks of a man of boastful and curious spirit, and aim all my shafts at a single butt, why does he divide with others the wounds meant for him alone? And why is he so unwise as to shew, by the irritation of his answer to my attack, his consciousness that it is he alone whom the cap fits?
31. I might well reply as I have done even if it were a question of a promise made with full consciousness. But this is a new and shameless thing; he throws in my teeth a mere dream. How am I to answer? I have no time for thinking of anything outside my own sphere. I wish that I were not prevented from reading even the Holy Scriptures by the throngs that beset this place, and the gathering of Christians from all parts of the world. Still, when a man makes a dream into a crime, I can quote to him the words of the Prophets, who say that we are not to believe dreams; for even to dream of adultery does not condemn us to hell, and to dream of the crown of martyrdom does not raise us to heaven. Often I have seen myself in dreams dead and placed in the grave: often I have flown over the earth and been carried as if swimming through the air, over mountains and seas. My accuser might, therefore, demand that I should cease to live, or that I should have wings on my shoulders, because my mind has often been mocked in sleep by vague fancies of this kind. How many people are rich while asleep and wake to find themselves beggars! or are drinking water to cool their thirst, and wake up with their throats parched and burning! You exact from me the fulfilment of a promise given in a dream. I will meet you with a truer and closer question: Have you done all that you promised in your baptism? Have you or I fulfilled all that the profession of a monk demands? I beg you, think whether you are not looking at the mote in my eye through the beam in your own. I say this against my will; it is by sorrow that my reluctant tongue is forced into words. As to you, it is not enough for you to make up charges about my waking deeds, but you must accuse me for my dreams. You have such an interest in my actions that you must discuss what I have said or done in my sleep. I will not dwell on the way in which, in your zeal to speak against me, you have besmirched your own profession, and have done all you can by word and deed for the dishonouring of the whole body of Christians. But I give you fair warning, and will repeat it again and again. You are attacking a creature who has horns: and, if it were not that I lay to heart the words of the Apostle "The evil speakers shall not inherit the kingdom of God," and "By hating one another you have been consumed one of another," I would make you feel what a vast discord you have stirred up after a slight and pretended reconciliation. What advantage is it to you to heap up slanders against me both among friends and strangers? Is it because I am not an Origenist, and do not believe that I sinned in heaven, that I am accused as a sinner upon earth? And was the result of our renewal of friendship to be, that I was not to speak against heretics for fear that my notice of them should be taken for an assault upon you? So long as I did not refuse to be belauded by you, you followed me as a master, you called me friend and brother, and acknowledged me as a catholic in every respect. But when I asked to be spared your praises, and judged myself unworthy to have such a great man for my trumpeter, you immediately ran your pen through what you had written, and began to abuse all that you had praised before, and to pour forth from the same mouth both sweet and bitter words. I wish you could understand what self-repression I am exerting in not suiting my words to the boiling heat of my breast; and how I pray, like the Psalmist: "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to the words of malice;" and, as he says elsewhere: "While the wicked stood before me I was dumb and was humbled and kept silence even from good words;" and again: "I became as a man that heareth not and in whose mouth are no reproofs." But for me the Lord the Avenger will reply, as he says through the Prophet: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord": and in another place: "Thou satest and spakest against thy brother, and hast slandered thy mother's son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest indeed by that I should be such an one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them before thine eyes;" so that you may see yourself brought in guilty of those things which you falsely lay to another's charge. 1 Cor. vi. 9
32. I am told, to take another point, that one of his followers, Chrysogonus, finds fault with me for having said that in baptism all sins are put away, and, in the case of the man who was twice married, that he had died and risen up a new man in Christ; and further that there were several such persons who were Bishops in the churches. I will make him a short answer. He and his friends have in their hands my letter, for which they take me to task. Let him give an answer to it, let him overthrow its reasoning by reasoning of his own, and prove my writings false by his writings. Why should he knit his brow and draw in and wrinkle up his nostrils, and weigh out his hollow words, and simulate among the common crowd a sanctity which his conduct belies? Let me proclaim my principles once more in his ears: That the old Adam dies completely in the laver of baptism, and a new man rises then with Christ; that the man that is earthly perishes and the man from heaven is raised up. I say this not because I myself have a special interest in this question, through the mercy of Christ; but that I made answer to my brethren when they asked me for my opinion, not intending to prescribe for others what they may think right to believe, nor to overturn their resolution by my opinion. For we who lie hid in our cells do not covet the Bishop's office. We are not like some, who, despising all humility, are eager to buy the episcopate with gold; nor do we wish, with the minds of rebels, to suppress the Pontiff chosen by God; nor do we, by favouring heretics, show that we are heretics ourselves. As for money, we neither have it nor desire to have it. "Having food and clothing, we are therewith content;" and meanwhile we constantly chant the words describing the man who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord: "He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent; he who doeth these things shall not be moved eternally." We may add that he who does the opposite to these will fall eternally.
1. Thus far I have made answer about my crimes, and indeed in defence of my crimes, which my crafty encomiast formerly urged against me, and which his disciples still constantly press. I have done so not as well as I ought but as I was able, putting a check upon my complaints, for my object has been not so much to accuse others as to defend myself. I will now come to his Apology, by which he strives to justify himself to Anastasius, Bishop of the City of Rome, and, in order to defend himself, constructs a mass of calumnies against me. His love for me is like that which a man who has been carried away by the tempest and nearly drowned in deep water feels for the strong swimmer at whose foot he clutches: he is determined that I shall sink or swim with him. See this Apology translated above. c2. He professes in the first place to be replying to insinuations made at Rome against his orthodoxy, he being a man most fully approved in respect both of divine faith and of charity. He says that he would have wished to come himself, were it not that he had lately returned, after thirty years' absence, to his parents, and that it would have seemed harsh and inhuman to leave them after having been so long in coming to them; and also if he had not become somewhat less robust through his long and toilsome journey, and too infirm to begin his labours again. As he had not been able to come himself, he had sent his apology as a kind of literary cudgel which the bishop might hold in his hand and drive away the dogs who were raging against him. If he is a man approved for his divine faith and charity by all, and especially by the Bishop to whom he writes; how is it that at Rome he is assailed and reviled, and that the reports of the attacks upon his reputation grow thicker. Further, what sort of humility is this, that a man speaks of himself as approved for his divine faith and charity? The Apostles prayed, "Lord increase our faith," and received for answer: "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed;" and even to Peter it is said: "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Why should I speak of charity, which is greater than either faith or hope, and which Paul says he hopes for rather than assumes: without which even the blood shed in martyrdom and the body given up to the flames has no reward to crown it. Yet both of these our friend claims as his own: in such a way, however, that there still remain creatures who bark against him, and who will go on barking unless the illustrious Pontiff drives them away with his stick. But how absurd is this plea which he puts forward, of having returned to his parents after thirty years. Why, he has got neither father nor mother! He left them alive when he was a young man, and, now that he is old, he pines for them when they are dead. But perhaps, he means by "parents," what is meant in the talk of the soldiers and the common people, his kinsfolk and relations; well, he says he does not wish to be thought so harsh and inhuman as to desert them; and therefore he leaves his home and goes to live at Aquileia. That most approved faith of his is in great peril at Rome, and yet he lies on his back, being a bit tired after thirty years, and cannot make that very easy journey in a carriage along that Flaminian Way. He puts forward his lassitude after his long journey, as if he had done nothing but move about for thirty years, or as if, after resting at Aquileia for two years, he was still worn out with the labour of his past travels. Luke xvii. 5, 6
5. None of these answers will you give us. You turn to other things, and by your tricks and shew of words prevent us from paying close attention to the question. What! you will say, was not the question about the resurrection of the flesh and the punishment of the devil? True; and therefore I ask for a brief and sincere answer. I raise no question as to your declaration that it is this very flesh in which we live which rises again, without the loss of a single member, and without any part of the body being cut off (for these are your own words). But I want to know whether you hold, what Origen denies, that the bodies rise with the same sex with which they died; and that Mary will still be Mary and John be John; or whether the sexes will be so mixed and confused that there will be neither man nor woman, but something which is both or neither; and also whether you hold that the bodies remain uncorrupt and immortal, and, as you acutely suggest after the Apostle, spiritual bodies forever; and not only the bodies, but the actual flesh, with blood infused into it, and passing by channels through the veins and bones,--such flesh as Thomas touched; or that little by little they are dissolved into nothing, and reduced into the four elements of which they were compounded. This you ought either to confess or deny, and not to say what Origen also says, but insincerely, as if he were playing upon the weakness of fools and children, "without the loss of a single member or the cutting off of any part of the body." Do you suppose that what we feared was that we might rise without noses and ears, that we should find that our genital organs would be cut off or maimed and that a city of eunuchs was built up in the new Jerusalem? c6. Of the devil he thus frames his opinion:
10. Unhappy souls! stricken through with all these barbarisms as with so many lances! I doubt whether they had so much trouble when, according to the erroneous theory of Origen, they tell from heaven to earth, and were clothed in these gross bodies, as they have now in being knocked about on all sides by these strange words and sentences: not to mention that word of ill omen which says that they are infused through the channel of the human seed. I know that it is not usual in Christian writings to criticise mere faults of style; but I thought it well to shew by a few examples how rash it is to teach what you are ignorant of, to write what you do not know: so that, when we come to the subject-matter, we may be prepared to find the same amount of wisdom. He sends a letter, which he calls a very strong stick, as a weapon for the Bishop of Rome; and on the very subject about which the dogs are barking at him he professes entire ignorance of the question. If he is ignorant on the subject for which ill-reports are current against him, what need was there for him to send an Apology, which contains no defence of himself, but only a confession of his ignorance? This course is calculated to sow a crop of suspicions, not to calm them. He gives us three opinions about the origin of souls; and his conclusion at the end is: "I do not deny that I have read each of them, and I confess that I still am ignorant." You would suppose him to be Arcesilaus or Carneades who declare that there is no certainty; though he surpasses even them in his cautiousness; for they were driven by the intolerable ill-will which they aroused among philosophers for taking all truth out of human life, to invent the doctrines of probability, so that by making their probable assertions they might temper their agnosticism; but he merely says that he is uncertain, and does not know which of these opinions is true. If this was all the answer he had to make, what could have induced him to invoke so great a Pontiff as the witness of his lack of theological culture. I presume this is the lassitude about which he tells us that he is exhausted with his thirty-years journey and cannot come to Rome. There are a great many things of which we are all ignorant; but we do not ask for witnesses of our ignorance. As to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as to the nativity of our Lord and Saviour, about which Isaiah cries, "Who shall declare his generation?" he speaks boldly, and a mystery of which all past ages knew nothing he claims as quite within his knowledge: this alone he does not know, the ignorance of which causes men to stumble. As to how a virgin became the mother of God, he has full knowledge; as to how he himself was born he knows nothing. He confesses that God is the maker of souls and bodies, whether souls existed before bodies or whether they came into being with the germs of bodies, or are sent into them when they are already formed in the womb. In any case we recognize God as their author. The question at issue is not whether the souls were made by God or by another, but which of the three opinions which he states is true. Of this he professes ignorance. Take care! You may find people saying that the reason for your confession of your ignorance of the three is that you do not wish to be compelled to condemn one. You spare Tertullian and Lactantius so as not to condemn Origen with them. As far as I remember (though I may be mistaken) I am not aware of having read that Lactantius spoke of the soul as planted at the same time as the body. But, as you say that you have read it, please to tell me in what book it is to be found, so that you may not be thought to have calumniated him in his death as you have me in my slumber. But even here you walk with a cautious and hesitating step. You say: "I think that, among the Latins, Tertullian or Lactantius held this opinion, perhaps also some others." You not only are in doubt about the origin of souls, but you have only thoughts' as to the opinion which each writer holds: yet the matter is of some importance. On the question of the soul, however, you openly proclaim your ignorance, and confess your untaught condition: as to the authors, your knowledge amounts only to thinking,' hardly to presuming.' But as to Origen alone you are quite clear. "This is Origen's opinion," you say. But, let me ask you: Is the opinion sound or not? Your reply is, "I do not know." Then why do you send me messengers and letter-carriers, who are constantly coming, merely to teach me that you are ignorant? To prevent the possibility of my doubting whether your incapacity is as great as you say, and thinking it possible that you are cunningly concealing all you know, you take an oath in the presence of God that up to the present moment you hold nothing for certain and definite on this subject, and that you leave it to God to know what is true, and to any one to whom it may please Him to reveal it. What! Through all these ages does it seem to you that there has been no one worthy of having this revealed to him? Neither patriarch, nor prophet, nor apostle, nor martyr? Were not these mysteries made clear even to yourself when you dwelt amidst princes and exiles? The Lord says in the Gospel: "Father, I have revealed thy name to men." Did he who revealed the Father keep silence on the origin of souls? And are you astonished if your brethren are scandalized when you swear that you know nothing of a thing which the churches of Christ profess to know? Of Pitane in Æolia, b.c. 316-241. Founder of the Middle Academy, half-way between the Platonic idealism and the scepticism of Pyrrho.
11. After the exposition of his faith, or rather his lack of knowledge, he passes on to another matter; and tries to make excuses for having turned the books Peri 'Archon into Latin. I will put down his words literally:
12. We must consider the fact, which comes first, and so in order reach the inference, which comes after. Now I find among many bad things written by Origen the following most distinctly heretical: that the Son of God is a creature, that the Holy Spirit is a servant: that there are innumerable worlds, succeeding one another in eternal ages: that angels have been turned into human souls; that the soul of the Saviour existed before it was born of Mary, and that it is this soul which "being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied itself and took the form of a servant;" that the resurrection of our bodies will be such that we shall not have the same members, since, when the functions of the members cease they will become superfluous: and that our bodies themselves will grow aërial and spirit-like, and gradually vanish and disperse into thin air and into nothing: that in the restitution of all things, when the fulness of forgiveness will have been reached, Cherubim and Seraphim, Thrones, Principalities, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Archangels and Angels, the devil, the demons and the souls of men whether Christians Jews or Heathen, will be of one condition and degree; and when they have come to their true form and weight, and the new army of the whole race returning from the exile of the world presents a mass of rational creatures with all their dregs left behind, then will begin a new world from a new origin, and other bodies in which the souls who fall from heaven will be clothed; so that we may have to fear that we who are now men may afterwards be born women, and one who is now a virgin may chance then to be a prostitute. These things I point out as heresies in the books of Origen. It is for you to point out in which of his books you have found them contradicted. Phil. ii c13. Do not tell me that "you have found the same things treated by the same author in other places in a catholic sense," and thus send me to search through the six thousand books of Origen which you charge the most reverend Bishop Epiphanius with having read; but mention the passages with exactness: nor will this suffice; you must produce the sentences word for word. Origen is no fool, as I well know; he cannot contradict himself. The net result arising from all this calculation is, then, that what you cut out was not due to the heretics, but to Origen himself, and that you translated the bad things he had written because you considered them good; and that both the good and the bad things in the book are to be set to your account, since you approved his writings in the Prologue. c14. The next passage in this apology is as follows:
15. You say that you are not the defender or the champion of Origen; but I will at once confront you with your own book of which you spoke in that notorious preface to your renowned work in these terms:
16. These are his own words, he cannot deny them. Now I do not want to be put off with such expressions as "since he said above" but I want to have the name of the book in which he first spoke rightly and then wrongly: in which he first says that the Holy Spirit and the Son are of the substance of God, and in what immediately follows declares that they are creatures. Do you not know that I possess the whole of Origen's works and have read a vast number of them?
19. Now compare the words of Origen, which I have translated word for word above, with these which by him have been turned into Latin, or rather overturned; and you will see clearly how great a discrepancy between them there is, not only of word but of meaning. I beg you not to consider my translation wearisome because it is longer; for the object I had in translating the whole passage was to exhibit the purpose which he had in suppressing the earlier part. There exists in Greek a dialogue between Origen and Candidus the defender of the heresy of Valentinian, in which I confess it seems to me when I read it that I am looking on at a fight between two Andabatian gladiators. Candidus maintains that the Son is of the substance of the Father, falling into the error of asserting a Probolé or Production. On the other side, Origen, like Arius and Eunomius, refuses to admit that He is produced or born, lest God the Father should thus be divided into parts; but he says that He was a sublime and most excellent creation who came into being by the will of the Father like other creatures. They then come to a second question. Candidus asserts that the devil is of a nature wholly evil which can never be saved. Against this Origen rightly asserts that he is not of perishable substance, but that it is by his own will that he fell and can be saved. This Candidus falsely turns into a reproach against Origen, as if he had said that the diabolical nature could be saved. What therefore Candidus had falsely accused him of, Origen refutes. But we see that in this Dialogue alone Origen accuses the heretics of having falsified his writings, not in the other books about which no question was ever raised. Otherwise, if we are to believe that all which is heretical is not due to Origen but to the heretics, while almost all his books are full of these errors, nothing of Origen's will remain, but everything must be the work of those of whose names we are ignorant.
20. What nonsense is this out of which they fabricate a charge against me! It seems hardly worth while to notice it. It is a story of my own about the council held by Damasus Bishop of Rome, and I, under the name of a certain friend of his, am attacked for it. He had given me some papers about church affairs to get copied; and the story describes a trick practised by the Apollinarians who borrowed one of these, a book of Athanasius' to read in which occur the words Dominicus homo,' and falsified it by first scratching out the words, and then writing them in again on the erasure, so that it might appear, not that the book had been falsified by them, but that the words had been added by me. I beg you, my dearest friend, that in these matters of serious interest to the church, where doctrinal truth is in question, and we are seeking for the authority of our predecessors for the well-being of our souls to put away silly stuff of this kind, and not take mere after-dinner stories as if they were arguments. For it is quite possible that, even after you have heard the true story from me, another who does not know it may declare that it is made up, and composed in elegant language by you like a mine of Philistion or a song of Lentulus or Marcellus. "A man of the Lord," perhaps applied to Christ. c21. To what point will not rashness reach when once the reins which check it are relaxed? After telling us of the excommunication of Hilary, the heretical book falsely bearing the name of Cyprian, the successive erasure and insertion in the work of Athanasius made while I was asleep, he as a last effort breaks forth into an attack upon the pope Epiphanius: the chagrin engendered in his heart because Epiphanius in the letter which he wrote to the bishop John had called him a heretic, he pours out in his apology for Origen, and comforts himself with these words:
22. Who are these men who are wont to dispute at such great length in the churches, and to write books, and whose discourses and writings are taken wholly from Origen; these men who are afraid of their literary thefts becoming known, and shew ingratitude towards their master, and who therefore deter men of simple mind from reading him? You ought to mention them by name, and designate the men themselves. Are the reverend bishops Anastasius and Theophilus, Venerius and Chromatius, and the whole council of the Catholics both in the East and in the West, who publicly denounce him as a heretic, to be esteemed to be plagiarists of his books? Are we to believe that, when they preach in the churches, they do not preach the mysteries of the Scriptures, but merely repeat what they have stolen from Origen? Is it not enough for you to disparage them all in general, but you must specially aim the spear of your pen against a reverend and eminent Bishop of the church? Who is this who considers that he has a necessity laid on him of reviling Origen, as the Gospel which he must preach among all nations and tongues? this man who proclaimed in the audience of a vast multitude of the brethren that he had read six thousand of his books? You yourself were in the very centre of that multitude and company of the brethren, when, as he complains in his letter, the monstrous doctrines of Origen were enlarged upon by you. Is it to be imputed to him as a crime that he knows the Greek, the Syrian, the Hebrew, the Egyptian, and in part also the Latin language? Then, I suppose, the Apostles and Apostolic men, who spoke with tongues, are to be condemned; and you who know two languages may deride me who know three. But as for the six thousand books which you pretend that he has read, who will believe that you are speaking the truth, or that he was capable of telling such a lie? If indeed Origen had written six thousand books, it is possible that a man of great learning, who had been trained from his infancy in sacred literature might have read books alien from his own convictions, because he had an inquiring spirit and a love of learning. But how could be read what Origen never wrote? Count up the index contained in the third volume of Eusebius, in which is his life of Pamphilus: you will not find, I do not say six thousand, but not a third of that number of books. I have by me the letter of the above named Pontiff, in which he gives his answer to this calumny of yours uttered when you were still in the East; and it confutes this most manifest falsehood with the open countenance of truth. Bishops respectively of Rome, Alexandria, Milan, and Aquileia.
23. After all this you dare to say in your Apology, that you are not the defender nor the champion of Origen, though you think that Eusebius and Pamphilus said all too little in his defence. I shall try to write a reply to those works in another treatise if God grants me a sufficient span of life. For the present let it suffice that I have met your assertions, and that I have set the careful reader on his guard by stating that I never saw in writing the book which was known as the work of Pamphilus till I read it in your own manuscript. It was no great concern of mine to know what was written in favour of a heretic, and therefore I always took it that the work of Pamphilus was different from that of Eusebius; but, after the question had been raised, I wished to reply to their works, and with this object I read what each of them had to say in Origen's behalf; and then I discerned clearly that the first of Eusebius' six books was the same which you had published both in Greek and Latin as the single book of Pamphilus, only altering the opinion about the Son and the Holy Spirit, which bore on their face the mark of open blasphemy. It was thus that, when my friend, Dexter, who held the office of prætorian prefect, asked me, ten years ago, to make a list for him of the writers of our faith, placed among the various treatises assigned to various authors this book as composed by Pamphilus, supposing the matter to be as it had been brought before the public by you and by your disciples. But, since Eusebius himself says that Pamphilus wrote nothing except some short letters to his friends, and the first of his six books contains the precise words which are fictitiously given by you under the name of Pamphilus, it is plain that your object in circulating this book was to introduce heresy under the authority of a martyr. I cannot allow you to make my mistake a cloak for your fraud, when you first pretend that the book is by Pamphilus and then pervert many of its passages so as to make them different in Latin from what they are in Greek. I believed the book to be by the writer whose name it bore, just as I did in reference to the Peri 'Archon, and many other of the works of Origen and of other Greek writers, which I never read till now, and am now compelled to read, because the question of heresy has been raised, and I wish to know what ought to be avoided and what opposed. In my youth, therefore, I translated only the homilies which he delivered in public, and in which there are fewer causes of offence; and this in ignorance and at the request of others: I did not try to prejudice men by means of the parts which they approved in favour of the acceptance of those which are evidently heretical. At all events, to cut short a long discussion, I can point out whence I received the Peri 'Archon, namely, from those who copied it from your manuscript. We want in like manner to know whence your copy of it came; for if you are unable to name any one else as the source from which it was derived, you will yourself be convicted of falsifying it. "A good man from the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth what is good." A tree of a good stock is known by the sweetness of its fruit. The Catalogue of Illustrious Men translated in this volume forms the response to this request.
24. My brother Eusebius writes to me that, when he was at a meeting of African bishops which had been called for certain ecclesiastical affairs, he found there a letter purporting to be written by me, in which I professed penitence and confessed that it was through the influence of the press in my youth that I had been led to turn the Scriptures into Latin from the Hebrew; in all of which there is not a word of truth. When I heard this, I was stupefied. But one witness was not enough; even Cato was not believed on his unsupported evidence: "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." Letters were soon brought me from many brethren in Rome asking about this very matter, whether the facts were as was stated: and they pointed in a way to make me weep to the person by whom the letter had been circulated among the people. He who dared to do this, what will he not dare to do? It is well that ill will has not a strength equal to its intentions. Innocence would be dead long ago if wickedness were always allied to power, and calumny could prevail in all that it seeks to accomplish. It was impossible for him, accomplished as he was, to copy any style and manner of writing, whatever their value may be; amidst all his tricks and his fraudulent assumption of another man's personality, it was evident who he was. It is this same man, then, who wrote this fictitious letter of retractation in my name, making out that my translation of the Hebrew books was bad, who, we now hear, accuses me of having translated the Holy Scriptures with a view to disparage the Septuagint. In any case, whether my translation is right or wrong, I am to be condemned: I must either confess that in my new work I was wrong, or else that by my new version I have aimed a blow at the old. I wonder that in this letter he did not make me out as guilty of homicide, or adultery or sacrilege or parricide or any of the vile things which the silent working of the mind can revolve within itself. Indeed I ought to be grateful to him for having imputed to me no more than one act of error or false dealing out of the whole forest of possible crimes. Am I likely to have said anything derogatory to the seventy translators, whose work I carefully purged from corruptions and gave to Latin readers many years ago, and daily expound it at our conventual gatherings; whose version of the Psalms has so long been the subject of my meditation and my song? Was I so foolish as to wish to forget in old age what I learned in youth? All my treatises have been woven out of statements warranted by their version. My commentaries on the twelve prophets are an explanation of their version as well as my own. How uncertain must the labours of men ever be! and how contrary at times to their own intentions are the results which men's studies reach. I thought that I deserved well of my countrymen the Latins by this version, and had given them an incitement to learning; for it is not despised even by the Greeks now that it is retranslated into their language; yet it is now made the subject of a charge against me; and I find that the food pressed upon them turns upon the stomach. What is there in human life that can be safe if innocence is made the object of accusation? I am the householder who finds that while he slept the enemy has sown tares among his wheat. "The wild boar out of the wood has rooted up my vineyard, and the strange wild beast has devoured it." I keep silence, but a letter that is not mine speaks against me. I am ignorant of the crime laid against me, yet I am made to confess the crime all through the world. "Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man to be judged and condemned in the whole earth." Deut. xvii. 6
25. All my prefaces to the books of the Old Testament, some specimens of which I subjoin, are witnesses for me on this point; and it is needless to state the matter otherwise than it is stated in them. I will begin therefore with Genesis. The Prologue is as follows:
33. In reference to Daniel my answer will be that I did not say that he was not a prophet; on the contrary, I confessed in the very beginning of the Preface that he was a prophet. But I wished to show what was the opinion upheld by the Jews; and what were the arguments on which they relied for its proof. I also told the reader that the version read in the Christian churches was not that of the Septuagint translators but that of Theodotion. It is true, I said that the Septuagint version was in this book very different from the original, and that it was condemned by the right judgment of the churches of Christ; but the fault was not mine who only stated the fact, but that of those who read the version. We have four versions to choose from: those of Aquila, Symmachus, the Seventy, and Theodotion. The churches choose to read Daniel in the version of Theodotion. What sin have I committed in following the judgment of the churches? But when I repeat what the Jews say against the Story of Susanna and the Hymn of the Three Children, and the fables of Bel and the Dragon, which are not contained in the Hebrew Bible, the man who makes this a charge against me proves himself to be a fool and a slanderer; for I explained not what I thought but what they commonly say against us. I did not reply to their opinion in the Preface, because I was studying brevity, and feared that I should seem to be writing not a Preface but a book. I said therefore, "As to which this is not the time to enter into discussion." Otherwise from the fact that I stated that Porphyry had said many things against this prophet, and called, as witnesses of this, Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinarius, who have replied to his folly in many thousand lines, it will be in his power to accuse me for not having written in my Preface against the books of Porphyry. If there is any one who pays attention to silly things like this, I must tell him loudly and freely that no one is compelled to read what he does not want; that I wrote for those who asked me, not for those who would scorn me, for the grateful not the carping, for the earnest not the indifferent. Still, I wonder that a man should read the version of Theodotion the heretic and judaizer, and should scorn that of a Christian, simple and sinful though he may be. c34. I beg you, my most sweet friend, who are so curious that you even know my dreams, and that you scrutinize for purposes of accusations all that I have written during these many years without fear of future calumny; answer me, how is it you do not know the prefaces of the very books on which you ground your charges against me? These prefaces, as if by some prophetic foresight, gave the answer to the calumnies that were coming, thus fulfilling the proverb, "The antidote before the poison." What harm has been done to the churches by my translation? You bought up, as I knew, at great cost the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, and the Jewish authors of the fifth and sixth translations. Your Origen, or, that I may not seem to be wounding you with fictitious praises, our Origen, (for I may call him ours for his genius and learning, though not for the truth of his doctrines) in all his books explains and expounds not only the Septuagint but the Jewish versions. Eusebius and Didymus do the same. I do not mention Apollinarius, who, with a laudable zeal though not according to knowledge, attempted to patch up into one garment the rags of all the translations, and to weave a consistent text of Scripture at his own discretion, not according to any sound rule of criticism. The Hebrew Scriptures are used by apostolic men; they are used, as is evident, by the apostles and evangelists. Our Lord and Saviour himself whenever he refers to the Scriptures, takes his quotations from the Hebrew; as in the instance of the words "He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water," and in the words used on the cross itself, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," which is by interpretation "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" not, as it is given by the Septuagint, "My God, my God, look upon me, why hast thou forsaken me?" and many similar cases. I do not say this in order to aim a blow at the seventy translators; but I assert that the Apostles of Christ have an authority superior to theirs. Wherever the Seventy agree with the Hebrew, the apostles took their quotations from that translation; but, where they disagree, they set down in Greek what they had found in the Hebrew. And further, I give a challenge to my accuser. I have shown that many things are set down in the New Testament as coming from the older books, which are not to be found in the Septuagint; and I have pointed out that these exist in the Hebrew. Now let him show that there is anything in the New Testament which comes from the Septuagint but which is not found in the Hebrew, and our controversy is at an end. John vii. 38, supposed to be taken from Prov. xviii. 4, or Is. lviii. 11 c35. By all this it is made clear, first that the version of the Seventy translators which has gained an established position by having been so long in use, was profitable to the churches, because that by its means the Gentiles heard of the coming of Christ before he came; secondly, that the other translators are not to be reproved, since it was not their own works that they published but the divine books which they translated; and, thirdly, that my own familiar friend should frankly accept from a Christian and a friend what he has taken great pains to obtain from the Jews and has written down for him at great cost. I have exceeded the bounds of a letter; and, though I had taken pen in hand to contend against a wicked heresy, I have been compelled to make answer on my own behalf, while waiting for my friend's three books, and in a state of constant mental suspense about the charges he had heaped up against me. It is easier to guard against one who professes hostility than to make head against an enemy who lurks under the guise of a friend. cBook III.
2. But, before I make my answer to your letter, I must expostulate with you; you who are first in age among the monks, good presbyter, follower of Christ; is it possible for you to wish to kill your brother, when even to hate him is to be a homicide? Have you learned from your Saviour the lesson that if one strike you on the one cheek you should turn to him the other also? Did not he make answer to the man who struck him, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me?" You threaten me with death, which can be inflicted on us even by serpents. To die is the lot of all, to commit homicide only of the weak man. What then? If you do not kill me shall I never die? Perhaps I ought to be grateful to you that you turn this necessity into a virtue. We read of Apostles quarrelling, namely Paul and Barnabas who were angry with each other on account of John whose surname was Mark; those who were united by the bonds of Christ's gospel were separated for a voyage; but they still remained friends. Did not the same Paul resist Peter to the face because he did not walk uprightly in the Gospel? Yet he speaks of him as his predecessor in the Gospel, and as a pillar of the church; and he lays before him his mode of preaching, lest he should be running, or had run in vain.' Do not children differ from parents and wives from husbands in religious matters, while yet domestic affections remain unimpaired. If you are as I am, why should you hate me? Even if you believe differently, why should you wish to kill me? Is it so, that whoever differs from you is to be slain? I call upon Jesus who will judge what I am now writing and your letter also, as a witness upon my conscience, that when the reverend bishop Chromatius begged me to keep silence, my wish was to do so, and thus to make an end of our dissensions, and to overcome evil with good. But, now that you threaten me with destruction, I am compelled to reply; otherwise, my silence will be taken as an acknowledgment of the crime, and you will interpret my moderation as the sign of an evil conscience. John xviii. 23
3. The dilemma in which I am placed is of your making: it is brought out, not from the resources of dialectics, of which you are ignorant, but from among the tools of the murderer and with an intention like his. If I keep silence, I am held guilty: if I speak, I become an evil speaker. You at once forbid me to answer and compel me. Well, then; I must shun excess on both sides. I will say nothing that is injurious; but I must dissipate the charges made against me, for it is impossible not to be afraid of a man who is prepared to kill you. And I will do this in the order of what you have now set before me, leaving the rest as they are in those most learned books of yours which I confuted before I had read them.
6. I will follow the order of your letter, and subjoin your very words as you spoke them. "I admit, that, as you say, I praised your eloquence in my Preface; and I would praise it again now were it not that contrary to the advice of your Tully, you make it hateful by excessive boastfulness." Where have I boasted of my eloquence? I did not even accept willingly the praise which you bestowed on it. Perhaps your reason for saying this is that you do not wish, yourself, to be flattered by public praise given in guile. Rest assured you shall be accused openly; you reject one who would praise you; you shall have experience of one who openly arraigns you. I was not so foolish as to criticize your illiterate style; no one can expose it to condemnation so strongly as you do whenever you write. I only wished to show your fellow-disciples who shared your lack of literary training what progress you had made during your thirty years in the East, an illiterate writer, who takes impudence for eloquence, and universal evil speaking a sign of a good conscience. I am not going to administer the ferule; I do not assume, as you put it, to apply the strokes of the leather thong to teach an aged pupil his letters. But the fact is your eloquence and teaching is so sparkling that we mere tract-writers cannot bear it, and you dazzle our eyes with the acuteness of your talents to such an extent that we must all seem to be envious of you; and we must really join in the attempt to suppress you, for, if once you obtain the primacy among us as a writer, and stand on the summit of the rhetorical arch, all of us who profess to know anything will not be allowed to mutter a word. I am, according to you, a philosopher and an orator, grammarian, dialectician, one who knows Hebrew, Greek and Latin, a trilingual' man. On this estimate, you also will be bilingual,' who know enough Latin and Greek to make the Greek think you a Latin scholar and the Latin a Greek: and the bishop Epiphanius will be a pentaglossic man' since he speaks in five languages against you and your favorite. But I wonder at the rashness which made you dare to say to one so accomplished as you profess to think me: "You, whose accomplishments give you so many watchful eyes, how can you be pardoned if you go wrong? How can you fail to be buried in the silence of a never ending shame?" When I read this, and reflected that I must somewhere or other have made a slip in my words (for "if any man does not go wrong in word, the same is a perfect man") and was expecting that he was about to expose some of my faults; all of a sudden I came upon the words: "Two days before the carrier of this letter set out your declamation against me was put into my hands." What became then of those threats of yours, and of your words: "How can you be pardoned if you go wrong? How can you fail to be covered with the silence of a never ending shame?" Yet perhaps, notwithstanding the shortness of the time, you were able to put this in order; or else you were intending to hire in one of the learned sort, who would expect to find in my works the ornaments and gems of an eloquence like yours. You wrote before this: "Accept the document which I send which you wished to buy at a great price;" but now you speak with the pretence of humility. "I intended to follow your example; but, since the messenger who was returning to you was hurrying back again I thought it better to write shortly to you than at greater length to others." In the meantime you boldly take pleasure in your illiteracy. Indeed you once confessed it, declaring that it was superfluous to notice a few faults of style, when it was acknowledged that there were faults in every part.' I will not therefore find fault with you for putting down that a document was acquired when you meant that it was bought; though acquiring is said of things like in kind, whereas buying implies the counting out of money: nor for such a sentence as "as he who was returning to you was hurrying back again" which is a redundancy worthy of the poorest style of diction. I will only reply to the arguments, and will convict you, not of solæcisms and barbarisms, but of falsehood, cunning and impudence. Five tongued.
7. If it is true that you write a letter to me so as to admonish me, and, because you wish that I should be reformed, and that you do not wish that men should have a stumbling block put in their way, and that some may be driven mad and others be put to silence; why do you write books addressed to others against me, and scatter them by your myrmidons for the whole world to read? And what becomes of your dilemma in which you try to entangle me, "Whom, best of masters, did you think to correct? If those to whom you wrote, there was no fault to find with them; if me whom you accuse, it was not to me that you wrote"? And I will reply to you in your own words: "Whom did you wish to correct, unlearned master? Those who had done no wrong? or me to whom you did not write? You think your leaders are brutish and are all incapable of understanding your subtilty, or rather your ill will, (for it was in this that the serpent was more subtile than all the beasts in paradise,) in asking that my admonition to you should be of a private character, when you were pressing an indictment against me in public. You are not ashamed to call this indictment of yours an Apology: And you complain that I oppose a shield to your poniard, and with much religiosity and sanctimoniousness you assume the mask of humility, and say: "If I had erred, why did you write to others, and not try to confute me?" I will retort on you this very point. What you complain that I did not do, why did you not do yourself? It is as if a man who is attacking another with kicks and fisticuffs, and finds him intending to shew fight, should say to him: "Do you not know the command, If a man smites you on the cheek, turn to him the other'?" It comes to this, my good sir, you are determined to beat me, to strike out my eye; and then, when I bestir myself ever so little, you harp upon the precept of the Gospel. Would you like to have all the windings of your cunning exposed?--those tricks of the foxes who dwell among the ruins, of whom Ezekiel writes, "Like foxes in the desert, so are thy prophets, O Israel." Let me make you understand what you have done. You praised me in your Preface in such a way that your praises are made a ground of accusation against me, and if I had not declared myself to be without any connexion with my admirer, I should have been judged as a heretic. After I repelled your charges, that is your praises, and without shewing ill will to you personally, answered the accusations, not the accuser, and inveighed against the heretics, to shew that, though defamed by you, I was a catholic; you grew angry, and raved and composed the most magnificent works against me; and when you had given them to all men to read and repeat, letters came to me from Italy, and Rome and Dalmatia, shewing each more clearly than the last, what all the encomiums were worth with which in your former laudation you had decorated me. Ezek. xiii. 4 c8. I confess, I immediately set to work to reply to the insinuations directed against me, and tried with all my might to prove that I was no heretic, and I sent these books of my Apology to those whom your book had pained, so that your poison might be followed by my antidote. In reply to this, you sent me your former books, and now send me this last letter, full of injurious language and accusations. My good friend, what do you expect me to do? To keep silence? That would be to acknowledge myself guilty. To speak? But you hold your sword over my head, and threaten me with an indictment, no longer before the church but before the law-courts. What have I done that deserves punishment? Wherein have I injured you? Is it that I have shewn myself not to be a heretic? or that I could not esteem myself worthy of your praises? or that I laid bare in plain words the tricks and perjuries of the heretics? What is all this to you who boast yourself a true man and a catholic, and who shew more zeal in attacking me than in defending yourself? Must I be thought to be attacking you because I defend myself? or is it impossible that you should be orthodox unless you prove me to be a heretic? What help can it give you to be connected with me? and what is the meaning of your action? You are accused by one set of people and you answer only by attacking another. You find an attack made on you by one man, and you turn your back upon him and attack another who was for leaving you alone. c9. I call Jesus the Mediator to witness that it is against my will, and fighting against necessity, that I come down into the arena of this war of words, and that, had you not challenged me, I would have never broken silence. Even now, let your charges against me cease, and my defence will cease. For it is no edifying spectacle that is presented to our readers, that of two old men engaging in a gladiatorial conflict on account of a heretic; especially when both of them wish to be thought catholics. Let us leave off all favouring of heretics, and there will be no dispute between us. We once were zealous in our praise of Origen; let us be equally zealous in condemning him now that he is condemned by the whole world. Let us join hands and hearts, and march with a ready step behind the two trophy-bearers of the East and West. We went wrong in our youth, let us mend our ways in our age. If you are my brother, be glad that I have seen my errors; if I am your friend, I must give you joy on your conversion. So long as we maintain our strife, we shall be thought to hold the right faith not willingly but of necessity. Our enmity prevents our affording the spectacle of a true repentance. If our faith is one, if we both of us accept and reject the same things, (and it is from this, as even Catiline testifies, that firm friendships arise), if we are alike in our hatred of heretics, and equally condemn our former mistakes, why should we set out to battle against each other, when we have the same objects both of attack and defence? Pardon me for having praised Origen's zeal for Scriptural learning in my youthful days before I fully knew his heresies; and I will grant you forgiveness for having written an Apology for his works when your head was grey. Theophilus of Alexandria--Anastasius of Rome. c10. You state that my book came into your hands two days before you wrote your letter to me, and that therefore you had no sufficient leisure to make a reply. Otherwise, if you had spoken against me after full thought and preparation, we might think that you were casting forth lightnings rather than accusations. But even so veracious a person as you will hardly gain credence when you tell us that a merchant of Eastern wares whose business is to sell what he has brought from these parts and to buy Italian goods to bring over here for sale, only stayed two days at Aquileia, so that you were obliged to write your letter to me in a hurried and extempore fashion. For your books which it took you three years to put into complete shape are hardly more carefully written. Perhaps, however, you had no one at hand then to amend your sorry productions, and this is the reason why your literary journey is destitute of the aid of Pallas, and is intersected by faults of style, as by rough places and chasms at every turn. It is clear that this statement about the two days is false; you would not have been able in that time even to read what I wrote, much less to reply to it; so that it is evident that either you took a good many days in writing your letter, which its elaborate style makes probable; or, if this is your hasty style of composition, and you can write so well off-hand, you would be very negligent in your composition to write so much worse when you have had time for thought. c11. You state, with some prevarication, that you have translated from the Greek what I had before translated into Latin; but I do not clearly understand to what you are alluding, unless you are still bringing up against me the Commentary on the Ephesians, and hardening yourself in your effrontery, as if you had received no answer on this head. You stop your ears and will not hear the voice of the charmer. What I have done in that and other commentaries is to develop both my own opinion and that of others, stating clearly which are catholic and which heretical. This is the common rule and custom of those who undertake to explain books in commentaries: They give at length in their exposition the various opinions, and explain what is thought by themselves and by others. This is done not only by those who expound the holy Scriptures but also by those who explain secular books whether in Greek or in Latin. You, however, cannot screen yourself in reference to the Peri 'Archon by this fact; for you will be convicted by your own Preface, in which you undertake that the evil parts and those which have been added by heretics have been cut off but that all that is best remains; so that all that you have written, whether good or bad, must be held to be the work, not of the author whom you are translating, but of yourself who have made the translation. Perhaps, indeed, you ought to have corrected the errors of the heretics, and to have set forth publicly what is wrong in Origen. But on this point, (since you refer me to the document itself,) I have made you my answer before reading your letter. c12. About the book of Pamphilus, what happened to me was, not comical as you call it, but perhaps ridiculous; namely that after I had asserted it to be by Eusebius not by Pamphilus, I stated at the end of the discussion that I had for many years believed that it was by Pamphilus, and that I had borrowed a copy of this book from you. You may judge how little I fear your derision from the fact that even now I make the same statement. I took it from your manuscript as being a copy of a work of Pamphilus. I trusted in you as a Christian and as a monk: I did not imagine that you would be guilty of such a wicked imposture. But, after that the question of Origen's heresy was stirred throughout the world on account of your translation of his work, I was more careful in examining copies of the book, and in the library of Cæsarea I found the six volumes of Eusebius' Apology for Origen. As soon as I had looked through them, I at once detected the book on the Son and the Holy Spirit which you alone have published under the name of the martyr, altering most of its blasphemies into words of a better meaning. And this I saw must have been done either by Didymus or by you or some other (it is quite clear that you did it in reference to the Peri 'Archon) by this decisive proof, that Eusebius tells us that Pamphilus published nothing of his own. It is for you therefore to say from whence you obtained your copy; and do not, for the sake of avoiding my accusation, say that it was from some one who is dead, or, because you have no one to point to, name one who cannot answer for himself. If this rivulet has its source in your desk, the inference is plain enough, without my drawing it. But, suppose that the title of this book and the name of the author has been changed by some other lover of Origen, what motive had you for turning it into Latin? Evidently this, that, through the testimony given to him by a martyr, all should trust to the writings of Origen, since they were guaranteed beforehand by a witness of such authority. But the Apology of this most learned man was not sufficient for you; you must write a treatise of your own in his defence, and, when these two documents had been widely circulated, you felt secure in proceeding to translate the Peri 'Archon itself from the Greek, and commended it in a Preface, in which you said that some things in it had been corrupted by the heretics, but that you had corrected them from a study of others of Origen's writings. Then come in your praises of me for the purpose of preventing any of my friends from speaking against you. You put me forward as the trumpeter of Origen, you praise my eloquence to the skies, so that you may drag down the faith into the mire; you call me colleague and brother, and profess yourself the imitator of my works. Then, while on the one hand you cry me up as having translated seventy homilies of Origen, and some of his short treatises on the Apostle, in which you say that I so smoothed things down that the Latin reader will find nothing in them which is discrepant from the Catholic faith; now on the other hand you brand these very books as heretical; and, obliterating your former praise, you accuse the man whom you had preached up when you thought he would figure as your ally, because you find that he is the enemy of your perfidy. Which of us two is the calumniator of the martyr? I, who say that he was no heretic, and that he did not write the book which is condemned by every one; or you, who have published a book written by a man who was an Arian and changed his name into that of the martyr? It is not enough for you that Greece has been scandalized; you must press the book upon the ears of the Latins, and dishonor an illustrious martyr as far as in you lies by your translation. Your intention no doubt was not this; it was not to accuse me but to make me serve for the defence of Origen's writings. But let me tell you that the faith of Rome which was praised by the voice of an Apostle, does not recognize tricks of this kind. A faith which has been guaranteed by the authority of an Apostle cannot be changed though an Angel should announce another gospel than that which he preached. Therefore, my brother, whether the falsification of the book proceeds from you, as many believe, or from another, as you will perhaps try to persuade us, in which case you have only been guilty of rashness in believing the composition of a heretic to be that of a martyr, change the title, and free the innocence of the Romans from this great peril. It is of no advantage to you to be the means of a most illustrious martyr being condemned as a heretic: of one who shed his blood for Christ being proud to be an enemy of the Christian faith. Take another course: say, I found a book which I believed to be the work of a martyr. Do not fear to be a penitent. I will not press you further. I will not ask from whom you obtained it; you can name some dead man if you please, or say you bought it from an unknown man in the street: for I do not wish to see you condemned, but converted. It is better that it should appear that you were in error than that the martyr was a heretic. At all events, by some means or other, draw out your foot from its present entanglement: consider what answer you will make in the judgment to come to the complaints which the martyrs will bring against you. non ridiculosa ut tu scribis sed ridicula. Jerome seems to object to ridiculosus as bad Latin. c13. Moreover, you make a charge against yourself which has been brought by no one against you, and make excuses where no one has accused you. You say that you have read these and in my letter: "I want to know who has given you leave when translating a book, to remove some things, change others, and again add others." And you go on to answer yourself, and to speak against me: "I say this to you Who I pray, has given you leave, in your Commentaries, to put down some things out of Origen, some from Apollinarius, some of your own, instead of all from Origen or from yourself or from some other?" All this while, while you are aiming at something different, you have been preferring a very strong charge against yourself; and you have forgotten the old proverb, that those who speak falsehood should have good memories. You say that I in my Commentaries have set down some things out of Origen, some from Apollinarius, some of my own. If then these things which I have set down under the names of others are the words of Apollinarius and of Origen; what is the meaning of the charge which you fasten upon me, that, when I say "Another says this," "The following is some one's conjecture," that "other" or "some one" means myself? Between Origen and Apollinarius there is a vast difference of interpretation, of style, and of doctrine. When I set down discrepant opinions on the same passage, am I to be supposed to accept both the contradictory views? But more of this hereafter. c14. Now I ask you this: Who may have blamed you for having either added or changed or taken away certain things in the books of Origen, and have put you to the question like a man on the horse-rack; Are those things which you put down in your translation bad or good? It is useless for you to simulate innocence, and by some silly question to parry the force of the true inquiry. I have never accused you for translating Origen for your own satisfaction. I have done the same, and so have Victorinus, Hilary, and Ambrose; but I have accused you for fortifying your translation of a heretical work by writing a preface approving of it. You compel me to go over the same ground, and to walk in the lines I myself have traced. For you say in that Prologue that you have cut away what had been added by the heretics; and have replaced it with what is good. If you have taken out the false statement of the heretics, then what you have left or have added must be either Origen's, or yours, and you have set them down, presumably, as good. But that many of these are bad you cannot deny. "What is that," you will say, "to me?" You must impute it to Origen; for I have done no more than alter what had been added by the heretics. Tell us then for what reason you took out the bad things written by the heretics and left those written by Origen untouched. Is it not clear that parts of the false doctrines of Origen you condemned under the designation of the doctrines of heretics, and others you accepted because you judged them to be not false but true and consonant with your faith? It was these last about which I inquired whether those things which you praised in your Preface were good or bad: it was these which you confessed you have left as perfectly good when you cut out all that was worst; and I thus have placed you, as I said, on the horse-rack, so that, if you say that they are good, you will be proved to be a heretic, but if you say they are bad, you will at once be asked: "Why then did you praise these bad things in your Preface?" And I did not add the question which you craftily pretend that I asked; "Why did you by your translation bring evil doctrines to the ears of the Latins?" For to exhibit what is bad may be done at times not for the sake of teaching them but of warning men against them: so that the reader may be on his guard not to follow the error, but may make light of the evils which he knows, whereas if unknown they might become objects of wonder to him. Yet after this, you dare to say that I am the author of writings of this kind, whereas you, as a mere translator would be going beyond the translator's province if you had chosen to correct anything, but, if you did not correct anything, you acted as a translator alone. You would be quite right in saying this if your translation of the Peri 'Archon had no Preface; just as Hilary, when he translated Origen's homilies took care to do it so that both the good and evil of them should be imputed not to the translator but to their own author. If you had not boasted that you had cut out the worst and left the best, you would, in some way or other, have escaped from the mire. But it is this that brings to nought the trick of your invention, and keeps you bound on all sides, so that you cannot get out. And I must ask you not to have too mean an opinion of the intelligence of your readers nor to think that all who will read your writings are so dull as not to laugh at you when they see you let real wounds mortify while you put plasters on a healthy body. Equuleus, the little horse, an instrument of torture. c15. What your opinions are on the resurrection of the flesh, we have already learned from your Apology. "No member will be cut off, nor any part of the body destroyed." This is the clear and open profession which you make in your innocence, and which you say is accepted by all the bishops of Italy. I should believe your statement, but that the matter of that book which is not Pamphilus' makes me doubt about you. And I wonder that Italy should have approved what Rome rejected; that the bishops should have accepted what the Apostolic see condemned. c16. You further write that it was by my letters that you had been informed that the pope Theophilus lately put forth an exposition of the faith which has not yet reached you and you promise to accept whatever he may have written. I am not aware that I ever said this, or that I sent any letters of the sort. But you consent to things of which you are still in uncertainty, and things as to which you do not know what and of what kind they will turn out to be, so that you may avoid speaking of things which you know quite well, and may not be bound by the consent you have given to them. There are two letters of Theophilus, a Synodal and a Paschal letter, against Origen and his disciples, and others against Apollinarius and against Origen also, which, within the last two years or thereabouts, I have translated and given to the men who speak our language for the edification of the church. I am not aware that I have translated anything else of his. But, when you say that you assent to the opinion of the pope Theophilus in everything, you must take care not to let your masters and disciples hear you, and not to offend these numerous persons who call me a robber and you a martyr, and also not to provoke the wrath of the man who wrote letters to you against the bishop Epiphanius, and exhorted you to stand fast in the truth of the faith, and not to change your opinion for any terror. This epistle in its complete form is held by those to whom it was brought. After this you say, after your manner: "I will satisfy you even when you rage against me, as I have in the matter you spoke of before." But again you say, "What do you want? have you anything more at which you may shoot with the bow of your oratory?" And yet you are indignant if I find fault with your distasteful way of speaking, though you take up the lowest expressions of the Comedians, and in writing on church affairs adopt language fit only for the characters of harlots and their lovers on the stage. For the years 401 and 402. See Jerome Letters 96 and 98.
17. Now, as to the question which you raise, when it was that I began to admit the authority of the pope Theophilus, and was associated with him in community of belief. You make answer to yourself: "Then, I suppose, when you were the supporter of Paul whom he had condemned and made the greatest effort to help him, and instigated him to recover through an imperial rescript the bishopric from which he had been removed by the episcopal tribunal." I will not begin by answering for myself, but first speak of the injury which you have here done to another. What humanity or charity is there in rejoicing over the misfortunes of others and in exhibiting their wounds to the world? Is that the lesson you have learned from that Samaritan who carried back the man that was half dead to the inn? Is this what you understand by pouring oil into his wounds, and paying the host his expenses? Is it thus that you interpret the sheep brought back to the fold, the piece of money recovered, the prodigal son welcomed back? Suppose that you had a right to speak evil of me, because I had injured you, and, to use your words, had goaded you to madness and stimulated you to evil speaking: what harm had a man who remains in obscurity done you, that you should lay bare his scars, and when they were skinned over, should tear them open by inflicting this uncalled for pain? Even if he was worthy of your reproaches, were you justified in doing this? If I am not mistaken, those whom you wish to strike at through him (and I speak the open opinion of many) are the enemies of the Origenists; you use the troubles of one of them to show your violence against both. If the decisions of the pope Theophilus so greatly please you, and you think it impious that an episcopal decree should be nullified, what do you say about the rest of those whom he has condemned? And what do you say about the pope Anastasius, about whom you assert most truly that no one thinks him capable as the bishop of so great a city, of doing an injury to an innocent or an absent man? I do not say this because I set myself up as a judge of episcopal decisions, or wish what they have determined to be rescinded; but I say, Let each of them do what he thinks right at his own risk, it is for him alone to consider how his judgment will be judged. Our duties in our monastery are those of hospitality; we welcome all who come to us with the smile of human friendliness. We must take care lest it should again happen that Mary and Joseph do not find room in the inn, and that Jesus should be shut out and say to us, "I was a stranger and ye took me not in." The only persons we do not welcome are heretics, who are the only persons who are welcomed by you: for our profession binds us to wash the feet of those who come to us, not to discuss their merits. Bring to your remembrance, my brother, how he whom we speak of had confessed Christ: think of that breast which was gashed by the scourges: recall to mind the imprisonment he had endured, the darkness, the exile, the work in the mines, and you will not be surprised that we welcomed him as a passing guest. Are we to be thought rebels by you because we give a cup of cold water to the thirsty in the name of Christ? Perhaps both Paul and Jerome. c18. I can tell you of something which may make him still dearer to us, though more odious to you. A short time ago, the faction of the heretics which was scattered away from Egypt and Alexandria came to Jerusalem, and wished to make common cause with him, so that as they suffered together, they might have the same heresy imputed to them. But he repelled their advances, he scorned and cast them from him: he told them that he was not an enemy of the faith and was not going to take up arms against the Church: that his previous action had been the result of vexation not of unsoundness in the faith; and that he had sought only to prove his own innocence, not to attack that of others. You profess to consider an imperial rescript upsetting an episcopal decree to be an impiety. That is a matter for the responsibility of the man who obtained it. But what is your opinion of men who, when they have been themselves condemned, haunt the palaces of the great, and in a serried column make an attack on a single man who represents the faith of Christ? However, as to my own communion with the Pope Theophilus, I will call no other witness than the very man whom you pretend that I injured. His letters were always addressed to me, as you well know, even at the time when you prevented their being forwarded to me, and when you used daily to send letter carriers to him repeating to him with vehemence that his opponent was my most intimate friend, and telling the same falsehoods which you now shamelessly write, so that you might stir up his hatred against me and that his grief at the supposed injury done him might issue in oppression against me in matters of faith. But he, being a prudent man and a man of apostolical wisdom, came through time and experience to understand both our loyalty to him and your plots against us. If, as you declare, my followers stirred up a plot against you at Rome and stole your uncorrected manuscripts while you were asleep; who was it that stirred up the pope Theophilus against the public enemy in Egypt? Who obtained the decrees of the princes against them, and the consent of the whole of this quarter of the world? Yet you boast that you from your youth were the hearer and disciple of Theophilus, although he, before he became a bishop, through his native modesty, never taught in public, and you, after he became a Bishop, were never at Alexandria. Yet you dare, in order to deal a blow at me, to say "I do not accuse, or change, my masters." If that were true it would in my opinion throw a grave suspicion on your Christian standing. As for myself, you have no right to charge me with condemning my former teachers: but I stand in awe of those words of Isaiah: "Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness, that call bitter sweet and sweet bitter." But it is you who drink alike the honeywine of your masters and their poisons, who have fallen away from your true master the Apostle, who teaches that neither he himself or an angel, if they err in matters of faith, must not be followed. Theophilus himself.
19. You allude to Vigilantius. What dream this is that you have dreamed about him I do not know. Where have I said that he was defiled by communion with heretics at Alexandria? Tell me the book, produce the letter: but you will find absolutely no such statement. Yet with your wonted carelessness of statement or rather impudence of lying, which makes you imagine that every one will believe what you say, you add: "When you quoted a text of Scripture against him in so insulting a way that I do not dare to repeat it with my own mouth." You do not dare to repeat it because you can make the charge seem worse by keeping silence; and, because your accusation has no facts to rest upon, you simulate modesty, so that the reader may imagine that you are acting from consideration towards me, although your lies show that you do not consider your own soul. What is this text of Scripture which is too shameful to proceed out of that most shameless mouth of yours? What shameful thing, indeed, can you mention in the sacred books? If you are ashamed to speak, at any rate you can write it down, and then I shall be convinced of wantonness by my own words. I might be silent on all other points, and I should still prove by this single passage how brazen is your effrontery. You know how little I fear your impeachment. If you produce the evidence with which you threaten me, all the blame which now rests on you will rest on me. I gave my reply to you when I dealt with Vigilantius; for he brought the same charges against me which you bring first in the guise of friendly eulogy, afterwards in that of hostile accusation. I am aware who it was that stirred up his ravings against me; I know your plots and vices; I am not ignorant of his simplicity which is proclaimed by every one. Through his folly your hatred against me found an outlet for its fury; and, if I wrote a letter to suppress it, so that you should not be thought to be the only one who possesses a literary cudgel, that does not justify you in inventing shameful expressions which you can find in no part of my writings whatever. You must accept and confess the fact that the same document which answered his madness aroused also your calumnies. c20. In the matter of the letter of the pope Anastasius, you seem to have come on a slippery place; you walk unsteadily, and do not see where to plant your feet. At one moment you say that it must have been written by me; at another that it ought to have been transmitted to you by him to whom it was sent. Then again you charge the writer with injustice; or you protest that it matters nothing to you whether he wrote it or not, since you hold his predecessor's testimonial, and, while Rome was begging you to give her the honor of your presence, you disdained her through love of your own little town. If you have any suspicion that the letter was forged by me, why do you not ask for it in the chartulary of the Roman See and then, when you discover that it was not written by the bishop, hold me manifestly guilty of the crime? You would then instead of trying to bind me with cobwebs, hold me fast bound in a net of strong cords. But if it is as written by the Bishop of Rome, it is an act of folly on your part to ask for a copy of the letter from one to whom it was not sent, and not from him who sent it, and to send to the East for evidence the source of which you have in your own country. You had better go to Rome and expostulate with him as to the reproach which he has directed against you when you were both absent and innocent. You might first point out that he had refused to accept your exposition of faith, which, as you say, all Italy has approved, and that he made no use of your literary cudgel against the dogs you spoke of. Next, you might complain that he had sent to the East a letter aimed at you which branded you with the mark of heresy, and said that by your translation of Origen's books Peri 'Archon the Roman church which had received the work in its simplicity was in danger of losing the sincerity of faith which it had learned from the Apostle; and that he had raised yet more ill will against you by daring to condemn this very book, though it was fortified by the attestation of your Preface. It is no light thing that the pontiff of so great a city should have fastened this charge upon you or have rashly taken it up when made by another. You should go about the streets vociferating and crying over and over again, "It is not my book, or, if it is, the uncorrected sheets were stolen by Eusebius. I published it differently, indeed I did not publish it at all; I gave it to nobody, or at all events to few; and my enemy was so unscrupulous and my friends so negligent, that all the copies alike were falsified by him." This, my dearest brother, is what you ought to have done, not to turn your back upon him and to direct the arrows of your abuse across the sea against me; for how can it cure your wounds that I should be wounded? Does it comfort a man who is stricken for death to see his friend dying with him? c21. You produce a letter of Siricius who now sleeps in Christ, and the letter of the living Anastasius you despise. What injury you ask, can it do you that he should have written (or perhaps not written at all) when you knew nothing of it? If he did write, still it is enough for you that you have the witness of the whole world in your favor, and that no one thinks it possible that the bishop of so great a city could have done an injury to an innocent man, or even to one who was simply absent. You speak of yourself as innocent, though your translation made all Rome shudder; you say you were absent, but it is only because you dare not reply when you are accused. And you so shrink from the judgment of the city of Rome that you prefer to subject yourself to an invasion of the barbarians than to the opinion of a peaceful city. Suppose that the letter of last year was forged by me; who then wrote the letters which have lately been received in the East? Yet in these last the pope Anastasius pays you such compliments that, when you read them, you will be more inclined to set to work to defend yourself than to accuse me.
22. If any one wishes to hear the arrangements for my journey from Rome, they were these. In the month of August, 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 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. a.d. 385.
23. As regards our reverend friend Epiphanius, this is strange shuffling of yours, when you say that it was impossible for him to have written against you after his giving you the kiss and joining with you in prayer. It is as if you were to contend that he would not be dead if a short time before he had been alive, or as if it were not equally certain that he had first reproved you and then, after the kiss of peace, excommunicated you. "They went out from us," it is said, "but they were not of us; otherwise they would no doubt have continued with us." The apostle bids us avoid a heretic after first and second admonition: of course this implies that he was a member of the flock of the church before he was avoided or condemned. I confess I cannot restrain my laughter when, at the prompting of some clever person, you strike up a hymn in honour of Epiphanius. Why, this is the silly old man,' the anthropomorphite,' this is the man who boasted in your presence of the six thousand books of Origen that he had read, who thinks himself entrusted with the preaching of the Gospel against Origen among all nations in their own tongue' who will not let others read Origen for fear they should discover what he has stolen from him.' Read what he has written, and the letter, or rather letters, one of which I will adduce as a testimonial to your orthodoxy, so that it may be seen how worthy he is of your present praise. "May God set you free, my brother, and the holy people of Christ which is entrusted to you, and all the brethren who are with you, and especially the Presbyter Rufinus, from the heresy of Origen, and all other heresies, and from the perdition which they bring. For if many heresies have been condemned by the Church on account of one word or of two, which are contrary to the faith, how much more must that man be counted a heretic who has invented so many perverse things, so many false doctrines! He stands forth as the enemy of God and of the church." This is the testimony which this saintly man bears to you. This is the garland of praise which he gives you to parade in. Thus runs the letter which your golden coins extracted from the chamber of our brother Eusebius, so that you might calumniate the translator of it, and might fix upon me the guilt of a most manifest crime--that of rendering a Greek word as dearest' which ought to have been honourable!' But what is all this to you who can control all events by your prudent methods, and can trim your path between different possibilities, first saying, if you can find any one to believe you, that neither Anastasius nor Epiphanius ever wrote a line against you; and, secondly, when their actual letters cry out against you, and break down your audacious effrontery, despising the judgment of them both, and say it does not matter to you whether they wrote or not, since it was impossible for them to write against an innocent and an absent man.
24. It is somewhat the same argument which you use against the pope Anastasius, namely, that, since you hold the letters of the bishop Siricius, it was impossible that he should write against you. I am afraid you suspect that some injury has been done you. I cannot understand how a man of your acuteness and capacity can condescend to such nonsense; you suppose that your readers are foolish, but you shew that you are foolish yourself. Then after this extraordinary argumentation, you subjoin this little sentence: "Far be such conduct from these reverend persons. It is from your school that such actions proceed. You gave us all the signs of peace at our departure, and then threw missiles charged with venom from behind our backs." In this clause or rather declamatory speech, you intended, no doubt, to shew your rhetorical skill. It is true we gave you the signs of peace, but not to embrace heresy; we joined hands, we accompanied you as you set forth on your journey, on the understanding that you were catholic not that we were heretical. But I want to learn what these poisoned missiles are which you complain that I threw from behind your back. I sent the presbyters, Vincentius, Paulinianus, Eusebius, Rufinus. Of these, Vincentius went to Rome long before you; Paulinianus and Eusebius set out a year after you had sailed; Rufinus two years after, for the cause of Claudius; all of them either for private reasons, or because another was in peril of his life. Was it possible for me to know that when you entered Rome, a nobleman had dreamed that a ship full of merchandise was entering with full blown sails? or that all questions about fate were being solved by a solution which should not itself be fatuous? or that you were translating the book of Eusebius as if it were Pamphilus'? or that you were putting your own cover upon Origen's poisoned dish by lending your majestic eloquence to this translation of his notorious work Peri 'Archon? This is a new way of calumniating a man. We sent out the accusers before you had committed the crime. It was not, I repeat, it was not by our plan, but by the providence of God, that these men, who were sent out for another reason, came to fight against the rising heresy. They were sent, like Joseph, to relieve the coming famine by the fervour of their faith. c25. To what point will not audacity burst forth when once it is freed from restraints? He has imputed to himself the charge made against another so that we may be thought to have invented it. I made a charge against some one unnamed, and he takes it as spoken against himself; he purges himself from another man's sins, being only sure of his own innocence. For he takes his oath that he did not write the letter that passed under my name to the African bishops, in which I am made to confess that I had been induced by Jewish influence to make false translations of the Scriptures; and he sends me writings which contain all these things which he declares to be unknown to him. It is remarkable to know how his subtlety has coincided with another man's malice, so that the lies which this other told in Africa, he in accord with him declared to be true; and also how that elegant style of his could be imitated by some chance and unskilled person. You alone have the privilege of translating the venom of the heretics, and of making all nations drink a draught from the cup of Babylon. You may correct the Latin Scriptures from the Greek. and may deliver to the Churches to read something different from what they received from the Apostles; but I am not to be allowed to go behind the Septuagint version which I translated after strict correction for the men of my native tongue a great many years ago, and, for the confutation of the Jews, to translate the actual copies of the Scriptures which they confess to be the truest, so that when a dispute arises between them and the Christians, they may have no place of retreat and subterfuge, but may be smitten most effectually with their own spear. I have written pretty fully on this point if I rightly remember, in many other places, especially in the end of my second book; and I have checked your popularity-hunting, with which you seek to arouse ill will against me among the innocent and the inexperienced, by a clear statement of fact. To that I think it enough to refer the reader. c26. 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 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. c27. In reference to your alternate praise and disparagement of me, you argue with great acuteness that you have the same right to speak good and evil of me that I have to find fault with Origen and Didymus whom I once praised. I must instruct you, then, wisest of men and chief of Roman dialecticians, that there is no fault of logic in praising a man in certain respects while you blame him in others, but only in approving and disapproving one and the same thing. I will take an example, so that, though you may not understand, the wise reader may join me in understanding the point. In the case of Tertullian we praise his great talent, but we condemn his heresy. In that of Origen we admire his knowledge of the Scriptures, but nevertheless we do not accept his false doctrine. As to Didymus, however, we extol both his powers of memory, and the purity of his faith in the Trinity, while on the other point in which he erred in trusting to Origen we withdraw from him. The vices of our teachers are not to be imitated, their virtues are. There was a man at Rome who had an African, a very learned man, as his grammar teacher; and he thought that he was rising to an equality with his teacher because he copied his strident voice and his faulty pronunciation. You in your Preface to the Peri 'Archon speak of me as your brother and call me your most eloquent colleague, and proclaim my soundness in the faith. From these three points you cannot draw back; carp at me on all other points as you please, so long as you do not openly contradict this testimony which you bear to me; for in calling me friend and colleague, you confess me worthy of your friendship; when you proclaim me an eloquent man, you cannot go on accusing me of ignorance; and when you confess that I am in all points a catholic, you cannot fix on me the guilt of heresy. Beyond these three points you may charge me with anything you like without openly contradicting yourself. From all this calculation the net result is that you are wrong in blaming in me what you formerly praised; but that I am not in fault when, in the case of the same men, I praise what is laudable and blame what is censurable. c28. You pass on to the origin of souls, and at great length exclaim against the smoke which you say I raise. You want to be allowed to express ignorance on a point on which you advisedly dissemble your knowledge; and therefore begin questioning me about angels and archangels; as to the mode of their existence, the place and nature of their abodes, the differences, if there be any, existing between them; and then as to the course of the sun, the waxing and waning of the moon, the character and movements of the stars. I wonder that you did not set down the whole of the lines:
29. You press me to give my opinions about the nature of things. If there were room, I could repeat to you the views of Lucretius who follows Epicurus, or those of Aristotle as taught by the Peripatetics, or of Plato and Zeno by the Academics and the Stoics. Passing to the church, where we have the rule of truth, the books of Genesis and the Prophets and Ecclesiastes, give us much information on questions of this kind. But if we profess ignorance about all these things, as also about the origin of souls, you ought in your Apology to acknowledge your ignorance of all alike, and to ask your calumniators why they had the impudence to force you to reply on this single point when they themselves know nothing of all those great matters. But Oh! how vast was the wealth contained in that trireme which had come full of all the wares of Egypt and the East to enrich the poverty of the city of Rome.
30. Your Apology says that there are three opinions as to the origin of souls: one held by Origen, a second by Tertullian and Lactantius (as to Lactantius what you say is manifestly false), a third by us simple and foolish men, who do not see that, if our opinion is true, God is thereby shewn to be unjust. After this you say that you do not know what is the truth. I say, then, tell me, whether you think that outside of these three opinions any truth can be found so that all these three may be false; or whether you think one of these three is true. If there is some other possibility, why do you confine the liberty of discussion within a close-drawn line? and why do you put forward the views which are false and keep silence about the true? But if one of the three is true and the two others false, why do you include false and true in one assertion of ignorance? Perhaps you pretend not to know which is true in order that it may be safe for you, whenever you may please, to defend the false. This is the smoke, these are the mists, with which you try to keep away the light from men's eyes. You are the Aristippus of our day: you bring your ship into the port of Rome full of merchandize of all kinds; you set your professorial chair on high, and represent to us Hermagoras and Gorgias of Leontinum: only, you were in such a hurry to set sail that you left one little piece of goods, one little question, forgotten in the East. And you cry out with reiteration that you learned both at Aquileia and at Alexandria that God is the creator of both our bodies and our souls. This then, forsooth, is the pressing question, whether our souls were created by God or by the devil, and not whether the opinion of Origen is true that our souls existed before our bodies and committed some sin because of which they have been tied to these gross bodies; or whether, again, they slept like dormice in a state of torpor and of slumber. Every one is asking this question, but you say nothing about it; nobody asks the other, but to that you direct your answer. Of Cyrene. A disciple of Socrates, founder of the Cyrenaic sect, the precursors of the Epicureans.
31. Another part of my smoke' which you frequently laugh at is my pretence, as you say, to know what I do not know, and the parade I make of great teachers to deceive the common and ignorant people. You, of course, are a man not of smoke but of flame, or rather of lightning; you fulminate when you speak; you cannot contain the flames which have been conceived within your mouth, and like Barchochebas, the leader of the revolt of the Jews, who used to hold in his mouth a lighted straw and blow it out so as to appear to be breathing forth flame: so you also, like a second Salmoneus, brighten the whole path on which you tread, and reproach us as mere men of smoke, to whom perhaps the words might be applied, "Thou touchest the hills and they smoke." You do not understand the allusion of the Prophet when he speaks of the smoke of the locusts; it is no doubt the beauty of your eyes which makes it impossible for you to bear the pungency of our smoke. Son of a Star; the leader of the Jewish revolt against Hadrian, a.d. 132-5.
32. As to your charge of perjury, since you refer me to your book; and since I have made my reply to you and Calpurnius in the previous books, it will be sufficient here to observe that you exact from me in my sleep what you have never yourself fulfilled in your waking hours. It seems that I am guilty of a great crime because I have told girls and virgins of Christ, that they had better not read secular works, and that I once promised when warned in a dream not to read them. But your ship which was announced by revelation to the city of Rome, promises one thing and effects another. It came to do away with the puzzle of the mathematici: what it does is to do away with the faith of Christians. It had made its run with sails full set over the Ionian and Ægean, the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas, only to make shipwreck in the Roman port. Are you not ashamed of hunting up nonsense of this kind and putting me to the trouble of bringing up similar things against you? Suppose that some one had seen a dream about you such as might make you vainglorious; it would have been modest as well as wise in you not to seem to know of it, instead of boasting of other people's dreams as a serious testimony to yourself. What a difference there is between your dream and mine! Mine tells how I was humbled and repressed; yours boasts over and over again how you were praised. You cannot say, It matters nothing to me what another man dreamed, for in those most enlightening books of yours you tell us that this was the motive which led you to make the translation; you could not bear that an eminent man should have dreamed in vain. This is all your endeavour. If you can make me out guilty of perjury, you think you will be deemed no heretic. Possibly a nick-name for one of Rufinus' friends: or to you even when you pose as Calpurnius.' See above c. 28, note. c33. I now come to the most serious charge of all, that in which you accuse me of having been unfaithful after the restoration of our friendship. I confess that, of all the reproaches which you bring against me or threaten me with, there is none which I would so much deprecate as that of fraud, deceit and breach of faith. To sin is human, to lay snares is diabolical. What! Was it for this that I joined hands with you over the slain lamb in the Church of the Resurrection, that I might steal your manuscripts at Rome'? or that I might send out my dogs to gnaw away your papers before they were corrected'? Can any one believe that we made ready the accusers before you had committed the crime? Is it supposed that we knew what plans you were meditating in your heart? or what another man had been dreaming? or how the Greek proverb was having its fulfilment in your case, "the pig teaches Minerva"? If I sent Eusebius to bark against you, who then stirred up the passion of Aterbius and others against you? Is it not the fact that he thought that I also was a heretic because of my friendship with you? And, when I had given him satisfaction as to the heresies of Origen, you shut yourself up at home, and never dared to meet him, for fear you should have to condemn what you wished not to condemn, or by openly resisting him should subject yourself to the reproach of heresy. Do you think that he cannot be called as a witness against you because he is your accuser? Before ever the reverend bishop Epiphanius came to Jerusalem, and gave you the signs of peace by word and kiss, yet having evil thoughts and guile in his heart'; before I translated for him that letter which was such a reproof to you, and in which he wrote you down a heretic though he had before approved you as orthodox; Aterbius was barking against you at Jerusalem, and, if he had not speedily taken himself off, would have felt not your literary cudgel but the stick you flourish in your right hand to drive the dogs away. Jerome Letter li., Epiphanius to John of Jerusalem.
34. "But why," you ask, "did you accept my manuscripts which had been falsified? and why, when I had translated the Peri 'Archon did you dare to put your pen to the same work? If I had erred, as any man may, ought you not to summon me to reply by a private letter, and to speak smoothly to me, as I am speaking smoothly in my present letter?" My whole fault is this that, when accusations were brought against me in the guise of disingenuous praise, I tried to purge myself from them, and this without invidiously introducing your name. I wished to refer to many persons a charge which you alone had brought, not so as to retort the charge of heresy upon you, but to repel it from myself. Could I know that you would be angry if I wrote against the heretics? You had said that you had taken away the heretical passages from the works of Origen. I therefore turned my attacks not upon you but upon the heretics, for I did not believe that you were a favourer of heresy. Pardon me, if I did this with too great vehemence. I thought that I should give you pleasure. You say that it was by the dishonest tricks of those who acted for me that your manuscripts were brought out before the public, when they were kept secretly in your chamber, or were in possession only of the man who had desired to have the translation made for him. But how is this reconcilable with your former statement that either no one or very few had them? If they were kept secret in your chamber, how could they be in the possession of the man who had desired to have the translation made for him? If the one man for whom the manuscripts had been written had obtained them in order to conceal them, then they were not kept secret in your chamber, and they were not in the hands of those few who, as you now declare, possessed them. You accuse us of having stolen them away; and then again you reproach us with having bought them for a great sum of money and an immense bribe. In a single matter, and in one little letter, what a tissue of various and discordant falsehoods! You have full liberty for accusation, but I have none for defence. When you bring a charge, you think nothing about friendship. When I begin to reply, then your mind is full of the rights of friendship. Let me ask you: Did you write these manuscripts for concealment or for publication? If for concealment, why were they written? If for publication, why did you conceal them? c35. But my fault, you will say, was this, that I did not restrain your accusers who were my friends. Why, I had enough to do to answer their accusations against myself; for they charged me with hypocrisy, as I could shew by producing their letters, because I kept silence when I knew you to be a heretic; and because by incautiously maintaining peace with you, I fostered the intestine wars of the Church. You call them my disciples; they suspect me of being your fellow-disciple; and, because I was somewhat sparing in my rejection of your praises, they think me to be initiated, along with you, into the mysteries of heresy. This was the service your Prologue did me; you injured me more by appearing as my friend than you would had you shewn yourself my enemy. They had persuaded themselves once for all (whether rightly or wrongly is their business) that you were a heretic. If I should determine to defend you, I should only succeed in getting myself accused by them along with you. They cast in my teeth your laudation of me, which they suppose to have been written not in craft but sincerity; and they vehemently reproach me with the very things which you always praised in me. What am I to do? To turn my disciples into my accusers for your sake? To receive on my own head the weapons which were hurled against my friend? See the end of the letter of Pammachius and Oceanus; Jerome Letter lxxxiii. c36. In the matter of the books Peri 'Archon, I have even a claim upon your gratitude. You say that you cut off anything that was offensive and replaced it by what was better. I have represented things just as they stood in the Greek. By this means both things are made to appear, your faith and the heresy of him whom you translated. The leading Christians of Rome wrote to me: Answer your accuser; if you keep silence, you will be held to have assented to his charges. All of them unanimously demanded that I should bring to light the subtle errors of Origen, and make known the poison of the heretics to the ears of the Romans to put them on their guard. How can this be an injury to you? Have you a monopoly of the translation of these books? Are there no others who take part in this work? When you translated parts of the Septuagint, did you mean to prohibit all others from translating it after your version had been published? Why, I also have translated many books from the Greek. You have full power to make a second translation of them at your pleasure; for both the good and the bad in them must be laid to the charge of their author. And this would hold in your case also, had you not said that you had cut out the heretical parts and translated only what was positively good. This is a difficulty which you have made for yourself, and which cannot be solved, except by confessing that you have erred as all men err, and condemning your former opinion. c37. But what defence can you make in reference to the Apology which you have written for the works of Origen, or rather in reference to the book of Eusebius, though you have altered much, and translated the work of a heretic under the title of a martyr, yet you have set down still more which is incompatible with the faith of the church. You as well as I turn Latin books into Greek; can you prohibit me from giving the works of a foreigner to my own people? If I had made my answer in the case of some other work of yours in which you had not attacked me, it might have been thought that, in translating what you had already translated, I was acting in hostility to you, and wishing to prove you inaccurate or untrustworthy. But this is a new kind of complaint, when you take it amiss that an answer is made you on a point on which you have accused me. All Rome was said to have been upset by your translation; every one was demanding of me a remedy for this; not that I was of any account, but that those who asked this thought me so. You say that you who had made the translation were my friend. But what would you have had me do? Ought we to obey God or man? To guard our master's property or to conceal the theft of a fellow-servant? Can I not be at peace with you unless I join with you in committing acts which bring reproach? If you had not mentioned my name, if you had not tricked me out in your flatteries, I might have had some way of escape, and have made many excuses for not translating what had already been translated. But you, my friend, have compelled me to waste a good many days on this work, and to bring out before the public eye what should have been engulfed in Charybdis; yet still, though I had been injured, I observed the laws of friendship, and as far as possible defended myself without accusing you. It is a too suspicious and complaining temper which you shew when you take home to yourself as a reproach what was spoken against the heretics. If it is impossible to be your friend unless I am the friend of heretics, I shall more easily put up with your enmity than with their friendship. c38. You imagine that I have contrived yet another piece of falsehood, namely, that I have composed a letter to you in my own name, pretending that it was written long ago, in which I make myself appear kindly and courteous; but which you never received. The truth can easily be ascertained. Many persons at Rome have had copies of this letter for the last three years; but they refused to send it to you knowing that you were throwing out insinuations against my reputation, and making up stories of the most shameful kind and unworthy of our Christian profession. I wrote in ignorance of all this, as to a friend; but they would not transmit the letter to an enemy, such as they knew you to be, thus sparing me the effects of my mistakes and you the reproaches of your conscience. You next bring arguments to shew that, if I had written such a letter, I had no right to write another containing many reproaches against you. But here is the error which pervades all that you say, and of which I have a right to complain; whatever I say against the heretics you imagine to be said against you. What! Am I refusing you bread because I give the heretics a stone to crush their brains? But, in order to justify your disbelief in my letter, you are obliged to make out that of pope Anastasius rests upon a similar fraud. On this point I have answered you before. If you really suspect that it is not his writing, you have the means of convicting me of the forgery. But if it is his writing, as his letters of the present year also written against you prove, you will in vain use your false reasonings to prove my letter false, since I can shew from his genuine letter that mine also is genuine. c39. In order to parry the charge of falsehood, it is your humour to become quite exacting. You are not to be called to produce the six thousand books of Origen, of which you speak; but you expect me to be acquainted with all the records of Pythagoras. What truth is there in all the boastful language, which you blurted out from your inflated cheeks, declaring that you had corrected the Peri 'Archon by introducing words which you had read in other books of Origen, and thus had not put in other men's words but restored his own? Out of all this forest of his works you cannot produce a single bush or sucker. You accuse me of raising up smoke and mist. Here you have smoke and mist indeed. You know that I have dissipated and done away with them; but, though your neck is broken, you do not bow it down, but, with an impudence which exceeds even your ignorance, you say that I am denying what is quite evident, so as to excuse yourself, after promising mountains of gold, for not producing even a leatherlike farthing from your treasury. I acknowledge that your animosity against me rests on good grounds, and that your rage and passion is genuine; for, unless I made persistent demands for what does not exist, you would be thought to have what you have not. You ask me for the books of Pythagoras. But who has informed you that any books of his are extant? It is true that in my letter which you criticize these words occur: "Suppose that I erred in youth, and that, having been trained in profane literature, I at the beginning of my Christian course had no sufficient doctrinal knowledge, and that I attributed to the Apostles things which I had read in Pythagoras or Plato or Empedocles;" but I was speaking not of their books but of their tenets, with which I was able to acquaint myself through Cicero, Brutus, and Seneca. Read the short oration for Vatinius, and others in which mention is made of secret societies. Turn over Cicero's dialogues. Search through the coast of Italy which used to be called Magna Græcia, and you will find there various doctrines of Pythagoras inscribed on brass on their public monuments. Whose are those Golden Rules? They are Pythagoras's; and in these all his principles are contained in a summary form. Iamblicus wrote a commentary upon them, following in this, at least partly, Moderatus a man of great eloquence, and Archippus and Lysides who were disciples of Pythagoras. Of these, Archippus and Lysides held schools in Greece, that is, in Thebes; they retained so fully the precepts of their teacher, that they made use of their memory instead of books. One of these precepts is: "We must cast away by any contrivance, and cut out by fire and sword and contrivances of all kinds, disease from the body, ignorance from the soul, luxury from the belly, sedition from the state, discord from the family, excess from all things alike." There are other precepts of Pythagoras, such as these. "Friends have all things in common." "A friend is a second self." "Two moments are specially to be observed, morning and evening: that is, things which we are going to do, and things which we have done." "Next to God we must worship truth, for this alone makes men akin to God." There are also enigmas which Aristotle has collated with much diligence in his works: "Never go beyond the Stater," that is, "Do not transgress the rule of justice;" "Never stir the fire with the sword," that is, "Do not provoke a man when he is angry and excited with hard words." "We must not touch the crown," that is "We must maintain the laws of the state." "Do not eat out your heart," that is, "Cast away sorrow from your mind." "When you have started, do not return," that is, "After death do not regret this life." "Do not walk on the public road," that is, "Do not follow the errors of the multitude." "Never admit a swallow into the family," that is, "Do not admit chatterers and talkative persons under the same roof with you." "Put fresh burdens on the burdened; put none on those who lay them down;" that is, "When men are on the road to virtue, ply them with fresh precepts; when they abandon themselves to idleness, leave them alone." I said I had read the doctrines of the Pythagoreans. Let me tell you that Pythagoras was the first to discover the immortality of the soul and its transmigration from one body to another. To this view Virgil gives his adherence in the sixth book of the Æneid in these words:
40. Pythagoras taught, accordingly, that he had himself been originally Euphorbus, and then Callides, thirdly Hermotimus, fourthly Pyrrhus, and lastly Pythagoras; and that those things which had existed, after certain revolutions of time, came into being again; so that nothing in the world should be thought of as new. He said that true philosophy was a meditation on death; that its daily struggle was to draw forth the soul from the prison of the body into liberty: that our learning was recollection, and many other things which Plato works out in his dialogues, especially in the Phædo and Timæus. For Plato, after having formed the Academy and gained innumerable disciples, felt that his philosophy was deficient on many points, and therefore went to Magna Græcia, and there learned the doctrines of Pythagoras from Archytas of Tarentum and Timæus of Locris: and this system he embodied in the elegant form and style which he had learned from Socrates. The whole of this, as we can prove, Origen carried over into his book Peri 'Archon, only changing the name. What mistake, then, was I making, when I said that in my youth I had imputed to the Apostles ideas which I had found in Pythagoras, Plato and Empedocles? I did not speak, as you calumniously pretend, of what I had read in the books of Pythagoras, Plato and Empedocles, but of what I had read as having existed in their writings, that is, what other men's writings shewed me to have existed in them. This mode of speaking is quite common. I might say, for instance "The opinions which I read in Socrates I believed to be true," meaning what I read as his opinions in Plato and others of the Socratic school, though Socrates himself wrote no books. So I might say, I wished to imitate the deeds which I had read of in Alexander and Scipio, not meaning that they described their own deeds, but that I had read in other men's works of the deeds which I admired as done by them. Therefore, though I may not be able to inform you of any records of Pythagoras himself as being extant, and proved by the attestation of his son or daughter or others of his disciples, yet you cannot hold me guilty of falsehood, because I said not that I had read his books, but his doctrines. You are quite mistaken if you thought to make this a screen for your falsehood, and to maintain that because I cannot produce any book written by Pythagoras, you have a right to assert that six thousand books of Origen have been lost. Gesta quæ in Alexandro et Scipione legeram. The Latin construction will bear Jerome's meaning, but cannot be exactly or elegantly rendered in English. c41. I come now to your Epilogue, (that is to the revilings which you pour upon me,) in which you exhort me to repentance, and threaten me with destruction unless I am converted, that is, unless I keep silence under your accusations. And this scandal, you say, will recoil upon my own head, because it is I who by replying have provoked you to the madness of writing when you are a man of extreme gentleness and of a meekness worthy of Moses. You declare that you are aware of crimes which I confessed to you alone when you were my most intimate friend, and that you will bring these before the public; that I shall be painted in my own colours; and that I ought to remember that I am lying at your feet, otherwise you might cut off my head with the sword of your mouth. And, after many such things, in which you toss yourself about like a madman, you draw yourself up and say that you wish for peace, but still with the intimation that I am to keep quiet for the future, that is that I am not to write against the heretics, nor to answer any accusation made by you; if I do this, I shall be your good brother and colleague, and a most eloquent person, and your friend and companion; and, what is still more, you will pronounce all the translations I have made from Origen to be orthodox. But, if I utter a word or move a step, I shall at once be unsound and a heretic, and unworthy of all connexion with you. This is the way you trumpet forth my praises, this is the way you exhort me to peace. You do not grant me liberty for a groan or a tear in my grief. c42. It would be possible for me also to paint you in your own colours, and to meet your insanity with a similar rage; to say what I know and add what I do not know; and with a license like yours, or rather fury and madness, to keep up things false and true alike, till I was ashamed to speak and you to hear: and to upbraid you in such a way as would condemn either the accused or the accuser; to force myself on the reader by mere effrontery, make him believe that what I wrote unscrupulously I wrote truly. But far be it from the practice of Christians while offering up their lives to seek the life of others, and to become homicides not with the sword but the will. This may agree with your gentleness and innocence; for you can draw forth from the dung heap within your breast alike the odour of roses and the stench of corpses; and, contrary to the precept of the Prophet, call that bitter which once you had praised as sweet. But it is not necessary for us, in treating of Christian topics, to throw out accusations which ought to be brought before the law courts. You shall hear nothing more from me than the vulgar saying: "When you have said what you like, you shall bear what you do not like." Or if the coarse proverb seems to you too vulgar, and, being a man of culture, you prefer the words of philosophers or poets, take from me the words of Homer.
43. If you wish me to keep silence, cease from accusing me. Lay down your sword, and I will throw away my shield. To one thing only I cannot consent; that is, to spare the heretics, and not to vindicate my orthodoxy. If that is the cause of discord between us, I can submit to death, but not to silence. It would have been right to go through the whole of the Scriptures for answers to your ravings, and, like David playing on his harp, to take the divine words to calm your raging breast. But I will content myself with a few statements from a single book; I will oppose Wisdom to folly; for I hope if you despise the words of men you will not think lightly of the word of God. Listen, then, to that which Solomon the wise says about you and all who are addicted to evil speaking and contumely:
44. In the end of your letter you say: "I hope that you love peace." To this I will answer in a few words: If you desire peace, lay down your arms. I can be at peace with one who shews kindness; I do not fear one who threatens me. Let us be at one in faith, and peace will follow immediately. cA Commentary on the Apostles' Creed.
2. Our forefathers have handed down to us the tradition, that, after the Lord's ascension, when, through the coming of the Holy Ghost, tongues of flame had settled upon each of the Apostles, that they might speak diverse languages, so that no race however foreign, no tongue however barbarous, might be inaccessible to them and beyond their reach, they were commanded by the Lord to go severally to the several nations to preach the word of God. Being on the eve therefore of departing from one another, they first mutually agreed upon a standard of their future preaching, lest haply, when separated, they might in any instance vary in the statements which they should make to those whom they should invite to believe in Christ. Being all therefore met together, and being filled with the Holy Ghost, they composed, as we have said, this brief formulary of their future preaching, each contributing his several sentence to one common summary: and they ordained that the rule thus framed should be given to those who believe.
5. Now whereas we said that the Eastern Churches, in their delivery of the Creed, say, "In one God the Father Almighty," and "in one Lord," the "one" is not to be understood numerically but absolutely. For example, if one should say, "one man" or "one horse," here "one" is used numerically. For there may be a second man and a third, or a second horse and a third. But where a second or a third cannot be added, if we say "one" we mean one not numerically but absolutely. For example, if we say, "one Sun," here the meaning is that a second or a third cannot be added, for there is but one Sun. Much more then is God, when He is said to be "one," called "one," not numerically but absolutely, that is, He is therefore said to be one because there is no other. In like manner, also, it is to be understood of the Lord, that He is one Lord, Jesus Christ, by or through Whom God the Father possesses dominion over all, whence also, in the next clause, God is called "Almighty."
6. Next there follows, "And in Christ Jesus, His Only Son, Our Lord." "Jesus" is a Hebrew word meaning "Saviour." "Christ" is so called from "Chrism," i.e. unction. For we read in the Books of Moses, that Auses, the son of Nave, when he was chosen to lead the people, had his name changed from "Auses" to "Jesus," to shew that this was a name proper for princes and generals, for those, namely, who should "save" the people who followed them. Therefore, both were called "Jesus," both the one who conducted the people, who had been brought forth out of the land of Egypt, and freed from the wanderings of the wilderness, into the land of promise, and the other, who conducted the people, who had been brought forth from the darkness of ignorance, and recalled from the errors of the world, into the kingdom of heaven.
7. When you hear the word "Son," you must not think of a nativity after the flesh; but remember that it is spoken of an incorporeal substance, and a simple and uncompounded nature. For if, as we said above, whether when the understanding generates a word, or the mind sense, or light brings forth brightness from itself, nothing of this sort is sought for, or any manner of weakness and imperfection imagined in this kind of generation, how much purer and more sacred ought to be our conception of the Creator of all these!
8. Then further it is to be observed that no creature can be such as its Creator. And therefore, as the divine substance or essence admits of no comparison, so neither does the Divinity. Moreover, every creature is of nothing. If therefore a spark which is so unsubstantial but yet is fire, begets of itself a creature which is of nothing, and maintains in it the essential nature of that from which it springs, (i.e. the fire of the parent spark), why could not the substance of that eternal Light which ever has been because it has in itself nothing which is not substantial, produce from itself substantial brightness? Rightly, therefore, is the Son called "only," "unique." For He who hath been so born is "only" and "unique." That which is unique can admit of no comparison. Nor can He who made all things be like in substance to the things which He has made. This then is Christ Jesus, the only Son of God, who is also our Lord. "Only" may be referred both to Son and to Lord. For Jesus Christ is "only" both as truly Son and as one Lord. For all other sons, though they are called sons, are so called by the grace of adoption, not by verity of nature; and if there be others who are called lords, they are called so from an authority bestowed not inherent. But Christ alone is the only Son and the only Lord, as the Apostle saith, "One Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things." Therefore, after the Creed has in due order set forth the ineffable mystery of the nativity of the Son from the Father, it now descends to the dispensation which He vouchsafed to enter upon for man's salvation. And of Him whom just now it called the "only Son of God" and "our Lord," it now says. 1 Cor. viii. 6 c9. "Who Was Born by (de) The Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary." This nativity among men is in the way of dispensation, whereas the former nativity is of the divine substance; the one results from his condescension, the other from his essential nature. He is born by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin. Here a chaste ear and a pure mind is required. For you must understand that now a temple hath been built within the secret recesses of a Virgin's womb for Him of Whom erewhile you learnt that He was born ineffably of the Father. And just as in the sanctification of the Holy Ghost no thought of imperfection is to be admitted, so in the Virgin-birth no defilement is to be imagined. For this birth was a new birth given to this world, and rightly new. For He Who is the only Son in heaven is by consequence the only Son on earth, and was uniquely born, born as no other ever was or can be.
10. Starting from this point you may understand the majesty of the Holy Ghost also. For the Gospel witnesses of Him that when the angel said to the Virgin, "Thou shalt bring forth a Son and shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins," she replied, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" on which the angel said to her, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Wherefore that holy Thing which shall be born of Thee shall be called the Son of God." See here the Trinity mutually cooperating with each other. The Holy Ghost is spoken of as coming upon the Virgin, and the Power of the Highest as overshadowing her. What is the Power of the Highest but Christ Himself, Who is the Power of God and the Wisdom of God? Whose is this Power? The Power of the Highest. There is here then the Highest, there is also the Power of the Highest, there is also the Holy Ghost. This is the Trinity, everywhere latent, and everywhere apparent, distinct in names and persons, but inseparable in the substance of the Godhead. And although the Son alone is born of the Virgin, yet there is present also the Highest, there is present also the Holy Ghost, that both the conception and the bringing forth of the Virgin may be sanctified. Matt. i. 21
11. These things, since they are asserted upon the warrant of the Prophetical Scriptures, may possibly silence the Jews, infidel and incredulous though they be. But the Pagans are wont to ridicule us when they hear us speak of a Virgin-birth. We must, therefore, say a few words in reply to their cavils. Every birth, I suppose, depends upon three conditions. There must be a woman of mature age, she must have intercourse with a man, her womb must not be barren. Of these three conditions, in the birth of which we are speaking, one was wanting, the man. And this, forasmuch as He of Whose birth we speak was not an earthly but a heavenly man, was supplied by the Heavenly Spirit, the virginity of the mother being preserved inviolate. And yet why should it be thought marvellous for a virgin to conceive, when it is well known that the Eastern bird, which they call the Phoenix, is in such wise born, or born again, without the intervention of a mate, that it remains continually one, and continually by being born or born again succeeds itself? That bees know no wedlock, and no bringing forth of young, is notorious. There are also other things which are found to be subject to some such law of birth. Shall it be thought incredible, then, that was done by divine power, for the renewal and restoration of the whole world, of which instances are observed in the nativity of animals? And yet it is strange that the Gentiles should think this impossible, who believe their own Minerva to have been born from the brain of Jupiter. What is more difficult to believe, or what more contrary to nature? Here, there is a woman, the order of nature is kept, there is conception, and in due time birth; there, there is no female, but a man alone, and--birth! Why does he who believes the one marvel at the other? Again, they say that Father Bacchus was born from Jupiter's thigh. Here is another portent, yet it is believed. Venus also, whom they call Aphrodite, was born, they believe, of the foam of the sea, as her compounded name shews. They affirm that Castor and Pollux were born of an egg, the Myrmidons of ants. There are a thousand other things which, though contrary to nature, find credit with them, such as the stones thrown by Deucalion and Pyrrha, and the crop of men sprung from thence. And when they believe such myths and so many of them, does one thing seem impossible to them, that a woman of mature age, not defiled by man but impregnated by the Holy Ghost, should conceive a divine progeny? who, forsooth, if they are hard of belief, ought in no wise to have given credence to those prodigies, being, as they are, so many and so degrading; but if they do believe them, they ought much more readily to receive these beliefs of ours, so honourable and so holy, than theirs so discreditable and so vile. The fable of the Phoenix was very generally believed in the ancient Church, and was used as an illustration both of the Virgin-birth, as here, and of the Resurrection. Cyril of Jerusalem (xviii. 8), whom Rufinus evidently had in view, refers to it as a providentially designed confirmation of the latter. Possibly the Septuagint translation of Ps. xcii. 12, "The righteous shall flourish as a palm tree," hos phoinix may have been thought to sanction the fable. On the Literature connected with the Phoenix, see Bp. Jacobson's edition or the Apostolical Fathers, Clemens Romanus, Ep. i. §25, note, p. 104. c12. But they say, perhaps, If it was possible to God that a virgin should conceive, it was possible also that she should bring forth, but they think it unmeet that a being of so great majesty should enter the world in such wise, that even though there had been no defilement from intercourse with man, there should yet be the unseemliness attendant upon the act of delivery. To which let us reply briefly, meeting them on their own level. If a person should see a little child in the act of being suffocated in a quagmire, and himself, a great man and powerful, should go into the mire, just at its verge, so to say, to rescue the dying child; would you blame this man as defiled for having stepped into a little mire, or would you praise him as merciful, for having preserved the life of one that was perishing? But the case supposed is that of an ordinary man. Let us return to the nature of Him Who was born. How much, think you, is the nature of the Sun inferior to him? How much beyond doubt, the Creature to the Creator? Consider now if a ray of the sun alights upon a quagmire, does it receive any pollution from it? or is the sun the worse for shedding his light upon foul objects? Fire, too, how far inferior is its nature to the things of which we are speaking? Yet no substance, whether foul or vile, is believed to pollute fire if applied to it. When the case is plainly thus with regard to material things, do you suppose that aught of pollution and defilement can befall that supereminent and incorporeal nature, which is above all fire and all light? Then, lastly, note this also: we say that man was created by God out of the clay of the earth. But if God is thought to be defiled in seeking to recover His own work, much more must He be thought so in making that work originally. And it is idle to ask why He passed through what is repugnant to our sense of modesty, when you cannot tell why He made what is so repugnant. And therefore it is not nature but general estimation that has made us think these things to be such. Otherwise, all things that are in the body, being formed from one and the same clay, are distinguished from one another only in their uses and natural offices. c13. But there is another consideration which we must not leave out in the solution of this question, namely, that the substance of God, which is wholly incorporeal, cannot be introduced into bodies or be received by them in the first instance, unless there be some spiritual substance as a medium, which is capable of receiving the divine Spirit. For instance, if we say that light is able to irradiate all the members of the body, yet by none of them can it be received except by the eye. For it is the eye alone which is receptive of light. So the Son of God is born of a virgin, not associated with the flesh alone in the first instance, but begotten with a soul as a medium between the flesh and God. With the soul, then, serving as a medium, and receiving the Word of God in the secret citadel of the rational spirit, God was born of the Virgin without any such disparagement as you imagine. And therefore nothing is to be esteemed base or unseemly wherein was the sanctification of the Spirit, and where the soul which was capable of God became also a partaker of flesh. Account nothing impossible where the power of the Most High was present. Have no thought of human weakness where there was the plenitude of Divinity. c14. He Was Crucified Under Pontius Pilate and Was Buried: He Descended into Hell. The Apostle Paul teaches us that we ought to have "the eyes of our understanding enlightened" "that we may understand what is the height and breadth and depth." "The height and breadth and depth" is a description of the Cross, of which that part which is fixed in the earth he calls the depth, the height that which is erected upon the earth and reaches upward, the breadth that which is spread out to the right hand and to the left. Since, therefore, there are so many kinds of death by which it is given to men to depart this life, why does the Apostle wish us to have our understanding enlightened so as to know the reason why, of all of them, the Cross was chosen in preference for the death of the Saviour. We must know, then, that that Cross was a triumph. It was a signal trophy. A triumph is a token of victory over an enemy. Since then Christ, when He came, brought three kingdoms at once into subjection under His sway (for this He signifies when he says, "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth"), and conquered all of these by His death, a death was sought answerable to the mystery, so that being lifted up in the air, and subduing the powers of the air, He might make a display of His victory over these supernatural and celestial powers. Moreover the holy Prophet says that "all the day long He stretched out His hands" to the people on the earth, that He might both make protestation to unbelievers and invite believers: finally, by that part which is sunk under the earth, He signified His bringing into subjection to Himself the kingdoms of the nether world. Eph. i. 18
15. Moreover,--to touch briefly some of the more recondite topics,--when God made the world in the beginning, He set over it and appointed certain powers of celestial virtues by whom the race of mortal men might be governed and directed. That this was so done Moses signifies in the Song in Deuteronomy, "When the Most High divided the nations, He appointed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God." But some of these, as he who is called the Prince of this world, did not exercise the power which God had committed to them according to the laws by which they had received it, nor did they teach mankind to obey God's commandments, but taught them rather to follow their own perverse guidance. Thus we were brought under the bonds of sin, because, as the Prophet saith, "We were sold under our sins." For every man, when he yields to lust, is receiving the purchase-money of his soul. Under that bond then every man was held by those most wicked rulers, which same bond Christ, when He came, tore down and stripped them of this their power. This Paul signifies under a great mystery, when he says of Him, "He destroyed the hand-writing which was against us, nailing it to His cross, and led away principalities and powers, triumphing over them in Himself." Those rulers, then, whom God had set over mankind, having become contumacious and tyrannical, took in hand to assail the men who had been committed to their charge and to rout them utterly in the conflicts of sin, as the Prophet Ezekiel mystically intimates when he says, "In that day angels shall come forth hastening to exterminate Ethiopia, and there shall be perturbation among them in the day of Egypt; for behold He comes." Having stript them then of their almighty power, Christ is said to have triumphed, and to have delivered to men the power which was taken from them, as also Himself saith to His disciples in the Gospel, "Behold I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the might of the enemy." The Cross of Christ, then, brought those who had wrongfully abused the authority which they had received into subjection to those who had before been in subjection to them. But us, that is, mankind, it teaches first of all to resist sin even unto death, and willingly to die for the sake of religion. Next, this same Cross sets before us an example of obedience, in like manner as it hath punished the contumacy of those who were once our rulers. Hear, therefore, how the Apostle would teach us obedience by the Cross of Christ: "Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking upon Him the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and, being found in fashion as a man, He became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross." As, then, a consummate master teaches both by example and precept, so Christ taught the obedience, which good men are to render even at the cost of death, by Himself first dying in rendering it. Deut. xxxii. 8, LXX.
16. But perhaps some one is alarmed at hearing us discourse of the death of Him of Whom, a short while since, we said that He is everlasting with God the Father, and that He was begotten of the Father's substance, and is one with God the Father, in dominion, majesty, and eternity. But be not alarmed, O faithful hearer. Presently thou wilt see Him of Whose death thou hearest once more immortal; for the death to which He submits is about to spoil death. For the object of that mystery of the Incarnation which we expounded just now was that the divine virtue of the Son of God, as though it were a hook concealed beneath the form and fashion of human flesh (He being, as the Apostle Paul says, "found in fashion as a man"), might lure on the Prince of this world to a conflict, to whom offering His flesh as a bait, His divinity underneath might catch him and hold him fast with its hook, through the shedding of His immaculate blood. For He alone Who knows no stain of sin hath destroyed the sins of all, of those, at least, who have marked the door-posts of their faith with His blood. As, therefore, if a fish seizes a baited hook, it not only does not take the bait off the hook, but is drawn out of the water to be itself food for others, so He Who had the power of death seized the body of Jesus in death, not being aware of the hook of Divinity inclosed within it, but having swallowed it he was caught forthwith, and the bars of hell being burst asunder, he was drawn forth as it were from the abyss to become food for others. Which result the Prophet Ezekiel long ago foretold under this same figure, saying, "I will draw thee out with My hook, and stretch thee out upon the earth: the plains shall be filled with thee, and I will set all the fowls of the air over thee, and I will satiate all the beasts of the earth with thee." The Prophet David also says, "Thou hast broken the heads of the great dragon, Thou hast given him to be meat to the people of Ethiopia." And Job in like manner witnesses of the same mystery, for he says in the person of the Lord speaking to him, "Wilt thou draw forth the dragon with a hook, and wilt thou put thy bit in his nostrils?" Phil. ii. 8
17. It is with no loss or disparagement therefore of His Divine nature that Christ suffers in the flesh, but His Divine nature through the flesh descended into death, that by the infirmity of the flesh He might effect salvation; not that He might be detained by death according to the law of mortality, but that He might by Himself in his resurrection open the gates of death. It is as if a king were to proceed to a prison, and to go in and open the doors, undo the fetters, break in pieces the chains, the bars, and the bolts, and bring forth and set at liberty the prisoners, and restore those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death to light and life. The king, therefore, is said indeed to have been in prison, but not under the same condition as the prisoners who were detained there. They were in prison to be punished, He to free them from punishment. c18. They who have handed down the Creed to us have with much forethought specified the time when these things were done--"under Pontius Pilate,"--lest in any respect the tradition should falter, as though vague and uncertain. But it should be known that the clause, "He descended into Hell," is not added in the Creed of the Roman Church, neither is it in that of the Oriental Churches. It seems to be implied, however, when it is said that "He was buried." But in the love and zeal for the Divine Scriptures which possess you, you say to me, I doubt not, "These things ought to be proved by more evident testimonies from the Divine Scriptures. For the more important the things are which are to be believed, so much the more do they need apt and undoubted witness." True. But we, as speaking to those who know the law, have left unnoticed, for the sake of brevity, a whole forest of testimonies. But if this also be required, let us cite a few out of many, knowing, as we do, that to those who are acquainted with the Scriptures, a very ample sea of testimonies lies open. c19. First of all, then, we must know that the doctrine of the Cross is not regarded by all in the same light. It is one thing to the Gentiles, to the Jews another, to Christians another; as also the Apostle says, "We preach Christ crucified,--to the Jews a stumbling-block, to the Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God;" and, in the same place, "For the preaching of the Cross is to those who perish foolishness, but to those who are saved," that is, to us, it is "the Power of God." The Jews, to whom it had been delivered out of the Law, that Christ should abide for ever, were offended by His Cross, because they were unwilling to believe His resurrection. To the Gentiles it seemed foolishness that God should have submitted to death, because they were ignorant of the mystery of the Incarnation. But Christians, who had accepted His birth and passion in the flesh and His resurrection from the dead, of course believed that it was the power of God which had overcome death.
20. But, if it does not weary you, let the point out as briefly as possible, specific references to prophecy in the Gospels, that those who are being instructed in the first elements of the faith may have these testimonies written on their hearts, lest any doubt concerning the things which they believe should at any time take them by surprise. We are told in the Gospel that Judas, one of Christ's friends and associates at table, betrayed Him. Let the show you how this is foretold in the Psalms: "He who hath eaten My bread hath lifted up his heel against Me:" and in another place; "My friends and My neighbours drew near and set themselves against Me:" and again; "His words were made softer than oil and yet be they very darts." What then is meant by his words were made soft? "Judas came to Jesus and said unto Him, Hail, Master, and kissed Him." Thus through the soft blandishment of a kiss he implanted the execrable dart of betrayal. On which the Lord said to him, "Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" You observe that He was appraised by the traitor's covetousness at thirty pieces of silver. Of this also the Prophet speaks, "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price, or if not, forbear;" and presently, "I received from them," he says, "thirty pieces of silver, and I cast them into the house of the Lord, into the foundry." Is not this what is written in the Gospels, that Judas, "repenting of what he had done, brought back the money, and threw it down in the temple and departed?" Well did He call it His price, as though blaming and upbraiding. For He had done so many good works among them, He had given sight to the blind, feet to the lame, the power of walking to the palsied, life also to the dead; for all these good works they paid Him death as His price, appraised at thirty pieces of silver. It is related also in the Gospels that He was bound. This also the word of prophecy had foretold by Isaiah, saying, "Woe unto their soul, who have devised a most evil device against themselves, saying, Let us bind the just One, seeing that He is unprofitable to us." Ps. xli. 9
21. But, says some one, "Are these things to be understood of the Lord? Could the Lord be held prisoner by men and dragged to judgment?" Of this also the same Prophet shall convince you. For he says, "The Lord Himself shall come into judgment with the elders and princes of the people." The Lord is judged then according to the Prophet's testimony, and not only judged, but scourged, and smitten on the face with the palms (of men's hands), and spitted on, and suffers every insult and indignity for our sake. And because all who should hear these things preached by the Apostles would be perfectly amazed, therefore also the Prophet speaking in their person exclaims, "Lord, who hath believed our report?" For it is incredible that God, the Son of God, should be spoken of and preached as having suffered these things. For this reason they are foretold by the Prophets, lest any doubt should spring up in those who are about to believe. Christ the Lord Himself therefore in His own person, says, "I gave My back to the scourges, and My cheeks to the palms, I turned not away My face from shame and spitting." This also is written among His other sufferings, that they bound Him, and led Him away to Pilate. This also the Prophet foretold, saying, "And they bound him and conducted Him as a pledge of friendship (xenium) to King Jarim." But some one objects, "But Pilate was not a king." Hear then what the Gospel relates next, "Pilate hearing that He was from Galilee, sent Him to Herod, who was king in Israel at that time." And rightly does the Prophet add the name "Jarim," which means "a wild-vine, for Herod was not of the house of Israel, nor of that Israelitish vine which the Lord had brought out of Egypt, and "planted in a very fruitful hill," but was a wild vine, i.e. of an alien stock. Rightly, therefore, was he called "a wild-vine," because he in nowise sprung from the shoots of the vine of Israel. And whereas the Prophet used the phrase "xenium," "A pledge of friendship," this also corresponds, "For Herod and Pilate," as the Gospel witnesses, "from being enemies were made friends," and, as though in token of their reconciliation, each sent Jesus bound to the other. What matter, so long as Jesus, as Saviour, reconciles those who were at variance, and restores peace, and also brings back concord! Wherefore of this also it is written in Job, "May the Lord reconcile the hearts of the princes of the earth." Isa. iii. 14
22. It is related that when Pilate would fain have released Him all the people cried out, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him!" This also the Prophet Jeremiah foretells, saying, in the person of the Lord Himself, "My inheritance is become to Me as a lion in the forest. He hath uttered his voice against Me, wherefore I have hated it. And therefore (saith He) I have forsaken and left My house." And again in another place, "Against whom have ye opened your mouth, and against whom have ye let loose your tongues?" When He stood before His judge, it is written that "He held His peace." Many Scriptures testify of this. In the Psalms it is written, "I became as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs." And again, "I was as a deaf man, and heard not, and as one that is dumb and openeth not his mouth." And again another Prophet saith, "As a lamb before her shearer, so He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His judgment was taken away." It is written that there was put on Him a crown of thorns. Of this hear in the Canticles the voice of God the Father marvelling at the iniquity of Jerusalem in the insult done to His Son: "Go forth and see, ye daughters of Jerusalem, the crown wherewith His mother hath crowned Him." Moreover, of the thorns another Prophet makes mention: "I looked that she should bring forth grapes, and she brought forth thorns, and instead of righteousness a cry." But that thou mayest know the secrets of the mystery, it behoved Him, Who came to take away the sins of the world, to free the earth also from the curse, which it had received through the sin of the first man, when the Lord said "Cursed be the earth in thy labours: thorns: and thistles shall it bring forth to thee." For this cause, therefore, is Jesus crowned with thorns, that first sentence of condemnation might be remitted. He is led to the cross, and the life of the whole word is suspended on the wood of which it is made. I would point out how this also is confirmed by testimony from the Prophets. You find Jeremiah speaking of it thus, "Come and let us cast wood into His bread, and crush Him out of the land of the living." And again, Moses, mourning over them, says, "Thy life shall be suspended before thine eyes, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt not believe thy life." But we must pass on, for already we are exceeding our proposed measure of brevity, and are lengthening out our "short word" by a long dissertation. Yet we will add a few words more, lest we should seem altogether to have passed over what we undertook. Luke xxiii. 21
23. It is written that when the side of Jesus was pierced "He shed thereout blood and water." This has a mystical meaning. For Himself had said, "Out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water." But He shed forth blood also, of which the Jews sought that it might be upon themselves and upon their children. He shed forth water, therefore, which might wash believers; He shed forth blood also which might condemn unbelievers. Yet it might be understood also as prefiguring the twofold grace of baptism, one that which is given by the baptism of water, the other that which is sought through martyrdom in the outpouring of blood, for both are called baptism. But if you ask further why our Lord is said to have poured forth blood and water from His side rather than from any other member, I imagine that by the rib in the side the woman is signified. Since the fountain of sin and death proceeded from the first woman, who was the rib of the first Adam, the fountain of redemption and life is drawn from the rib of the second Adam. John xix. 34
24. It is written that in our Lord's passion there was darkness over the earth from the sixth hour until the ninth. To this also you will find the Prophet witnessing, "Thy Sun shall go down at mid-day." And again, the Prophet Zechariah, "In that day there shall be no more light. There shall be cold and frost in one day, and that day known to the Lord; and it shall be neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light." What plainer language could the Prophet have used for his words to seem not so much a prophecy of the future as a narrative of the past? He foretold both the cold and the frost. For Peter was warming himself at the fire because it was cold: and he was suffering cold not only in respect of the time (the early hour), but also of his faith. There is added, "and that day shall be known to the Lord; and it shall be neither day nor night." What is "neither day nor night?" Did he not plainly speak of the darkness interposed in the day, and then the light afterwards restored? That was not day, for it did not begin with sun-rise, neither was it complete night, for it did not, when the day was ended, receive its due space from the beginning or prolong it to the end; but the light which had been driven away by the crime of wicked men is restored at evening time. For after the ninth hour, the darkness is driven away, and the sun is restored to the world. Again, another Prophet witnesses of the same, "The light shall be darkened upon the earth in the day-time." Amos viii. 9
25. The Gospel further relates that the soldiers parted the garments of Jesus among themselves, and cast lots upon His vesture. The Holy Spirit provided that this also should be witnessed beforehand by the Prophets, for David says, "They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they did cast lots." Nor were the Prophets silent even as to the robe, the scarlet robe, which the soldiers are said to have put upon Him in mockery. Listen to Isaiah, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, red in his garments from Bozrah? Wherefore are thy garments red, and thy raiment as though thou hadst trodden in the wine-press?" To which Himself replies, "I have trodden the wine-press alone, O daughter of Sion." For He alone it is Who hath not sinned, and hath taken away the sins of the world. For if by one man death could enter into the world, how much more by one man, Who was God also, could life be restored! Ps. xxii. 18
26. It is related also that vinegar was given Him to drink, or wine mingled with myrrh which is bitterer than gall. Hear what the Prophet has foretold of this: "They gave Me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty they gave Me vinegar to drink." Agreeably with which Moses, even in his day, said to the people, "Their vine is of the vineyards of Sodom, and their branch of Gomorrah; their grape is a grape of gall, and their cluster a cluster of bitterness." And again, the Prophet upbraiding them says, "Oh foolish people and unwise, have ye thus requited the Lord?" Moreover, in the Canticles the same things are foretold, where even the garden in which the Lord was crucified is indicated: "I have come into my garden, my sister, my spouse, and have gathered in my myrrh." Here the Prophet has plainly set forth the wine mingled with myrrh which the Lord has given Him to drink. Ps. lxix. 21
27. Next it is written that "He gave up the ghost." This also had been foretold, by the Prophet, who says, addressing the Father in the Person of the Son, "Into Thy hands I commend My Spirit." He is related also to have been buried, and a great stone laid at the door of the sepulchre. Hear what the word of prophecy foretold by Jeremiah concerning this also, "They have cut off my life in the pit, and have laid a stone upon Me." These words of the Prophet point most plainly to His burial. Here are yet others, "The righteous hath been taken away from beholding iniquity, and his place is in peace." And in another place, "I will give the malignant for his burial;" and yet once more, "He hath lain down and slept as a lion, and as a lion's whelp; who shall rouse Him up?" Mark xv. 37
28. That He descended into hell is also evidently foretold in the Psalms, where it is said, "Thou hast brought Me also into the dust of the death." And again, "What profit is there in my blood, when I shall have descended into corruption?" And again, "I descended into the deep mire, where there is no bottom." Moreover, John says, "Art Thou He that shall come (into hell, without doubt), or do we look for another?" Whence also Peter says that "Christ being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit which dwells in Him, descended to the spirits who were shut up in prison, who in the days of Noah believed not, to preach unto them;" where also what He did in hell is declared. Moreover, the Lord says by the Prophet, as though speaking of the future, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption." Which again, in prophetic language he speaks of as actually fulfilled, "O Lord, Thou hast brought my soul out of hell: Thou hast saved me from them that go down into the pit." There follows next,-- Ps. xxii. 15
29. The Third Day He Rose Again from the Dead. The glory of Christ's resurrection threw a lustre upon everything which before had the appearance of weakness and frailty. If a while since it seemed to you impossible that an immortal Being could die, you see now that He who has overcome death and is risen again cannot be mortal. But understand herein the goodness of the Creator, that so far as you by sinning have cast yourself down, so far has He descended in following you. And do not impute lack of power to God, the Creator of all things, by imagining his work to have ended in the fall into an abyss which He in His redemptive purpose was unable to reach. We speak of infernal and supernal, because we are bounded by the definite circumference of the body, and are confined within the limits of the region prescribed to us. But to God, Who is present everywhere and absent nowhere, what is infernal and what supernal? Notwithstanding, through the assumption of a body there is room for these also. The flesh which had been deposited in the sepulchre, is raised, that that might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, "Thou wilt not suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption." He returned, therefore, a victor from the dead, leading with Him the spoils of hell. For He led forth those who were held in captivity by death, as He Himself had foretold, when He said, "When I shall be lifted up from the earth I shall draw all unto Me." To this the Gospel bears witness, when it says, "The graves were opened, and many bodies of saints which slept arose, and appeared unto many, and entered into the holy City," that city, doubtless, of which the Apostle says, "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the Mother of us all." As also he says again to the Hebrews, "It became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, Who had brought many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering." Sitting, therefore, on the right hand of God in the highest heavens, He placed there that human flesh, made perfect through sufferings, which had fallen to death by the lapse of the first man, but was now restored by the virtue of the resurrection. Whence also the Apostle says, "Who hath raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places." For He was the potter, Who, as the Prophet Jeremiah teaches, "took up again with His hands, and formed anew, as it seemed good to Him, the vessel which had fallen from His hands and was broken in pieces." And it seemed good to Him that the mortal and corruptible body which He had assumed, this body raised from the rocky sepulchre and rendered immortal and incorruptible, He should now place not on the earth but in heaven, and at His Father's right hand. The Scriptures of the Old Testament are full of these mysteries. No Prophet, no Lawgiver, no Psalmist is silent, but almost every one of the sacred pages speaks of them. It seems superfluous, therefore, to linger in collecting testimonies; yet we will cite some few, remitting those who desire to drink more largely to the well-springs of the divine volumes themselves. Ps. xvi. 10
30. It is said then in the Psalms, "I laid me down and slept, and rose up again, because the Lord sustained me." Again, in another place, "Because of the wretchedness of the needy and the groaning of the poor, now will I arise, saith the Lord." And elsewhere, as we have said above, "O Lord, thou hast brought my soul out of hell; Thou hast saved me from them that go down into the pit." And in another place, "Because Thou hast turned and quickened me, and brought me out of the deep of the earth again." In the 87th Psalm He is most evidently spoken of: "He became as a man without help, free among the dead." It is not said "a man," but "as a man." For in that He descended into hell, He was "as a man:" but He was "free among the dead," because He could not be detained by death. And therefore in the one nature the power of human weakness, in the other the power of divine majesty is exhibited. The Prophet Hosea also speaks most manifestly of the third day in this wise, "After two days He will heal us; but on the third day we shall rise and shall live in His presence." This he says in the person of those who, rising with Him on the third day, are recalled from death to life. And they are the same persons who say, "On the third day we shall rise again, and shall live in His presence." But Isaiah says plainly, "Who brought forth from the earth the great Shepherd of the sheep." Then, that the women were to see His resurrection, while the Scribes and Pharisees and the people disbelieved, this also Isaiah foretold in these words, "Ye women, who come from beholding, come: for it is a people that hath no understanding." But as to the women who are related to have gone to the sepulchre after the resurrection, and to have sought Him without finding, as Mary Magdalene, who is related to have come to the sepulchre before it was light, and not finding Him, to have said, weeping, to the angels who were there, "They have taken away the Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him" --even this is foretold in the Canticles: "On my bed I sought Him Whom my soul loveth; I sought Him in the night, and found Him not." Of those also who found Him, and held Him by the feet, it is foretold, in the same book, "I will hold Him Whom my soul loveth, and will not let Him go." Take these passages, a few of many; for being intent on brevity we cannot heap together more. Ps. iii. 5
31. He Ascended into Heaven, and Sitteth on the Right Hand of the Father: from Thence He Shall Come to Judge the Quick and the Dead. These clauses follow with suitable brevity at the end of this part of the Creed which treats of the Son. What is said is plain, but the question is how and in what sense it is to be understood. For to "ascend," and to "sit," and to "come," unless you understand the words in accordance with the dignity of the divine nature, appear to point to something of human weakness. For having consummated what was to be done on earth, and having recalled souls from the captivity of hell, He is spoken of as ascending up to heaven, as the Prophet had foretold, "Ascending up on high He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men," those gifts, namely, which Peter, in the Acts of the Apostles, spoke of concerning the Holy Ghost, "Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, He hath shed forth this gift which ye do see and hear." He gave the gift of the Holy Ghost to men, because the captives, whom the devil had before carried into hell through sin, Christ by His resurrection from death recalled to heaven. He ascended therefore into heaven, not where God the Word had not been before, for He was always in heaven, and abode in the Father, but where the Word made flesh had not been seated before. Lastly, since this entrance within the gates of heaven seemed new to its ministers and princes, they say to one another, on seeing the nature of flesh penetrating into the secret recesses of heaven, as David full of the Holy Ghost, declares, "Lift up your gates, ye princes, and be ye lift up ye everlasting gates, and the King of glory shall enter in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle." Which words are spoken not with reference to the power of the divine nature, but with reference to the novelty of flesh ascending to the right hand of God. The same David says elsewhere, "God hath ascended jubilantly, and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet." For conquerors are wont to return from battle with the sound of the trumpet. Of Him also it is said, "Who buildeth up His ascent in heaven." And again, "Who hath ascended above the cherubims, flying upon the wings of the winds." Ps. lxviii. 18
32. To sit at the right hand of the Father is a mystery belonging to the Incarnation. For it does not befit that incorporeal nature without the assumption of flesh; neither is the excellency of a heavenly seat sought for the divine nature, but for the human. Whence it is said of Him, "Thy seat, O God, is prepared from thence forward; Thou art from everlasting." The seat, then, whereon the Lord Jesus was to sit, was prepared from everlasting, "in whose name every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue shall confess to Him that Jesus is Lord in the glory of God the Father;" of Whom also David thus speaks, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool." Referring to which words the Lord in the Gospel said to the Pharisees, "If therefore David in spirit calleth Him Lord, how is He his Son?" By which He shewed that according to the Spirit He was the Lord, according to the flesh He was the Son, of David. Whence also the Lord Himself says in another place, "Verily I say unto you, henceforth ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power of God." And the Apostle Peter says of Christ, "Who is on the right hand of God, seated in the heavens." And Paul also, writing to the Ephesians, "According to the working of the might of His power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him on His right hand." Ps. xciii. 2
33. That He shall come to judge the quick and the dead we are taught by many testimonies of the divine Scriptures. But before we cite what the Prophets say on this point, we think it necessary to remind you that this doctrine of the faith would have us daily solicitous concerning the coming of the Judge, that we may so frame our conduct as having to give account to the Judge who is at hand. For this is what the Prophet said of the man who is blessed, that, "He ordereth his words in judgment." When, however, He is said to judge the quick and the dead, this does not mean that some will come to judgment who are still living, others who are already dead; but that He will judge both souls and bodies, where, by souls are meant "the quick," and the bodies "the dead;" as also the Lord Himself saith in the Gospel, "Fear not them who are able to kill the body, but are not able to hurt the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." Ps. cxii. 5
34. Now let us shew briefly, if you will, that these things were foretold by the Prophets. You will yourself, since you are so minded, gather together more from the ample range of the Scriptures. The Prophet Malachi says, "Behold the Lord Almighty shall come, and who shall abide the day of His coming, or who shall abide the sight of Him? For He doth come as the fire of a furnace and as fuller's soap: and He shall sit, refining and purifying as it were gold and silver." But that thou mayest know more certainly Who this Lord is of Whom these things are said, hear what the Prophet Daniel also foretells: "I saw," saith he, "in the vision of the night, and, behold, One like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, and He came nigh to the Ancient of days, and was brought near before Him; and there was given to Him dominion, and honour, and a kingdom. And all peoples, tribes, and languages shall serve Him. And His dominion is an eternal dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed." By these words we are taught not only of His coming and judgment, but of His dominion and kingdom, that His dominion is eternal, and His kingdom indestructible, without end; as it is said in the Creed, "and of His kingdom there shall be no end." So that one who says that Christ's kingdom shall one day have an end is very far from the faith. Yet it behoves us to know that the enemy is wont to counterfeit this salutary advent of Christ with cunning fraud in order to deceive the faithful, and in the place of the Son of Man, Who is looked for as coming in the majesty of His Father, to prepare the Son of Perdition with prodigies and lying signs, that instead of Christ he may introduce Antichrist into the world; of whom the Lord Himself warned the Jews beforehand in the Gospels, "Because I am come in My Father's Name, and ye received Me not, another will come in his own name, and him ye will receive." And again, "When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth understand." Daniel, therefore, in his visions speaks very fully and amply of the coming of that delusion: but it is not worth while to cite instances, for we have enlarged enough already; we therefore refer any one who may wish to know more concerning these matters to the visions themselves. The Apostle also himself says, "Let no than deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above everything that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as though himself were God." And soon afterwards, "Then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." And again, shortly afterwards, "And therefore the Lord shall send unto them strong delusion, that they may believe a lie, that all may be judged who have not believed the truth." For this reason, therefore, is this "delusion" foretold unto us by the words of Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles, lest any one should mistake the coming of Antichrist for the coming of Christ. But as the Lord Himself says, "When they shall say unto you, lo, here is Christ, or lo, He is there, believe it not. For many false Christs and false prophets shall come and shall seduce many." But let us see how He hath pointed out the judgment of the true Christ: "As the lightning shineth from the east unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be." When, therefore, the true Lord Jesus Christ shall come, He will sit and set up his throne of judgment. As also He says in the Gospel, "He shall separate the sheep from the goats," that is, the righteous from the unrighteous; as the Apostle writes, "We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every man may receive the awards due to the body, according as he hath done, whether they be good or evil." Moreover, the judgment will be not only for deeds, but for thoughts also, as the same Apostle saith, "Their thoughts mutually accusing or else excusing one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men." But on these points let this suffice. Next follows in the order of the faith,-- Matt. iii. 1-3
35. And in the Holy Ghost. What has been delivered above somewhat at large concerning Christ relates to the mystery of His Incarnation and of His Passion, and, by thus intervening, as belonging to His Person, has somewhat delayed the mention of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, if the divine nature alone be taken into account, as in the beginning of the Creed we say "I believe in God the Father Almighty," and afterwards, "In Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord," so in like manner we add, "And in the Holy Ghost." But all of these particulars which are spoken of above concerning Christ relate, as we have said, to the dispensation of the flesh (to His Incarnation). By the mention of the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the Trinity is completed. For as one Father is mentioned, and there is no other Father, and one only-begotten Son is mentioned, and there is no other only-begotten Son, so also there is one Holy Ghost, and there cannot be another Holy Ghost. In order, therefore, that the Persons may be distinguished, the terms expressing relationship (the properties) are varied, whereby the first is understood to be the Father, of Whom are all things, Who Himself also hath no Father, the second the Son, as born of the Father, and the third the Holy Ghost, as proceeding from both, and sanctifying all things. But that in the Trinity one and the same Godhead may be set forth, since, prefixing the preposition "in" we say that we believe "in God the Father," so also we say, "in Christ His Son," so also "in the Holy Ghost." But our meaning will be made more plain in what follows. For the Creed proceeds,-- Or, according to another reading, "from the mouth of God." c36. "The Holy Church; The Forgiveness of Sin, the Resurrection of This Flesh." It is not said, "In the holy Church," nor "In the forgiveness of sins," nor "In the resurrection of the flesh." For if the preposition "in" had been added, it would have had the same force as in the preceding articles. But now in those clauses in which the faith concerning the Godhead is declared, we say "In God the Father," and "In Jesus Christ His Son," and "In the Holy Ghost," but in the rest, where we speak not of the Godhead but of creatures and mysteries, the preposition "in " is not added. We do not say "We believe in the holy Church," but "We believe the holy Church," not as God, but as the Church gathered together to God: and we believe that there is "forgiveness of sins;" we do not say "We believe in the forgiveness of sins;" and we believe that there will be a "Resurrection of the flesh;" we do not say "We believe in the resurrection of the flesh." By this monosyllabic preposition, therefore, the Creator is distinguished from the creatures, and things divine are separated from things human.
37. Of the Old Testament, therefore, first of all there have been handed down five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Then Jesus Nave, (Joshua the son of Nun), The Book of Judges together with Ruth; then four books of Kings (Reigns), which the Hebrews reckon two; the Book of Omissions, which is entitled the Book of Days (Chronicles), and two books of Ezra (Ezra and Nehemiah), which the Hebrews reckon one, and Esther; of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel; moreover of the twelve (minor) Prophets, one book; Job also and the Psalms of David, each one book. Solomon gave three books to the Churches, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles. These comprise the books of the Old Testament.
38. But it should be known that there are also other books which our fathers call not "Canonical" but "Ecclesiastical:" that is to say, Wisdom, called the Wisdom of Solomon, and another Wisdom, called the Wisdom of the Son of Syrach, which last-mentioned the Latins called by the general title Ecclesiasticus, designating not the author of the book, but the character of the writing. To the same class belong the Book of Tobit, and the Book of Judith, and the Books of the Maccabees. In the New Testament the little book which is called the Book of the Pastor of Hermas, [and that] which is called The Two Ways, or the Judgment of Peter; all of which they would have read in the Churches, but not appealed to for the confirmation of doctrine. The other writings they have named "Apocrypha." These they would not have read in the Churches.
39. We come next in the order of belief to the Holy Church. We have mentioned above why the Creed does not say here, as in the preceding article, "In the Holy Church." They, therefore, who were taught above to believe in one God, under the mystery of the Trinity, must believe this also, that there is one holy Church in which there is one faith and one baptism, in which is believed one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, and one Holy Ghost. This is that holy Church which is without spot or wrinkle. For many others have gathered together Churches, as Marcion, and Valentinus, and Ebion, and Manichæus, and Arius, and all the other heretics. But those Churches are not without spot or wrinkle of unfaithfulness. And therefore the Prophet said of them, "I hate the Church of the malignants, and I will not sit with the ungodly." But of this Church which keeps the faith of Christ entire, hear what the Holy Spirit says in the Canticles, "My dove is one; the perfect one of her mother is one." He then who receives this faith in the Church let him not turn aside in the Council of vanity, and let him not enter in with those who practise iniquity.
40. As to the Forgiveness of Sins, it ought to be enough simple to believe. For who would ask the cause or the reason when a Prince grants indulgence? When the liberality of an earthly sovereign is no fit subject for discussion, shall man's temerity discuss God's largess? For the Pagans are wont to ridicule us, saying that we deceive ourselves, fancying that crimes committed in deed can be purged by words. And they say, "Can he who has committed murder be no murderer, and he who has committed adultery be accounted no adulterer? How then shall one guilty of crimes of this sort all of a sudden be made holy?" But to this, as I said, we answer better by faith than by reason. For he is King of all who hath promised it: He is Lord of heaven and earth who assures us of it. Would you have me refuse to believe that He who made me a man of the dust of the earth can of a guilty person make me innocent? And that He who when I was blind made me see, or when I was deaf made me hear, or lame walk, can recover for me my lost innocence? And to come to the witness of Nature--to kill a man is not always criminal, but to kill of malice, not by law, is criminal. It is not the deed then, in such matters, that condemns me, because sometimes it is rightly done, but the evil intention of the mind. If then my mind which had been rendered criminal, and in which the sin originated, is corrected, why should I seem to you incapable of being made innocent, who before was criminal? For if it is plain, as I have shewn, that crime consists not in the deed but in the will, as an evil will, prompted by an evil demon, has made me obnoxious to sin and death, so the will prompted by the good God, being changed to good, hath restored me to innocence and life. It is the same also in all other crimes. In this way there is found to be no opposition between our faith and natural reason, while forgiveness of sins is imputed not to deeds, which when once done cannot be changed, but to the mind, which it is certain can be converted from bad to good. c41. This last article, which affirms the Resurrection of the Flesh, concludes the sum of all perfection with succinct brevity. Although on this point also the faith of the Church is impugned, not only by Gentiles, but by heretics likewise. For Valentinus altogether denies the resurrection of the flesh, so do the Manicheans, as we shewed above. But they refuse to listen to the Prophet Isaiah when he says, "The dead shall rise, and they who are in the graves shall be raised," or to most wise Daniel, when he declares, "Then they who are in the dust of the earth shall arise, these to eternal life, but those to shame and confusion." Yet even in the Gospels, which they appear to receive, they ought to learn from our Lord and Saviour, Who says, when instructing the Sadducees, "As touching the resurrection of the dead: have ye not read how He saith to Moses in the Bush, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob? Now God is not the God of the dead but of the living." Where in what goes before He declares what and how great is the glory of the resurrection, saying, "But in the resurrection of the dead they will neither marry or be given in marriage, but will be as the angels of God." But the virtue of the resurrection confers on men an angelical state, so that they who have risen from the earth shall not live again on the earth with the brute animals but with angels in heaven--yet those only whose purer life has fitted them for this--those, namely, who even now preserving the flesh of their soul in chastity, have brought it into subjection to the Holy Spirit, and thus with every stain of sins done away and changed into spiritual glory by the virtue of sanctification, have been counted worthy to have it admitted into the society of angels. Is. xxvi. 19
42. But unbelievers cry, "How can the flesh, which has been putrified and dissolved, or changed into dust, sometimes also swallowed up by the sea, and dispersed by the waves, be gathered up again, and again made one, and a man's body formed anew out of it?" To whom our first answer is in Paul's words: "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body, which shall be, but bare grain of wheat or of some other seed: but God giveth it a body as seemeth good to Him." Did you not believe that that which you see taking place every year in the seeds which you cast into the ground will come to pass in your flesh which by the law of God is sown in the earth? Why, pray, have you so mean an opinion of God's power that you do not believe it possible for the scattered dust of which each man's flesh was composed to be re-collected and restored to its own original fabric? Do you refuse to admit the fact when you see mortal ingenuity search for veins of metal deeply buried in the ground, and the experienced eye discover gold where the inexperienced thinks there is nothing but earth? Why should we refuse to grant these things to Him who made man, when he whom He made can do so much? And when mortal ingenuity discovers that gold has its own proper vein, and silver another, and that a far different vein of copper, and diverse and distinct veins of iron and lead lie concealed beneath what has the appearance of earth, shall divine power be thought unable to discover and distinguish the component particles belonging to each man's flesh, even though they seem to be dispersed? 1 Cor. xv. 36-38 c43. But let us endeavour to assist those souls which fail in their faith through reasons drawn from nature. If one should mix different sorts of seeds together and sow them indiscriminately in the earth, will not the grain of each several kind, wherever it may have been thrown, shoot forth at the proper time in accordance with its own specific nature so as to reproduce the condition of its own form and its own body.
44. But that you may not suppose this to be a novel doctrine peculiar to Paul, I will adduce also what the Prophet Ezekiel foretold by the Holy Ghost. "Behold," saith he, "I will open your graves and bring you forth out of your graves." Let me recall, further, how Job, who abounds in mystical language, plainly predicts the resurrection of the dead. "There is hope for a tree; for if it be cut down it will sprout again, and its shoot shall never fail. But if its root have waxed old in the earth, and the stock thereof be dead in the dust, yet through the scent of water it will flourish again, and put forth shoots as a young plant. But man, if he be dead, is he departed and gone? And mortal man, if he have fallen, shall he be no more?" Dost thou not see, that in these words he is appealing to men's sense of shame, as it were, and saying, "Is mankind so foolish, that when they see the stock of a tree which has been cut down shooting forth again from the ground, and dead wood again restored to life, they imagine their own case to have no likeness to that of wood or trees?" But to convince you that Job's words are to be read as a question, when he says, "But mortal man when he hath fallen shall he not rise again?" take this proof from what follows; for he adds immediately, "But if a man be dead, shall he live?" And presently afterwards he says, "I will wait till I be made again;" and afterwards he repeats the same: "Who shall raise again upon the earth my skin, which is now draining this cup of suffering?" Ezek. xxxvii. 12
45. Thus much in proof of the profession which we make in the Creed when we say "The resurrection of this flesh." As to the addition "this" see how consonant it is with all that we have cited from the divine books. What else does Job signify in the place which we explained above, "He will raise again my skin, which is now draining this cup of suffering," that is, which is undergoing these torments? Does he not plainly say that there will be a resurrection of this flesh, this, I mean, which is now undergoing the extremity of trials and tribulations? Moreover, when the Apostle says, "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality," are not his words those of one who in a manner touches his body and places his finger upon it? This body then, which is now corruptible, will by the grace of the resurrection be incorruptible, and this which is now mortal will be clothed with virtues of immortality, that, as "Christ rising from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him," so those who shall rise in Christ shall never again feel corruption or death, not because the nature of flesh will have been cast off, but because its condition and quality will have been changed. There will be a body, therefore, which will rise from the dead incorruptible and immortal, not only of the righteous, but also of sinners; of the righteous that they may be able ever to abide with Christ, of sinners that they may undergo without end the punishment due to them. 1 Cor. xv. 53
46. That the righteous shall ever abide with Christ our Lord we have proved above, where we have shewn that the Apostle says, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." And do not marvel that the flesh of the saints is to be changed into such a glorious condition at the resurrection as to be caught up to meet God, suspended in the clouds and borne in the air, since the same Apostle, setting forth the great things which God bestows on them that love Him, says, "Who shall change our vile body that it may be made like unto His glorious body." It is nowise absurd then, if the bodies of the saints are said to be raised up into the air, seeing that they are said to be renewed after the image of Christ's body, which is seated at God's right hand. But this also the holy Apostle adds, speaking either of himself or of others of his own place or merit, "He will raise us up together with Christ and make us sit together in the heavenly places." Whence, since God's saints have these promises and an infinite number like them respecting the resurrection of the righteous, it will now not be difficult to believe those also which the Prophets have foretold, namely, that "the righteous shall shine as the sun and as the brightness of the firmament in the kingdom of God." For who will think it difficult that they should have the brightness of the sun, and be adorned with the splendour of the stars and of this firmament, for whom the life and conversation of God's angels are being prepared in heaven, or who are represented as being hereafter to be conformed to the glory of Christ's body? In reference to which glory, promised by the Saviour's mouth, the holy Apostle says, "It is sown as an animal body; it will rise a spiritual body." For if it is true, as it certainly is true, that God will vouchsafe to associate every one of the righteous and of the saints in companionship with the angels, it is certain that He will change their bodies also into the glory of a spiritual body. 1 Thess. iv. 17
47. Nor let this promise seem to you contrary to the natural structure of the body. For if we believe, according to what is written, that God took clay of the earth and made man, and that the origin of our body was this, that, by the will of God, earth was changed into flesh, why does it seem absurd to you or contrary to reason if, on the same principles on which earth is said to be advanced to all animal body, an animal body in turn should be believed to be advanced to a spiritual body? These things and many like these you will find in the divine Scriptures concerning the resurrection of the righteous. There will be given to sinners also, as we said above, a condition of incorruption and immortality at the resurrection, that, as God assigns this state to the righteous for perpetuity of glory, so He may assign the same to sinners for prolongation of confusion and punishment. For this also the Prophet's words, which we referred to above, state clearly: "Many shall rise from the dust of the earth, some to life eternal, and others to confusion and eternal shame." Dan. xii. 2 c48. If then we have understood in what august significance God Almighty is called Father, and in what mysterious sense our Lord Jesus Christ is held to be His only Son, and with what entire perfection of meaning His Spirit is called the Holy Spirit, and how the Holy Trinity is one in substance but has distinctions of relation and of Persons, what also is the birth from a Virgin, what the nativity of the Word in the flesh, what the mystery of the Cross, what the purpose of our Lord's descent into hell, what the glory of the Resurrection, and the delivery of souls from their captivity in the infernal regions, what also His ascension into heaven, and the expected advent of the Judge; moreover how the holy Church ought to be acknowledged as opposed to the congregations of vanity, what is the number of the sacred Volume, what conventicles of heretics ought to be avoided, and how in the forgiveness of sins there is no opposition whatever between the divine freedom and natural reason, and how not only the sacred oracles but also the example of Lord and Saviour Himself, and the conclusions of natural reason, confirm the truth of the resurrection of our flesh;--if, I say, we have intelligently followed these in succession in accordance with the rule of the tradition hereinbefore expounded, we pray that the Lord will grant to us, and to all who hear these words, that having kept the faith which we have received, having finished our course, we may await the crown of righteousness laid up for us, and be found among those who shall rise again to eternal life, and be delivered from confusion and eternal shame, through Christ our Lord, through Whom to God the Father Almighty with the Holy Ghost is glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. cThe Preface to the Books of Recognitions of St. Clement.