Jerome's Apology for Himself Against the Books of…

 Book I

 Jerome’s Apology for Himself Against the Books of Rufinus.

 I have learned not only from your letter but from those of many others that cavils are raised against me in the school of Tyrannus, “by the tongue of

 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 te

 3. 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

 4. 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 Christ

 5. 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 ey

 6. His followers object to me, (and

 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 thorough

 8. 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 rais

 9. 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 t

 10. The champion of Origen, you see, the encomiast of Pamphilus, declares that Pamphilus wrote nothing whatever, that he composed no single treatise o

 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 Me

 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

 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 fo

 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 alo

 15. 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 en

 16. For instance, Chrysippus and Antipater occupy themselves with thorny questions: Demosthenes and Æschines speak with the voice of thunder against e

 17. 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 litera

 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

 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,” i

 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 cr

 21. My brother Paulinian tells me that our friend has impugned certain things in my commentary on the Ephesians: some of these criticisms he committed

 22. 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 unspotte

 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, a

 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

 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

 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 f

 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 ano

 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 interp

 29. The simple explanation of my own opinion in reference to the passage I stated before in these words:

 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 urg

 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

 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 awa

 Book II

 Book II.

 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

 2. 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 bo

 3. I will touch upon the other points, and set down the actual words of his letter:

 4. He goes on:

 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 th

 6. Of the devil he thus frames his opinion:

 7. To proceed:

 8. But what follows about the condition of souls can by no means be excused. He says:

 9. Before I enter upon the subject matter of this passage, I must stand in admiration of words worthy of Theophrastus:

 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

 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 th

 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

 13. 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 th

 14. 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 not

 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 th

 17. But let us consider what are the arguments by which he tries to prove that Origen’s writings have been corrupted by the heretics.

 18. After this preface as to the falsification by heretics of the apostles, of both the Clements, and of Dionysius, he at last comes to Origen and th

 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 overt

 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

 21. 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 heret

 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 wh

 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 Pamph

 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 fo

 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 st

 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 P

 34. 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 h

 35. 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

 Book III

 Book III.

 I have read the letter which you in your wisdom have written me. You inveigh against me, and, though you once praised me and called me true partner an

 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 Chr

 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 am

 4. Your letter goes on:

 5. Let us understand what was the wrong done by my friend who, you say ‘falsified parts of your papers when they had not yet been corrected nor carrie

 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 P

 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 me

 8. 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,

 9. 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 wor

 10. 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

 11. You state, with some prevarication, that you have translated from the Greek what I had before translated into Latin but I do not clearly understa

 12. 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 b

 13. 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

 14. 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 y

 15. 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 th

 16. 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

 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 co

 18. 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

 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 wi

 20. 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

 21. 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

 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,

 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

 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 wa

 25. 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 th

 26. I think it a point which should not be passed over, that you have no right to complain that the falsifier of your papers holds in my esteem the gl

 27. 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

 28. 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 ignoran

 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

 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 Lactan

 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 te

 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

 33. 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 con

 34. “But why,” you ask, “did you accept my manuscripts which had been falsified? and why, when I had translated the Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν did you dare to put yo

 35. 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 accusatio

 36. In the matter of the books Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν, I have even a claim upon your gratitude. You say that you cut off anything that was offensive and replaced

 37. 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 Eu

 38. 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

 39. 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

 40. Pythagoras taught, accordingly, that he had himself been originally Euphorbus, and then Callides, thirdly Hermotimus, fourthly Pyrrhus, and lastly

 41. 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 destruc

 42. 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

 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

 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

Jerome's Apology for Himself Against the Books of…