Fathers of the Church
Apology against the Books of Rufinus
by Jerome in 401-402 | translated by William Henry Fremantle
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 my dogs from the enemies by himself" because I have translated the books Peri archôn into Latin. What unprecedented shamelessness is this! They accuse the physician for detecting the poison: and this in order to protect their vendor of drugs, not in obtaining the reward of innocence but in his partnership with the criminal; as if the number of the offenders diminished the crime, or as if the accusation depended on our personal feelings not on the facts. Pamphlets are written against me; they are forced on every one's attention; and yet they are not, openly published, so that the hearts of the simple are disturbed, and no opportunity is given me of answering. This is a new way of injuring a man, to make accusations which you are afraid of sending abroad, to write what you are obliged to hide. If what he writes is true why is he afraid of the public? if it is false, why has he written it? We read when we were boys the words of Cicero: "I consider it a lack of self-control to write anything which you intend to keep hidden." I ask, What is it of which they complain? Whence comes this heat, this madness of theirs? Is it because I have rejected a reigned laudation? Because I refused the praise offered in insincere words? Because under the name of a friend I detected the snares of an enemy? I am called in this Preface brother and colleague, yet my supposed crimes are set forth openly, and it is proclaimed that I have written in favour of Origen, and have by my praises exalted him to the skies. The writer says that he has done this with a good intention. How then does it come to pass that he now casts in my teeth, as an open enemy, what he then praised as a friend? He declared that he had meant to follow me as his predecessor in his translation, and to borrow an authority for his work from some poor works of mine. If that was so, it would have been sufficient for him to have stated once for all that I had written. Where was the necessity for him to repeat the same things, and to force them on men's notice by iteration, and to turn over the same words again and again, as if no one would believe in his praises? A praise which is simple and genuine does not show all this anxiety about its credit with the reader. How is it that he is afraid that, unless he produces my own words as witnesses, no one will believe him when he praises me? You see that we perfectly understand his arts; he has evidently been to the theatrical school, and has learned up by constant practice the part of the mocking encomiast. It is of no use to put on a veil of simplicity, when the schemer is detected in his malicious purpose. To have made a mistake once, or, to stretch the point, even twice, may be an unlucky chancel but how is it that he makes the supposed mistake with his eyes open, and repeats it, and weaves this mistake into the whole tissue of his writings so as to make it impossible for me to deny the things for which he praises me? A true friend who knew what he was about would, after our previous misunderstanding and our reconciliation, have avoided all appearance of suspicious conduct, and would have taken care not to do through inadvertence what might seem to be done advisedly. Tully says in his book of pleadings for 'Galinius': "I have always felt that it was a religious duty of the highest kind to presence every friendship that I have formed; but most of all those in which kindness has been restored after some disagreement. In the case of friendships which have never been shaken, if some attention has not been paid, the excuse of forgetfulness, or at the worst of neglect is readily accepted; but after a return to friendship, if anything is done to cause offence, it is imputed not to neglect but to an unfriendly intention, it is no longer a question of thoughtlessness but of breach of faith."So Horace writes in his Epistle to Florus
1. "Kindness, ill-knit, cleaves not but flies apart."
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 be had at band 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.
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 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 be 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 landed 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."
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 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 or attacks which their author fears to publish and allows only his confenderates 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.
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 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.
"Grant it, O Father; mighty Jesus, grant. Let him begin the engagement hand to hand."
Though he may brandish the spear of his accusations and hurl them against us with all his might, we trust in tim Lord our Saviour that his truth will encompass us as with a shield, and we shall be able to sing with the Psalmist: "Their blows have become as the arrows of the little ones," and "Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, even then will I he confident." But of this at another time. Let us now return to the point where we began. 6. His followers object to me, (and
"Weary of work
They ply the arms of Ceres,")
that I have translated into the Latin tongue the books of Origen Peri archôn, which are pernicious and repugnant to the faith of the Church. My answer to them is brief and succinct: "Your letters, my brother Pammachius, and those of your friends, have compelled me. You declared that these books had been falsely translated by another, and that not a few things had been interpolated or added or altered. And, lest your letters should fail to carry conviction, you sent a copy of tiffs translation, together with the Preface in which I was praised. As soon as I had run my eye over these documents, I at once noticed that the impious doctrine enunciated by Origen about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to which the ears of Romans could not bear to listen, had been changed by the translator so as to give a more orthodox meaning. His other doctrines, on the fall of the angels, the lapse of human souls, his prevarications about the resurrection, his ideas about the world, or rather Epicurus's middle-spaces, on the restitution of all to a state of equality, and others much worse than these, which it would take too long to recount, I found that he had either translated as they stood in the Greek, or had stated them in a stronger and exaggerated manner in words taken from the books of Didymus, who is the most open champion of Origen. The effect of all this is that the reader, finding that the book expressed the catholic doctrine on the Trinity, would take in these heretical views without warning.
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 yon 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 ranch 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 archôn, 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 bad 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.
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 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 Caesarea, 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 yon wish to make me, a shall 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 yon 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 archôn. 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.
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 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 yon 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 Coryphaeus, 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 theft 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."
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 yon 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` Archw^n. Take my advice as a friend, and do not be distrustful the power of your art; say either that yon 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 12 defended myself.
11. Eusebius the Bishop of Caesarea, 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 archôn, 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 archôn 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 archôn 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 bad 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.
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.
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? a 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 hut 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.
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 be 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 archôn 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.
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 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 bear 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.
16. For instance, Chrysippus and Antipater occupy themselves with thorny questions: Demosthenes and Aeschines 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?
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 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."
To steer the ship the untaught landsman fears;
Th' untrain'd attendant dares not give the sick
The drastic southernwood. The healing drug
The leech alone prescribes. Th' artificer
Alone the tools can wield. But poetry
Train'd or untrain'd we all at random write.
Possibly he will swear that he has never learned to read and write; I can easily believe that without an oath. Or perhaps he will take refuge in what the Apostle says of himself: "Though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge." But his reason for saying this is plain. He had been trained in Hebrew learning and brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, whom, though he had attained apostolic rank, he was not ashamed to call his master; and he thought Greek eloquence of no account, or at all events, in his humility, he would not parade his knowledge of it. So that 'his preaching should stand not in the persuasive wisdom of words but in the power of the things signified.' He despised other men's riches since he was rich in his own. Still it was not to an illiterate man who stumbled in every sentence that Festus cried, as he stood before his judgment seat:
"Paul thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad." You who can hardly do more than mutter in Latin, and who rather creep like a tortoise than walk, ought either to write in Greek, so that among those who are ignorant of Greek you may pass for one who knows a foreign tongue; or else, if you attempt to write Latin, you should first have a grammar- master, and flinch from the ferule, and begin again as an old scholar among children to learn the art of speaking. Even if a man is bursting with the wealth of Croesus and Darius, letters will not follow the money-bag. They are the companions of toil and of labour, the associates of the fasting not of the full-fed, of self-mastery not of self-indulgence. It is told of Demosthenes that he consumed more oil than wine, and that no workman ever shortened his nights as he did. He for the sake of enunciating the single letter Rho was willing to take a dog as his teacher; and yet you make it a crime in me that I took a man to teach me the Hebrew letters. This is the sort of wisdom which makes men remain unlearned: they do not choose to learn what they do not know. They forget the words of Horace:
Why through false shame do I choose ignorance, Rather than seek to learn?
That Book of Wisdom also which is read to us as the work of Solomon says: "Into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter, nor dwell in the body that is subject to sin. For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee deceit and remove from thoughts which are without understanding." The case is different with those who only wish to be read by the vulgar, and do not care how they may offend the ears of the learned; and they despise the utterance of the poet which brands the forwardness of noisy ignorance.
'Twas you, I think, whose ignorance in the streets Murder'd the wretched strain with creaking reed.
If you want such things, there are plenty of curly-pated fellows in every school who will sing you snatches of doggrel from Miletus; or you may go to the exhibition of the Bessi and see people shaking with laughter at the Pig's Testament, or at any jesters' entertainment where silly things of this kind are run after. There is not a day but you may see the dressed- up clown in the streets whacking the buttocks of some blockhead, or half- pulling out people's teeth with the scorpion which he twists round for them to bite. We need not wonder if the books of know-nothings find plenty of readers.
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 rise 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.
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 Tholomaeus), Bartimaeus, 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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:
"His assertion that we have been chosen before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blemish before him, that is, before God, belongs to the foreknowledge of God, to whom all things which are to be are already made, and are known before they come into being. Thus Paul was predestinated in the womb of his mother: and Jeremiah before his birth is sanctified, chosen, confirmed, and, as a type of Christ, sent as a prophet to the Gentiles."
There is no crime surely in this exposition of the passage. Origen explained it in a heterodox sense, but I followed that of the church. And, since it is the duty of a commentator to record the opinions expressed by many others, and I had promised in the Preface that I would do this, I set down Origen's interpretation, though without mentioning his name which excites ill will.
"Another," I said, "who wishes to vindicate the justice of God, and to shew that he does not choose men according to a prejudgment and foreknowledge of his own but according to the deserts of the elect, thinks that before the visible creation of sky, earth, sea and till that is in them, there existed the invisible creation, part of which consisted of souls, which, for certain causes known to God alone, were cast down into this valley of tears, this scene of our affliction and our pilgrimage; and that it is to this that we may apply the Psalmist's prayer, he being in this low condition and longing to return to his former dwelling place: "Woe is me that my sojourn is prolonged; I have inhabited the habitations of Kedar, my soul hath had a long pilgrimage." And also the words of the Apostle: "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" and "It is better to return and to be with Christ;" and "Before I was brought low, I sinned." He adds much more of the same kind."
Now observe that I said "Another who wishes to vindicate," I did not say "who succeeds in vindicating." But if you find a stumbling block in the fact that I condensed a very long discussion of Origen's into a brief statement so as to give the reader a glimpse of his meaning; if you declare me to be a secret adherent of his because I have not left out anything which he has said, I would ask you whether it was not necessary for me to do this, so as to avoid your cavils. Would you not otherwise have declared that I had kept silence on matters on which he had spoken boldly, and that in the Greek text his assertions were much stronger than I represented? I therefore put down all time I found in the Greek text, though in a shorter form, so that his disciples should have nothing which they could force upon the ears of the Latins as a new thing; for it is easier for us to make light of things which we know well than of things which take us unprepared. But after I had shewn Origen's interpretations of the passage, I concluded this section with words to which I beg your attention:
"The Apostle does not say 'He chose us before the foundation of the world because we were then holy and without blemish;' but 'He chose us that we might be holy and without blemish,' that is, that we who before were not holy and without blemish might afterwards become such. This expression will apply even to sinners who turn to better things; and thus the words remain true, 'In thy sight shall no man living be justified,' that is, no one in his whole life, in the whole of the time that he has existed in the world. If the passage be thus understood, it makes against the opinion that before the foundation of the world certain souls were elected because of their holiness, and that they had none of the corruption of sinners. It is evident that Paul and those like him were not elected because they were holy and without blemish, but they were elected and predestinated so that in their after life, by means of their works and their virtues, they should become holy and without blemish."
Does any one dare, then, after this statement of my opinion, to accuse me of assent to the heresy of Origen? It is now almost eighteen years since I composed those books, at a time when the name of Origen was highly esteemed in the world, and when as yet his work the Peri` Archw^n had not reached the ears of the Latins: and yet I distinctly stated my belief and pointed out what I did not agree with. Hence, even if my opponent could have pointed out anything heretical in other places, I should be held guilty only of the fault of carelessness, not of the perverse doctrines which both in this place and in my other works I have condemned.
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:
"They must assuredly have others who are subject to them, who are under their power and serve them, and are fortified by their authority: and this distribution of offices will exist not only in the present world but in the world to come, so that each individual will rise or fall from one step of advancement and honour to another, some ascending and some descending, and will come successively under each of these powers, virtues, principalities, and dominions."
I then went on to describe the various divine offices and ministries after the similitude of the palace of an earthly king, which I fully described; and I added:
"Can we suppose that God the Lord of lords and King of kings, is content with a single order of servants? We speak of an archangel because there are other angels of whom he is chief: and so there would be nothing said of Principalities, Powers and Dominions unless it were implied that there were others of inferior rank."
But, if he thinks that I became a follower of Origen because I mentioned in my exposition these advancements and honours, these ascents and descents, increasings and diminishings; I must point out that to say, as Origen does, that Angels and Cherubim and Seraphim are turned into demons and men, is a very different thing from saying that the Angels themselves have various offices allotted to them,—a doctrine which is not repugnant to that of the church. Just as among men there are various degrees of dignity distinguished by the different kinds of work, as the bishop, the presbyter and the other Ecclesiastical grades have each their own order, while yet all are men; so we may believe that, while they all retain the dignity of Angels, there are various degrees of eminence among them, without imagining that angels are changed into men, and that men are new-made into angels.
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."
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:
"The words which describe Paul as the prisoner of Jesus Christ for the Gentiles may be understood of his martyrdom, since it was when he was thrown into chains at Rome that he wrote this Epistle, at the same time with those to Philemon and the Colossians and the Philippians, as we have formerly shewn. Certainly we might adopt another sense, namely, that, since we find this body in several places called the chain of the soul, in which it is held as in a close prison, Paul may speak of himself as confined in the chains of the body, and so that he could not return and be with Christ; and that thus he might perfectly fulfil his office of preaching to the Gentiles. Some commentators, however, introduce another idea namely, that Paul, having been predestinated and consecrated from his mother's womb, and before he was born, to be a preacher to the Gentiles afterwards took on the chains of the flesh."
Here also, as before, I gave a three fold exposition of the passage: in the first my own view, in the second the one supported by Origen, and the third the opinion of Apollinarius going contrary to his doctrine. Read over the Greek commentaries. If you do not find the fact to be as I state it, I will confess that I was wrong. What is my fault in this passage? The same, I presume, as that to which I made answer before, namely, that I did not name those whose views I quoted. But it was needless at each separate statement of the Apostle to give the names of the writers whose works I had declared in the Preface that I meant to translate. Besides, it is not an absurd way of understanding the passage, to say that the soul is bound in the body until Christ returns and, in the glory of the resurrection, changes our corruptible and mortal body for incorruption and immortality: for it is in this sense that the Apostle uses the expression, "O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" calling it the body of death because it is subject to vices and diseases, to disorders and to death; until it rises with Christ in glory, and, having been nothing but fragile clay before, becomes baked by the heat of the holy Spirit into a jar of solid consistency, thus changing its grade of glory, though not its nature.
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 anti 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:
"And so in the restitution of sit things, when Jesus Christ the true physician comes to restore to health the whole body of the Church, which now lies scattered and rent, every one will receive his proper place according to the measure of his faith and his recognition of the Son of God (the word 'recognize' implies that he had formerly known him and afterwards had ceased to know him), and shall then begin to be what he once had been; yet not in such a way as that, as held by another heresy, all should be placed in one rank, and, by a renovating process, all become angels; but that each member, according to its own measure and office shall become perfect: for instance, that the apostate angel shall begin to be that which he was by his creation, and that man who had been cast out of paradise shall be restored again to the cultivation of paradise;" and so on.
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:
"These things, as I have said before, are more obscure in our tongue because they are put in a metaphorical form in Greek; and in every metaphor, when a translation is made word for word from one language into another, the budding sense of the word is choked as it were with brambles."
If you do not find in the Greek the very thought which I have expressed, I give you leave to treat all that I say as my own.
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:
"I may be met by the objection that the statement of the Apostle is not true when he says that no man hates his own flesh, since those who labour under the jaundice or consumption or cancer Or abscesses, prefer death to life, and hate their own bodies;" and my own opinion follows immediately: "The words, therefore, may be more properly taken in a metaphorical sense."
When I say metaphorical, I mean to shew that what is said is not actually the case, but that the truth is shadowed forth through a mist of allegory. However, I will set out the actual words which are found in Origen's third book: "We may say that the soul loves that flesh which is to see the salvation of God, that it nourishes and cherishes it, and trains it by discipline and satisfies it with the bread of heaven, and gives it to drink of the blood of Christ: so that it may become we through wholesome food, and may follow husband freely, without being weighed down by any weakness. It is by a beautiful image that the soul is said to nourish and cherish the body as Christ nourishes and cherishes the church, since it was he who said to Jerusalem:
"How often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings and thou wouldst not;" and that thus this corruptible may put on incorruption, and that being poised lightly, as upon wings, may rise more easily into the air. Let us men then cherish our wives, and let our souls cherish our bodies in a way as that wives may be turned into men and bodies into spirits, and that there may be no difference of sex, but that, as among the angels there is neither male nor female, so we, who are to be the Angels, may begin to be here what it is promised that we shall be in heaven."
29. The simple explanation of my own opinion in reference to the passage I stated before in these words:
"Taking the simple sense of the words, we have a command, following on the precept of mutual kindness between man and wife, that we should nourish and cherish our wives: that is, that we should supply them with the food and clothing which are necessary."
This is my own understanding of the passage. Consequently, my words imply that all that follows after and might be brought up against me must be understood as spoken not as my own view but that of my opponents. But it might be thought that my resolution of the difficulty of the passage is too short and peremptory, and that it wraps the true sense, according to what has been said above, in the darkness of allegory, so as to bring it clown from its true meaning to one less rue. I will therefore come nearer to the matter, and ask what there is in the other interpretation with which you need disagree. It is this I suppose, that I said that souls should cherish their bodies as men cherish their wives, so that this corruptible may put on incorruption, and that, being lightly poised as upon wings, it may rise more easily into the air. When I say that this corruptible must put on incorruption, I do not change the nature of the body, but give it a higher rank in the scale of being. And so as regards what follows, that, being lightly poised as upon wings, it may more easily rise into the air: He who gets wings, that is, immortality, so that he may fly more lightly up to heaven, does not cease to be what he had been. But you may say, I am staggered by what follows:
"Let us men then cherish cur wives, and let our souls cherish our bodies, in such away as that wives may be turned into men and bodies into spirits, and that there may be no difference of sex, but that, as among the angels there is neither male nor female, so we, who are to be like the angels, may begin to be on earth what it is promised that we shall be in heaven."
You might justly be staggered, if I had not after what goes before, said "We may begin to be what it is promised that we shall be in heaven." When I say, "We shall begin to be on earth," I do not take away the difference of sex; I only take away lust, and sexual intercourse, as the Apostle does when he says, "The time is short; it remaineth therefore that those who have wives be as though they had none;" and as the Lord implied when, in reply to the question of which of the seven brothers the woman would be the wife, he answered: "Ye err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God; for in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be given in marriage: but they shall be as the angels of God." And, indeed, when chastity is observed between man and woman, it begins to be true that there is neither male nor female; but, though living in the body, they are being changed into angels, among whom there is neither male nor female.
The same is said by the same Apostle in another place: "As many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
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 bad 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?
He brings against me the charge of perjury and sacrilege together, because, in a book written for the instruction of one of Christ's virgins, I describe the promise which I once made when I dreamed that I was before the tribunal of the Judge, that I would never again pay attention to secular literature, and that nevertheless I have sometimes made mention of the learning which I then condemned. I think that I have here lighted on the man who, under the name of Sallustianus Calpurnius, and through the letter written to me by the orator Magnus, raised a not very great question. My answer on the general subject is contained in the short treatise which I then wrote to him. But at the present moment I must make answer as to the sacrilege and perjury of my dream. I said that I would thenceforward read no secular books: it was a promise for the future, not the abolition of my memory of the past. How, you may ask me, can you retain what you have been so long without reading? I must give my answer by recurring to one of these old books:
'Tis much to be inured in tender youth.
But by this mode of denial I criminate myself; for bringing Virgil as my witness I am accused by my own defender. I suppose I must weave a long web of words to prove what each man is conscious of. Which of us does not remember his infancy? I shall make you laugh though you are a man of such extreme gravity; and you will have at last to do as Crassus did, who, Lucilius tells us, laughed but once in his life, if I recount the memories of my childhood: how I ran about among the offices where the slaves worked; how I spent the holidays in play; or bow I had to be dragged like a captive from my grandmother's lap to the lessons of my enraged Orbilius. You may still more be astonished if I say that, even now that my head is gray and bald, I often seem in my dreams to be standing, a curly youth, dressed in my toga, to declaim a controversial thesis before the master of rhetoric; and, when I wake, I congratulate myself on escaping the peril of making a speech. Believe me, our infancy brings back to us many things most accurately. If you had had a literary education, your mind would retain what it was originally imbued with as a wine cask retains its scent. The purple dye on the wool cannot be washed out with water. Even asses and other brutes know the inns they have stopped at before, however long the journey may have been. Are you astonished that I have not forgotten my Latin books when you learnt Greek without a master? I learned the seven forms of Syllogisms in the Elements of logic; I learned the meaning of an Axiom, or as it might be called in Latin a Determination; I learned how every sentence must have in it a verb and a noun; how to heap up the steps of the Sorites, how to detect the clever turns of the Pseudomenos and the frauds of the stock sophisms. I can swear that I never read any of these things after I left school. I suppose that, to escape from having what I learned made into a crime, I must, according to the fables of the poets, go and drink of the river Lethe. I summon you, who accuse me for my scanty knowledge, and who think yourself a literateur and a Rabbi, tell me how was it that you dared to write some of the things you have written, and to translate Gregory, that most eloquent man, with a splendour of eloquence like Iris own? Whence have you obtained that flow of words, that lucidity of statement, that variety of translations,—you who in youth had hardly more than a first taste of rhetoric? I must be very much mistaken if you do not study Cicero in secret. I suspect that, being yourself so cultivated a person, you forbid me trader penalties the reading of Cicero, so that you may be left alone among our church writers to boast of your flow of eloquence. I must say, however, that you, seem rather to follow the philosophers, for your style is akin to that of the thorny sentences of Cleanthes and the contortions of Chrysippus, not from any art, for of that you say you are ignorant, but from the sympathy of genius. The Stoics claim Logic as their own, a science which you despise as a piece of fatuity; on this side, therefore, you are an Epicurean, and the principle of your eloquence is, not style but matter. For, indeed, what does it matter that no one else understands what you wish to say, when you write for your own friends alone, not for all? I must confess that I myself do not always understand what you write, and think that I am reading Heraclitus; however I do not complain, nor lament for my sluggishness; for the trouble of reading what you write is not more than the trouble you must have in writing it.
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, anti 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 bast 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.
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 layer of baptism, and a new man uses 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; be who doeth these things shall not be moved eternally." We may add that he who does the opposite to these will fall eternally.
Almost every sentence in this last chapter is an insidious allusion to Rufinus. His "wrinkled-up brow" and "turned-up nose," his weighing out his words, his supposed wealth, are all alluded to in other places and especially in the satirical description of him given after his death in Jerome's letter (cxxv. c. 18) to Rusticus.
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.
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 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 m a carnage 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.
3. I will touch upon the other points, and set down the actual words of his letter:
" Although my faith was proved, at the time of the persecution by the heretics, when I was living in the holy church of Alexandria, by imprisonments and exiles, to which I was subjected because of the faith."
I only wonder that he did not add "The prisoner of Jesus Christ," or "I was delivered from the jaw of the lion," or "I fought with beasts at Alexandria," or "I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." What exiles, what imprisonments are these which he describes? I blush for this open falsehood. As if imprisonment and exile would be inflicted without judicial sentences! I should like to have a list of these imprisonments and of the various provinces to which he tells us that he was forced into exile. Next there appear to have been numerous imprisonments and an infinite number of exiles; so that he might at least name one of them all. Let us have the acts of his confessorship produced, for hitherto we have been in ignorance of them; and so let us have the satisfaction of reciting his deeds with those of the other martyrs of Alexandria, and that he may be able to meet the people who bark against him with the words: "From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of our Lord Jesus Christ."
4. He goes on:
"Still, since there may be some persons, who may wish to prove my faith, or to hear and learn what it is. I will declare that I thus think of the Trinity;"
and so on. At first you said that you entrusted your faith to the Bishop as a stick with which he might fortify himself on your behalf against those barking dogs. Now you speak a little less confidently, "There may be some persons who wish to prove my faith." You begin to hesitate when the barking which reach your ears are so numerous. I will not stop to discuss the forms of diction which you use, for these you look down upon and condemn: I will answer according to the meaning alone. You are asked about one thing, and you give account for yourself upon another. As to the doctrines of Arius, you contended against them at Alexandria a long time ago, by imprisonment and exile, not with words but with blood. But the question now relates to the heresy of Origen, and the feeling aroused against you on the subject. I should be sorry that you should trouble yourself to cure wounds which are already healed. You confess a Trinity in one Godhead. The whole world now confesses this, and I think that even the devils confess that the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary, and took upon him the flesh and the soul belonging to human nature. But I must beg you not to think me a contentious man if I examine you a little more strictly. You say that the Son of God took the flesh and soul belonging to human nature. Well then, I would ask you not to be vexed with me but to answer this question. That soul which Jesus took upon him, did it exist before it was born of Mary? Was it created together with the body in that original Virgin nature which was begotten by the Holy Spirit? or, when the body was already formed within the womb, was it made all at once, and sent down from heaven? I wish to know which one of these you choose as your opinion. If it existed before it was born from Mary, then it was not yet the soul of Jesus; and it was employed in some way, and, for a reward of its virtues, it was made his soul. If it arose by traduction, then human souls, which we believe to be eternal, are subject to the same condition as those of the brutes, which perish with the body. But if it is created and sent into the body after the body has been formed, tell us so simply, and free us from anxiety.
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). Butt 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?
6. Of the devil he thus frames his opinion:
"We affirm also a judgment to come, in which judgment every man is to receive the due meed of his bodily life according to that which be has done, whether good or evil. And, if in the case of men the reward is according to their works how much more will it be so in the case of the devil who is the universal cause of sin. Of the devil himself our belief is that which is written in the Gospel, namely that both he and all his angels will receive as their portion the eternal fire, and with him those who do his works, that is, who become the accusers of their brethren. If then any one denies that the devil is to be subjected to eternal fires, may he have his part with him in the eternal fire, so that he may know by experience the fact which he now denies."
I will repeat the words one by one. "We affirm also a judgment to come, in which judgment &c." I had determined to say nothing about verbal faults. But, since his disciples admire the eloquence of their master, I will make one or two strictures upon it. He had already said "a future judgment;" but, being a cautious man, he was afraid of saving simply "in which," and therefore wrote "in which judgment;" for fear that, if he had not said "judgment" a second time, we, forgetting what had gone before, might have supplied the word "ass." That which he brings in afterwards "those who become the accusers of their brethren will with him have their portion in the eternal fire," is in a style of equal beauty. Who ever heard of 'possessing' the flames'? It would be like 'enjoying tortures.' I suppose that, being now a Greek, he had tried to translate himself, and that for the word klhronomh'sousin. which can be rendered in Latin by the single word Haereditabunt, he said Haereditate potientur supposing it to be something more elaborate and ornate. With such trifles and such improprieties of speech his whole discourse is teeming. But to return to the meaning of his words.
7. To proceed:
"This is a great spear with which the devil is pierced, he, ' who is the universal cause of sin.' if he is to render account of his works, like a man, and 'with his angels possess the inheritance of eternal fires.' This, no doubt, was what was lacking to him, that, having brought mankind into torment, he should himself 'possess the eternal fires' which he bad all the while been longing for."
You seem to me here to speak a little too hardly of the devil, and to assail the accuser of all with false accusations. You say 'he is the universal cause of sin ;' and, while you make him the author of all crimes, you tree men from fault, and take away the freedom of the will. Our Lord says that 'from our heart come forth evil thoughts, murders adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, railings,' and of Judas we read in the Gospel; "After the sop Satan entered into him," that is, because he had before the sop sinned voluntarily, and had not been brought to repentance either by humbling himself or by the forbearance of the Saviour. So also the Apostle says; "Such men I delivered to Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme." He delivered to Satan as to a torturer, with a view to their punishment those who, before they had been delivered to him learned to blaspheme by their own will. David also draws the distinction in a few words between the faults due to his own will and the incentives of vice when he says "Cleanse thou me from my secret faults, and keep back thy servant from alien sins." We read also in Ecclesiastes "If the spirit of a ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place;" from which we may clearly see that we commit sin if we give opportunity to the power which rises up, and if we fail to hurl down headlong the enemy who is scaling our walls. As to your threatening your brothers, that is, those who accuse you, with eternal fire in company with the devil, it seems to me that you do not so much drag your brethren down as raise the devil up, since he, according to you, is to be punished only with the same fires as Christian men. But you well know, I think, what eternal fires mean according to the ideas of Origen, namely, the sinners' conscience, and the remorse which galls their hearts within. These ideas he thinks are intended in the words of Isaiah: "Their worm shall not die neither shall their fire be quenched." And in the words addressed to Babylon: "Thou hast coals of fire, thou shall sit upon them, these shall be thy help." So also in the Psalm it is said to the penitent; "What shall be given to thee, or what shall be done more for thee against thee false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with desolating coals;" which means (according to him) that the arrows of God's precepts (concerning which the Prophet says in another place, "I lived in misery while a thorn pierces me") should wound and strike through the crafty tongue, and make an end of sins in it. He also interprets the place where the Lord testifies saying: "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish that it may burn" as meaning "I wish that all may repent, and burn out through the Holy spirit their vices and their sins; for I am he of whom it is written, "Our God is a consuming fire;" it is no great thing then to say this of the devil, since it is prepared also for men." You ought rather to have said, if you wished to avoid the suspicion of believing in the salvation of the devil; "Thou hast become perdition and shall not be for ever;" and as the Lord speaks to Job concerning the devil "Behold his hone shall fail him and in the sight of all shall he be cast down. I will not arouse him as one that is cruel, for who can resist my countenance? Who has first given to me that I may return it to him? for all things beneath the heaven are mine. I will not spare him and his words that are powerful and fashioned to turn away wrath." Hence, these things may pass as the work of a plain man. Their bearing is evident enough to those who understand these matters; but to the unlearned they may wear the appearance of innocence.
8. But what follows about the condition of souls can by no means be excused. He says:
"I am next informed that some stir has been made on the question of the nature of the soul. Whether complaints on a matter of this kind ought to be entertained instead of being put aside, you mast yourself decide. If, however, you desire to know my opinion upon this subject, I will state it frankly. I have read a great many writers on this question, and I find that they express divers opinions. Some of these whom I have read hold that the soul is infused together with the material body through the channel of the human seed, and of this they give such proofs as they can. I think that this was the opinion of Tertullian or Lactantius among the Latins, perhaps also of a few others. Others assert that God is every day making new souls and infusing them into the bodies which have been framed in the womb; while others again believe that the souls were all made long ago, when God made all things of nothing, and that all that he now does is to send out each soul to be born in its body as it seems good to him. This is the opinion of Origen, and of some others among the Greeks. For myself, I declare in the presence of God that, after reading each of these opinions, I am unable to hold any of them as certain and absolute: the determination of the truth in this question I leave to God and to any to whom it shall please him to reveal it. My profession on this point is, therefore, first, that these several opinions are those which I have found in books, but, secondly, that I as yet remain in ignorance on the subject, except so far as this. that the Church delivers it as an article of faith that God is the creator of souls as well as of bodies."
9. Before I enter upon the subject matter of this passage, I must stand in admiration of words worthy of Theophrastus:
"I am informed, he says, that some stir has been made on the question of the nature of the soul. Whether complaints on a matter of this kind ought to be entertained instead of being put aside, you must yourself decide."
If these questions as to the origin of the soul have been stirred at Rome, what is the meaning of this complaint and murmuring on the question whether they ought to be entertained or not, a question which belongs entirely to the discretion of bishops? But perhaps he thinks that question and complaint mean the same thing, because he finds this form of speech in the Commentaries of Caper. Then be writes: "Some of those whom I have read hold that the soul is infused together with the material body through the channel of the human seed; and of these they give such proofs as they can." What license have we here in the forms of speech! What mixing of the moods and tenses! "I have read some sayings — they confirmed them with what assertions they could." And in what follows: "Others assert that God is every day making new souls and infusing them into the bodies which have been framed in the womb; while others again believe that the souls were all made long ago when God made all things of nothing, and that all that he now does is to send out each soul to be born in its body as seems good to him." Here also we have a most beautiful arrangement. Some, he says, assert this and that; some declare that the souls were made long ago, that is, when God made all things of nothing, and that He now sends them forth to be born in their own body as it pleases him. He speaks so distastefully and so confusedly that I have more trouble in correcting his mistakes than he in writing them. At the end he says: "I, however, though I have read these things;" and, while the sentence still hangs unfinished, he adds, as if he had brought forward something flesh: "I, however, do not deny that I have both read each of these things, and as yet confess that I am ignorant."
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 suspicious, 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 be 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 he 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 yon 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 I to know?
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 archôn into Latin. I will put down his words literally:
"I am told that objections have been raised against me because, forsooth, at the request of some of my brethren, I translated certain works Of Origen from Greek into Latin. I suppose that every one sees that it is only through ill-will that this is made a matter of blame. For, if there is any offensive statement in the author, why is this to be twisted into a fault of the translator? I was asked to exhibit in Latin what stands written in the Greek text; and I did nothing more than fit Latin words to Greek ideas. If, therefore, there is anything to praise in these ideas, the praise does not belong to me: and similarly as to anything to which blame may attach."
"I hear," he says, "that thence dispute has arisen." How clever this is, to speak of it as a dispute, when it is really an accusation against him. "That I have, at the request of my brethren, translated certain things of Origen's into Latin." Yes, but what are these "certain things"? Have they no name? Are you silent? Then the bills of charge brought by the accusers will speak for you. "I suppose," he says, "that every one understands that it is only through envy that these things are made matters of blame." What envy? Are people envious of your eloquence? Or have you done what no other man has ever been able to do? Here am I, who have translated many works of Origen's; yet, except you, no one shews envy towards me or calumniates me for it. "If there is any offensive statement in the author, why is it to be twisted into a fault of the translator? I was asked to exhibit in Latin what stands written in the Greek text; and I did nothing more than fit Latin words to Greek ideas. If, therefore, there is anything to praise in these ideas, the praise does not belong to me, and similarly as to anything to which blame may attach." Can you be astonished that men think ill of you when you say of open blasphemies nothing more than, "If there are any offensive statements in the author"? What is said in those books is offensive to all men; and you stand alone in your doubt and ill your complaint that this is "twisted into a fault of the translator," when you have praised it in your Preface. 'You were asked to turn it into Latin as it stood in the Greek text.' I wish you had done what you pretend you were asked. You would not then be the object of any ill will. If you had kept faith as a translator, it would not have been necessary for me to counteract your false translation by my true one. You know in your own conscience what you added, what you subtracted, and what you altered on one side or the other at your discretion; and after this you have the audacity to tell us that what is good or evil is not to be attributed to you but to the author. You shew your sense of the ill will aroused against you by again toning down your words: and as if you were walking with your steps in the air or on the tops of the ears of corn, you say, "Whether there is praise or blame in these opinions." You dare not defend him, but you do not choose to condemn him. Choose which of the two you please; the option is yours; if this which you have translated is good, praise it, if bad, condemn it. But he makes excuses, and weaves another artifice, He says:
"I admit that I put something of my own into the work: as I stated in my Preface, I used my own discretion in cutting out not a few passages; but only those as to which I had come to suspect that the thing had not been so stated by Origen himself, and the statement appeared to me in these cases to have been inserted by others, because in other places I had found the author state the same matter in a catholic sense."
What wonderful eloquence! Varied, too, with flowers of the Attic style. "Moreover also!" and "Things which came to me into suspicion!" I marvel that lie should have dared to send such literary portents to Rome. One would think that the man's tongue was in fetters, and bound with cords that cannot be disentangled, so that it could hardly break forth into human speech. However, I will return to the matter in hand.
11(a). I wish to know who gave you permission to cut out a number of passages from the work you were translating? You were asked to turn a Greek book into Latin, not to correct it; to draw out another man's words, not to write a book of your own. You confess, by the fact of pruning away so much, that you did not do what you were asked. And I wish that what you curtailed had all been the bad parts, and that you had not put in many things of your own which go to support what is bad. I will take an example, from which men may judge of the rest. In the first book of the Peri archôn where Origen had uttered that impious blasphemy, that the Son does not see the Father, you supply the reasons for this, as if in the name of the writer, and translate the note of Didymus, in which he makes a fruitless effort to defend another man's error, trying to prove that Origen spoke rightly; but we, poor simple men, like the tame creatures spoken of by Ennius, can understand neither his wisdom nor that of his translator. Your Preface, which you allege in explanation, in which you flatter and praise me so highly shows you to be guilty of the most serious faults of translation. You say that you have cut out many things from the Greek, but you noticing of what you have put in. Were the parts cut out good or bad? Bad, I suppose. Was what you kept good or bad? Good, presume; for you could not translate the bad. Then I suppose you cut off what was bad and left what was good? Of course. But what you have translated can be shewn to be almost wholly bad. Whatever therefore in your translation I can shew to be must be laid to your account, since you translated it as being good. It is a strange thing if you are to act like an unjust censor, who is himself guilty of the crime, and are allowed at your will to expel some from the Senate and keep others in it. But you say: "It was impossible to change everything only thought I might cut away what had been added by the heretics." Very good. Then if you cut away all that you thought had been added by the heretics, all that you left belongs to the work which you were translating. Answer me then, are these good or bad? You could not translate what was had, since once for all you had cut away what had been added by the heretics, that is, unless you thought it your duty to cut away the bad parts due to the heretics, while translating the errors of Origen himself unaltered into Latin. Tell me then, why you turned Origen's heresies into Latin. Was it to expose the author of the evil, or to praise him? If your object is to expose him, why do you praise him in the Preface? If you praise him you are convicted of being a heretic. The only remaining hypothesis is that you published these things as being good. But if they are proved to be bad, then author and translator are involved in the same crime, and the Psalmist's word is fulfilled: "When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst unto him and hast been partaker with the adulterers." It is needless to make a plain matter doubtful by arguing about it. As to what follows, let him answer whence this suspicion arose in his mind of these additions by heretics. "It was," he says, "because I found the same things treated by this author in other places in a catholic sense."
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 aerial 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 trite 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.
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 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.
14. The next passage in this apology is as follows:
"I am neither a champion nor a defender of Origen, nor am I the first who has translated his works. Others before me have done the same thing: and I did it, the last of many, at the request of my brethren. If an order is to be given that such translations are not to be made, such an order holds good for the future, not the past: but if those are to be blamed who have made these translations before any such order was given, the blame must begin with those who took the first step."
Here at last he has vomited forth what he wanted to say, and all his inflamed mind has broken oat into this malicious accusation against me. When he translates the Peri` Archw^n he declares that he is following me. When he is accused for having done it, he gives me as his example: whether he is in danger or out of danger, he cannot live without me. Let me tell him, therefore, what he professes not to know. No one reproaches you because you translated Origen, otherwise Hilary and Ambrose would be condemned: but because you translated a heretical work, and tried to gain support for it by praising me in the Preface. I myself, whom you criminate, translated seventy homilies of Origen, and parts of his Tomes, in order that by translating his best works I might withdraw the worst from notice: and I also have openly translated the Peri` Archw^n to prove the falsity of your translation, so as to show the reader what to avoid. If you wish to translate Origen into Latin, you have at hand many homilies and Tomes of his, in which some topic of morality is handled or some obscure passage of Scripture is opened. Translate these give these to those who ask them of you. Why should your first labour begin with what is infamous? And why, when you were about to translate a heretical work, did you preface and support it by the supposed book of a martyr, and force upon the ears of Romans a book the translation of which threw the world into panic? At all events, if you translate such a work with the view of exhibiting the author as a heretic, change nothing from the Greek text, and make this clear in the Preface. It is this which the Pope Anastasius most wisely embodies in the letter which he has addressed to the Bishop John against you; he frees me who have done this froth all blame, but condemns you who would not do it. You will perhaps deny the existence of this letter; I have therefore subjoined a copy of it; so that, if you will not listen to your brother when he advises, you may listen to the Bishop when he condemns.
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:
"The cause of this diversity I have set forth more fully for you in the Apology which Pamphilus wrote among his treatises, adding a very short document of my own, in which I have shewn by what appear to me evident proofs, that his works have been depraved in many places by heretics and ill-disposed persons, and especially those which I am now translating, the Peri archon."
The defence made by Eusebius, or if you will have it so, by Pamphilus, was not sufficient for you, but you must add something from your superior wisdom and learning to supply what you thought insufficient in what they had said. It would be a long business if I were to insert the whole of your book into the present treatise, and, after setting out each paragraph, to reply to each in turn, and shew what vices there are in the style, what falsehoods in the assertions, what inconsistency in the actual tissue of the language. And therefore, to avoid a redundant discussion which is distasteful to me, I will compress the verbal matter into a narrow compass, and reply to the meaning alone. As soon as he leaves the harbour he runs his ship upon a rock. He recalls the words of the Apology of the Martyr Pamphilus (which however, I have proved to be the work of Eusebius the Chief of the Arians) of which he had said, "I translated it into the Latin tongue as best I was able and as the matter demanded;" he then adds: "It is this as to which I wish to give you a charge, Macarius, man of desires, that you may feel sure that this rule of faith which I have above set forth out of his books, is such as ought to be embraced and held fast: it is clearly shewn that there is a catholic meaning in them all." Although he took away many things from the book of Eusebius, and tried to alter in a good sense the expressions about the Son and the Holy Spirit, still there are found in it many causes of offence, and even open blasphemies, which our friend cannot refuse to accept since he pronounces them to be catholic. Eusebius (or, if you please, Pamphilus) says in that book that the Son is the Servant of the Father, the Holy Spirit is not of the same substance with the Father and the Son; that the souls of men have fallen from heaven; and, inasmuch as we have been changed from the state of Angels, that in the restitution of all things angels and devils and men will all be equal; and many other things so impious and atrocious that it would be a crime even to repeat them. The champion of Origen and translator of Pamphilus is in a strange position. If there is so much blasphemy in these parts which he has corrected, what sacrilegious things must there be in the parts which, as he pretends, have been falsified by heretics! What makes him hold this opinion, as he says, is that a man who is neither a feel nor a madman could not have said things mutually repugnant; and, that we may not suppose that he had written different things at different times, and that he put forth contrary views according to the time of writing, he has added:
"What are we to say when sometimes in the same place, and, so to speak, almost in the following paragraph, a sentence with an opposite meaning is found inserted? Can we believe that, in the same work and in the same book, and sometimes, as I have said in the sentence immediately following, he can have forgotten his own words? For example, could he who had before said, we can find no passage throughout the Scriptures in which the Holy Spirit is said to be created or made, immediately add that the Holy Spirit was made among the rest of the creatures? or again, could he who defined the Father and the Son to be of one substance, that namely which is called in Greek Homoousion, say in the following portions that he was of another substance, and that he was created, when but a little before he had declared him to be born from the nature of God the Father?"
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?
"Your trappings to the mob! I know you well; What lies within and on the skin I see."
Eusebius who was a very learned man, (observe I say learned not catholic: you must not, according to your wont make this a ground for calumniating me) takes up six volumes with nothing else but the attempt to shew that Origen is of his way of believing, that is of the Arian perfidy. He brings out many test-passages, and effectually proves his point. In what dream m an Alexandrian prison was the revelation given to you on the strength of which you make out these passages to be falsified which he accepts as true? But possibly he being an Arian, took in these additions of the heretics to support his own error, so that he should not be thought to be the only one who had held false opinions contrary to the Church. What answer will you make, then, as to Didymus, who certainly is catholic as regards the Trinity? You know that I translated his book on the Holy Spirit into Latin. He surely could not have assented to the passages in Origen's works which were added by heretics; yet he wrote some short commentaries on the Peri archôn which you have translated; in these he never denies that what is there written was written by Origen, but only tries to persuade us simple people that we do not understand his meaning and how these passages ought to be taken in a good sense. So much on the Son and the Holy Spirit alone. But in reference to the rest of Origen's doctrines, both Eusebius and Didymus adhere to his views, and defend, as said in a catholic and Christian sense, what all the churches reprobate.
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.
"Clement," he says, "who was the disciple of the Apostles, and who succeeded the apostles both in the episcopate and in martyrdom, wrote the books which go by the name of Anagnorismus; that is, Recognitions. In these, though, speaking generally, the doctrine which is set forth in the name of the Apostle Peter is genuinely apostolical, yet in certain passages the doctrine of Eunomius is brought in such a way as that you would suppose Eunomius himself to be conducting the argument and asserting his view that the Son was created out of nothing."
And, after a passage too long to reproduce, he adds:
"What then are we to think of these facts? Must we believe that an Apostolic man wrote heresy? or is it not more likely that men of perverse mind, wishing to gain support for their own doctrines, and win easier credit for them, introduced under the names of holy men views which they cannot be believed either to have held or to have written down?"
He tells us that Clement the presbyter of Alexandria also, who was a catholic man, writes at times in his works that the Son of God is created; and that Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria, a most learned man, in the four books in which he controverted the doctrines of Sabellius, lapses into the dogma of Arius. What he aims at by quoting these instances is not to shew that Churchmen and catholics have erred, but that their writings have been corrupted by heretics, and he closes the discussion with these words:
"And when we find in Origen a certain diversity of doctrine, just as we have found it in those of whom we have spoken above, will it not be sufficient for us to believe the same in his case which we believe or understand in the case of the catholic men whom we have passed in review? Will not the same defence hold good when the case is the same?"
If, I reply, we admit that everything in a book which is offensive is corruptly inserted by others, nothing will remain belonging to the author under whose name the book passes, but everything can be assigned to those by whom it is supposed to have been corrupted. But then it will not belong to them either, since we do not know who they were: and the result will be that every book belongs to everybody and nothing to any one in particular. In this confusion which this method of defence introduces, it will be impossible to convict Marcion of error, or Manichus or Arius or Eunomius; because, as soon as we point out a statement of their unbelief, their disciples will answer that was not what the master wrote, but was corruptly inserted by his opponents. According to this principle, this very book of yours will not be yours nor mine. And as to this very book in which I am making reply to your accusations, whatever you find fault with in it will be held not be written by me but by you who now find fault with it. And further, while you assign everything to the heretics, there will be nothing left which you can assign to churchmen as their own.
But you may ask, How is it then that in their books some false views occur? Well, if I answer that I do not know the parties whence these false views came, I must not be thought to have said that they are heretics. It is possible that they may have fallen into error unawares, or that the words bore a different meaning, or that they may have been gradually corrupted by unskilful copyists It must be admitted that, before Arius arose in Alexandria as a demon of the south, things were said incautiously which cannot be defended against a malevolent criticism. But when glaring faults are exposed in Origen, you do not defend him but accuse others; you do not deny the faults, but summon up a host of criminals. If you were asked to name those who have been the companions of Origen in his heresies, it would be right enough to call in these others. But what you are now asked to tell us is whether those statements in the books of Origen are good or evil; and you say nothing, but bring in irrelevant matters, such as: This is what Clement says; this is an error of which Dionysius is found guilty; these are the words in which the bishop Athanasius defends the error of Dionysius; in a similar way the writings of the Apostle have been tampered with: and then, while the charge of heresy is fastened upon you, you say nothing in your own defence, but make confessions about me. I make no accusations, and am content with answering for myself. I am not what you try to prove me: whether you are what you are accused of being, is for you to consider. The fact that I am acquitted of blame does not prove me innocent nor the fact that you are accused prove you a criminal.
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 these are his words:
"I have shewn from his own words and writings how he himself complains of this and deplores it: He explains clearly in the letter which he wrote to some of his intimate friends at Alexandria what he suffered while living here in the flesh and in the full enjoyment of his senses, by the corruption of his books and treatises, or by spurious editions of them."
He subjoins a copy of this letter; and he who implores to the heretics the falsification of Origen's writings himself begins by falsifying them, for he does not translate the letter as be finds it in the Greek, and does not convey to the Latins what Origen states in his letter. The object of the whole letter is to assail Demetrius the Pontiff of Alexandria, and to inveigh against the bishops throughout the world, and to tell them that their excommunication of him is invalid; he says further that he has no intention of retorting their evil speaking; indeed he is so much afraid of evil speaking that he does not dare to speak evil even of the devil; insomuch that he gave occasion to Candidus an adherent of the errors of Valentinian to represent him falsely as saying that the devil is of such a nature as could be saved. But our friend takes no notice of the real purport of the letter, and makes up for Origen an argument which he does not use. I have therefore translated a part of the letter, beginning a little way below what has been already spoken of, and have appended it to the part which has been translated by him in a curtailed and disingenuous manner, so that the reader may perceive the object with which be suppressed the earlier part. He is contending, then, against the Bishops of the church generally, because they had judged him unworthy of its communion; and he continues as follows:
"Why need I speak of the language in which the prophets constantly threaten and reprove the pastors, elders, the priests and the princes? These things you can of yourselves without my aid draw out from the Holy Scriptures, and you may clearly see that it may well be the present time of which it is said' Trust not in your friends, and do not hope in princes,' and that the prophecy is now gaining its fulfilment, The leaders of my people have not known me; my sons are fools and not wise: they are wise to do evil, but know not to do good.' We ought to pity them, not to hate them, to pray for them, not to curse them. For we have been created for blessing, not for cursing. Therefore even Michael, when he disputed against the devil concerning the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a railing accusation even for so great an evil, but said; 'The Lord rebuke thee.' And we read something similar in Zachariah, 'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; the Lord which hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee.' So also we desire that those who will not humbly accept the rebuke of their neighbours may be rebuked of the Lord. But, since Michael says, 'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan,' and Zechariah says the same, the devil knows well whether the Lord rebukes him or not; and must acknowledge the manner of the rebuke."
Then, after a passage too long to insert here, he adds:
"We believe that not only those who have committed great sins will be cast out from the kingdom of heaven, such as fornicators and adulterers, and those who defile themselves with mankind, and thieves, but those also who have done evil of a less flagrant kind, since it is written; 'Neither drunkards nor evil speakers shall inherit the kingdom of God;" and that the standard by which men will be judged is as much the goodness as the severity of God. Therefore we strive to act thoughtfully in all things, in drinking wine, and in moderation of language, so that we dare not speak evil of any man. Now, because, through the fear of God, we are careful not to utter maledictions against any one, remembering that the words 'He dared not bring against him a railing accusation,' are spoken of Michael in his dealing with the devil; as it is said also in another place, 'They set at naught dominions and rail at dignities;' certain of these men who seek for matters of contention, ascribe to us and our teaching the blasphemy (as to which they have to lay to heart the words which apply to them, 'Neither drunkards nor evil speakers shall inherit the kingdom of God'), namely, that the father of wickedness find perdition of those who shall be cast out of the kingdom of God can be saved; a thing which not even a madman can say."
The rest which comes in the same letter he has set down instead of the later words of Origen which I have translated: "Now, because through the fear of God we are careful not to utter maledictions against any one," and so on; he fraudulently cuts off the earlier part, on which the later depends, and begins to translate the letter, as though the former part began with this statement, and says:
"Some of those who delight in bringing complaints against their neighbours, ascribe to us and our teaching the crime of a blasphemy, which we have never spoken, (as to which they must consider whether they are willing to stand by the decree which says 'The evil speakers shall not inherit the kingdom of God,') for they say that I assert that the father of the wickedness and perdition of those who shall be east out of the kingdom of God, that is, the devil, will be saved; a thing which no man even though he had taken leave of his senses and was manifestly insane could say."
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 be 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 Probole 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 felt 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.
It is not enough for him to calumniate the Greeks and the men of old time, about whom the distance either of time or space gives him the power to tell any falsehood he pleases. He comes to the Latins, and first takes the case of Hilary the Confessor, whose book, he states, was falsified by the heretics after the Council of Ariminum. A question arose about him on this account in a council of bishops, and he then ordered the book to be brought from his own house. The book in its heretical shape was in his desk, though he did not know it; and when it was produced, the author of the book was condemned as a heretic and excommunicated, and left the council room. This is the story, a mere dream of his own, which he tells to his intimates; and he imagines his authority to be so great that no one will dare to contradict him when he says such things. I will ask him a few questions. In what city was the synod held by which Hilary was excommunicated? What were the names of the Bishops present? Who subscribed the sentence? Who were content, and who non-content? Who were the consuls of the year? and who was the emperor who ordered the assembly of the council? Were the Bishops present those of Gaul alone, or of Italy and Spain as well? and for what purpose was the council called together? You tell us none of these things; yet, in order to defend Origen, you treat as a criminal and as excommunicated a man of the highest eloquence, the very clarion of the Latin tongue against the Arians. But we are in the presence of a confessor, and even his calumnies must be borne with patience. He next passes to Cyprian the illustrious martyr, and he tells us that a book by Tertullian entitled "On the Trinity" is read as one of his works by the partisans of the Macedonian heresy at Constantinople. In this charge of his he tells two falsehoods. The book in question is not Tertullian's, nor does it pass under the name of Cyprian. It is by Novatian and is called by his name; the peculiarity of the style proves the authorship of the work.
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 bad 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 bad 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.
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 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:
"The whole truth, which has been hidden, must here be laid bare. It is impossible that any man should exercise so unrighteous a judgment as to judge unequally where the cases are equal. But the fact is, the prompters of those who defame Origen are men who either make it a habit to discourse in the churches at great length or write books, the whole of which, both books and discourse are taken from Origen. To prevent men therefore from discovering their plagiarism, the crime of which can be concealed so long as they act ungratefully towards their master, they deter all simple persons from reading him. One of them, who considers himself to have a necessity laid upon him to speak evil of Origen through every nation and tongue, as if that were to preach the Gospel, once declared in the audience of a vast multitude of the brethren that he had read six thousand of his books. If he read them, as he is wont to declare, in order to know what harm there was in him, ten or twenty books, or at most thirty, would have been sufficient for that knowledge. To read six thousand books is not like one who wants to know the harm and the errors that are in him, but like one who consecrates almost his whole life to studies conducted under his tuition. How then can he claim to be listened to when he blames those who, for the sake of instruction, have read a small portion of his works, taking care to maintain whole their own system of belief anti their piety?"
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 thai 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 be 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.
23. After all this you dare to say ill 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 shout 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 praetorian 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 archôn and many other of the works of Origen and of other Greek writers, which I never read fill now, and am now compelled to read, because the question of heresy has been raised, and l 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.
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 arid 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 bad 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."
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:
I have received letters so long and eagerly desired from my dear Desiderius who, as if the future had been foreseen, shares his name with Daniel, entreating me to put our friends in possession of a translation of the Pentateuch from Hebrew into Latin. The work is certainly hazardous and it is exposed to the attacks of my calumniators, who maintain that it is through contempt of the Seventy that I have set to work to forge a new version to take the place of the old. They thus test ability as they do wine; whereas I have again and again declared that I dutifully offer, in the Tabernacle of God what I can, and have pointed out that the great gifts which one man brings are not marred by the inferior gifts of another. But I was stimulated to undertake the task by the zeal of Origen, who blended with the old edition Theodotion's translation and used throughout the work as distinguishing marks the asterisk * and the obelus, that is the star and the spit, the first of which makes what had previously been defective to beam with light, while the other transfixes and slaughters all that was superfluous. But I was encouraged above all by the authoritative publications of the Evangelists and Apostles, in which we read much taken from the Old Testament which is not found in our manuscripts. For example, 'Out of Egypt have I called my Son' (Matt. ii. 15): 'For he shall be called a Nazarene' (Ibid. 23): and 'They shall look on him whom they pierced' (John xix. 37): and 'Rivers of living water shall flow out of his belly' (John vii. 38): and 'Things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, which God hath prepared for them that love him ' (1. Cor. ii. 9), and many other passages which lack their proper context. Let us ask our opponents then where these things are written, and when they are unable to tell, let us produce them from the Hebrew. The first passage is in Hosea, (xi. 1), the second in Isaiah (xi. 1), the third in Zechariah (xii. 10), the fourth in Proverbs (xviii. 4), the fifth also in Isaiah (lxiv. 4). Being ignorant of all this many follow the ravings of the Apocrypha, and prefer to the inspired books the melancholy trash which comes to us from Spain. It is not for me to explain the causes of the error. The Jews gay it was deliberately and wisely done to prevent Ptolemy who was a monotheist from thinking the Hebrews acknowledged two deities. And that which chiefly influenced them in thus acting was the fact that the king appeared to be falling into Platonism. In a word, wherever Scripture evidenced some sacred truth respecting Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they either translated the passage differently, or passed it over altogether in silence, so that they might both satisfy the king, and not divulge the secrets of the faith. I do not know whose false imagination led him to invent the story of the a seventy cells at Alexandria, in which, though separated from each other, the translators were said to have written the same words. Aristeas, the champion of that same Ptolemy, and Josephus, long after, relate nothing of the kind; their account is that the Seventy assembled in one basilica consulted together, and did not prophesy. For it is one thing to be a prophet, another to be a translator. The former through the Spirit, foretells things to come; the latter must use his learning and facility in speech to translate what he understands. It can hardly be that we must suppose Tully was inspired with oratorical spirit when he translated Xenophon's Oeconomics, Plato's Protagoras, and the oration of Demosthenes in defence of Ctesiphon. Otherwise the Holy Spirit must have quoted the same books in one sense through the Seventy Translators, in another through the Apostles, so that, whereas they said nothing of a given matter, these falsely affirm that it was so written. What then? Are we condemning our predecessors? By no means; but following the zealous labours of those who have preceded us we contribute such work as lies in our power in the name of the Lord. They translated before the Advent of Christ, and expressed in ambiguous terms that which they knew not. We after His Passion and Resurrection write not prophecy so much as history. For one style is suitable to what we hear, another to what we see. The better we understand a subject, the better we describe it. Hearken then, my rival: listen, my calumniator; I do not condemn, I do not censure the Seventy, but I am bold enough to prefer the Apostles to them all. It is the Apostle through whose mouth I hear the voice of Christ, and I read that in the classification of spiritual gifts they are placed before prophets (1 Cor. xii. 28; Eph. iv. 11), while interpreters occupy almost the lowest place. Why are you tormented with jealousy? Why do you inflame the minds of the ignorant against me? Wherever in translation I seem to you to go wrong, ask the Hebrews, consult their teachers in different towns. The words which exist in their Scriptures concerning Christ your copies do not contain. The case is different if they have rejected passages which were afterward used against them by the Apostles, and the Latin texts are more correct than the Greek, the Greek than the Hebrew.
[Chapters 26 to 32 are taken up with the quotation, almost in full, of the Preface to the Vulgate translation of the books of the Old Testament. It is unnecessary to give them here. They have all the same design as the Preface to Genesis already given, namely to meet the objections of those who represented the work as a reproach to the LXX which was then supposed to have almost the authority of inspiration. The same arguments, illustrations, and even words, are reiterated. Readers who may desire to go more fully into Jerome's statements will find these Prefaces translated at length in his works, Vol. VI of this Series.]
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 he 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 baring 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 free 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.
34. I beg you, my most sweet friend, who are so curious that you even know my dreams, and that yon 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 Theo-dotion, 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 bare 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 tile Septuagint but which is not found in the Hebrew, and our controversy is at an end.
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 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.
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 and brother, you now write books to summon me to reply to the charges with which you terrify me. I see that in you are fulfilled the words of Solomon: "In the mouth of the foolish is the rod of contumely," and " A fool receives not the words of prudence, unless you say what is passing in his heart;" and the words of Isaiah: "The fool will speak folly, and his heart will understand vain things, to practise iniquity and speak falsehood against the Lord." For what need was there for you to send me whole volumes full of accusation and malediction, and to bring them before the public, when in the end of your letter you threaten me with death if I dare to reply to your slanders—I beg pardon—to your praises? For your praises and your accusations amount to the same thing; from the same fountain proceed both sweet and bitter. I beg you to set me the example of the modesty and shamefacedness which you recommend to me; you accuse another of lying: cease to be a liar yourself. I wish to give no one an occasion of stumbling, and I will not become your accuser; for I have not to consider merely what you deserve but what is becoming in me. I tremble at our Savior's words. " Whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe in me to stumble, it were better for him that a great mill stone were hanged about his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea;" and "Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling: for it must needs be that occasions arise; but woe to the man through whom the occasion cometh." It would have been possible for me too to pile up falsehoods against you and to say that I had heard or seen what no one had observed, so that among the ignorant my effrontery might be taken for veracity, and my violence for resolution. But far be it from me to be an imitator of you, and to do thyself what I denounce in you. He who is capable of doing filthy things may use filthy words. "The evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." You may count it as good fortune that one whom you once called friend but now accuse has no mind to make vile imputations against you. I say this not from any dread of the sword of your accusation, but because I prefer to be accused than to be the accuser, to suffer an injury than to do one. I know the precept of the Apostle: "Dearly beloved avenge not yourselves but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger feed him, if he thirst give him drink; for in so doing thou shall heap coals of fire upon his head." For he that avenges himself cannot claim the vindication of the Lord.
2. But, before I make my answer to your letter, I must expostulate with you; you who are first in age among the thanks, 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 religions 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 the 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 yon 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.
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.
You say that 'you sent your accusation against me not to the many but only to those who had been offended by what I had said; for one ought to speak to Christians not for display but for edification.' Whence then, I beg you to consider, did the report of your having written these books reach me? Who was it t that sowed them broadcast through Rome and Italy and the islands of the coast of Dalmatia? How did these charges against me ever come to my ears, if they were only lurking in your desk, and those of your friends? How can you dare to say that you are speaking as a Christian not for display but for edification when you set yourself in mature age to say things against your equal which a murderer could hardly say of a thief, or a harlot against one of her class, or a buffoon against a farce-player? You have for ever so long been labouring to bring forth these mountains of accusations against me and sharpening these swords to pierce my throat. Your cries have been as loud as Ceres' complaints or a driver's shouts to his horses. Was this to make all the provinces through which they resounded read the praise you wrote of me? and recite your panegyrics upon me in every street, every corner, even in the weaving-shops of the women? This is the religious restraint and Christian edification of which you speak. Your reserve, your reticence is such that men come to me from the West, crowd upon crowd, and tell me of your abuse of me; and this, though only from memory, yet with such exact agreement that I was obliged to make my answer, not to your writings which I bad not then read, but to what was said to be contained in them, and to intercept with the shield of truth the missiles of mendacity which were flying about through all the world.
4. Your letter goes on:
"Pray do not trouble yourself to give a large sum of gold to bribe my secretary, as your friends did in the case of my papers containing the Peri archôn before they had been corrected and brought to completion, so that they might more easily falsify documents which no one possessed, or at least very few. Accept the document which I send you gratis, though you would be glad to pay a large sum to buy it."
I should have thought you would be ashamed of such a beginning of your work. What! I bribe your Secretary! Is there any one who would attempt to vie with the wealth of Croesus and Darius? who is there that does not tremble when he is suddenly confronted with a Demaratus or a Crassus? Have you become so brazen-faced, theft you put your trust in lies and think lies will protect you and that we shall believe every fiction which you choose to frame? Who then was it who stole that letter in which you were so highly praised, from the cell of our brother Eusebius? Whose artfulness was it, and whose accomplices, through which a certain document was found in the lodgings of that Christian woman Fabiola and of that wise man Oceanus, which they themselves had never seen? Do you think that you are innocent because you can cast upon others all the imputations which properly belong to you? Is every one who offends you, however guiltless and harmless he may be, at once held to become a criminal? You think so, I suppose, because you are possessed of that through which the chastity of Danae was broken down, that which had more power with Gihazi than his master's sacred character, that for which Judas betrayed his Master.
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 carried to completion, and it was the more possible to falsify them because very few if any as yet possessed them.' I have already said, and I now repeat, with protestations in the presence of God, that I did not approve his accusing you, nor of any Christian accusing another Christian; for what need is there that matters which can be corrected or set right in private should be published abroad to the stumbling and fall of many? But since each man lives for his own gullet, and a man does not by becoming your friend become master of your will, while I blame the accusing of a brother even when it is true, so also I cannot accept against a man of saintly character this accusation of falsify-ing your papers. How could a man who only knows Latin change anything in a translation from the Greek? Or how could he take out or put in anything in such books as the Peri archon, in which everything is so closely knit together that out part hangs upon another, and anything that may be taken out or' put in to suit your will must at once show out like a patch on a garment? What you ask me to do, it is for you to do yourself. Put on at least a small measure of natural if not of Christian modesty in your assertions; do not despise and trample upon your conscience, and imagine yourself justified by a show of words, when the facts are against you. If Eusebius bought your uncorrected papers for money in order to falsify them, produce the genuine papers which have not been falsified: and if you can shew that there is nothing heretical in them, he will become amenable to the charge of forgery. But, however much you may alter or correct them, you will not make them out to be catholic. If the error existed only in the words or in some few statements, what is bad might be cut off and what is good be substituted for it. But, when the whole discussion proceeds on a single principle, namely, the notion that the whole universe of reasonable creatures have fallen by their own will, and will hereafter return to a condition of unity: and that again from that starting point another fall will begin: what is there that you can amend, unless you alter the whole book? But if you were to think of doing this, you would no longer be translating another man's work but composing a work of your own.
However, I hardly see which way your argument tends. I suppose you mean that the papers being uncorrected and not having undergone a final revising were more easily falsified by Eusebius. Perhaps I am stupid; but the argument appears to me somewhat foolish and pointless. If the papers were uncorrected and had not undergone their final revision, the errors in them mast be imputed not to Eusebius but to your sloth and delay in putting off their correction; and all the blame that can be laid upon him is that he circulated among the body of Christians writings which you had intended in course of time to correct. But if, as you assert, Eusebius falsified them, why do you put forward the allegation that they were uncorrected, and that they had gone out before the public without their final revision? For papers whether corrected or uncorrected are equally susceptible of falsification. But, No one, you say possessed these books, or very few. What contradictions this single sentence exhibits! If no one bad these books, how could they be in the hands of a few? If a few possessed them, why do you state falsely that there were none? Then, when you say that a few had them, and by your own confession the statement that no one had them is overthrown, what becomes of your complaint that your secretary was bribed with money? Tell us the secretary's name, the amount oF the bribe, the place, the intermediary, the recipient. Of course the traitor has been cast off from you, and one convicted of so great a crime has been separated from all familiarity with you. Is it not more likely to be true that the copies of the work which Eusebius obtained were given him by those few friends whom you speak of, especially since these copies agree and coincide with one another so completely that there is not the difference of a single stroke. We might ask also whether it was quite wise to give a copy to others which you bad not yet corrected? The documents had not received their last corrections, and yet other men possessed these errors of yours which needed correction. Do you not see that your falsehood will not hold together? Besides, what profit was there for you, at that particular moment—how would it have helped you in escaping from the condemnation of the bishops—that the book which was the subject of discussion should be open to everyone, and that you should thus be refuted by your own words? From all this it is clear, according to the epigram of the famous orator, that you have a good will for a lie, but not the art of framing it.
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 out 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 Call 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 yon 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 hack 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 solaecisms and barbarisms, but of falsehood, cunning and impudence.
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 flints 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, anti 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.
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, 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 yon 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.
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 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 clays 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.
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 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 its 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 yon can write so well off-hand, you would be very negligent m your composition to write so much worse when you have had time for thought.
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 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 archôn 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.
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 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 Caesarea 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 archôn) 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 archôn 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 yon 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.
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 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.
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 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 yon 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 yon 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 yon 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 archôn 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.
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 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.
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 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 I 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.
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 bad 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 lessen 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 re preaches, 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?
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 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 lie 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 yon 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.
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 month 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 the 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.
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 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 yon 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 archôn 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?
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 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 yon 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.
I should like you to consider how inevitable is the wisdom which you are shunning and the Attic Salt and the eloquence of your diction in religious writing. You are attacked by others, you are pierced through by their condemnation, yet it is against me that you toss yourself about in your fury, and say: "I could unfold a tale as to the manner of your departure from Rome; as to the opinions expressed about you at the time, and written about you afterwards, as to your oath, the place where you embarked, the pious manner in which you avoided committing perjury; all this I could enlarge upon, but I have determined to keep back more than I relate." These are specimens of your pleasant speeches. And if after this I say anything sharp in answer to you threaten me with immediate proscription and with the sword. You are a most eloquent person, and have all the tricks of rhetoric; you pretend to be passing over things which you really reveal, so that what you cannot prove by an open charge, you may make into a crime by seeming to put it aside. All this is your simplicity; this is what you mean by sparing your friend and reserving your statements for the judicial tribunal; you spare me by heaping up a mass of charge against 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 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.
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.
Then again, you have no right to speak evil of that saintly man, as you do when you say " that it may be seen that he gave me peace with his words and his kiss, but kept evil and deceit in his heart"—for this is your reasoning, and it is thus that you defend yourself. That this is the letter of Epiphanius and that it is hostile to you, all the world knows: and that it came in its genuine form into your haads we can prove; and it is therefore an astounding shame or rather utter shamelessness in you to deny what you cannot doubt to be true. What! Is Epiphanius to be befouled with the imputation that he gave you the sign of peace but had deceit in his heart? Is it not much truer to believe that he first admonished you because he wished to save you from error and bring you back to the right way; and that therefore he did not reject your Judas kiss, wishing to break down by his forbearance the betrayer of the faith,—but that afterwards when he found that all his toil was fruitless, and that the leopard could not change its spots nor the Ethiopian his skin, he proclaimed in his letter what had before been only a suspicion in his mind?
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 I 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.
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 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.
26. I think it a point which should not be passed over, that you have no right to complain that the falsifier of your papers. holds in my esteem the glorious position of a confessor, since you who are guilty of this very crime are called a martyr and all 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.
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 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 than in certain respects while you blame him in others, bat only in approving and disapproving one and the same thing. I will take all 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 archôn 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.
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 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:
Whence come the earthquakes, whence the high swoll'n seas
Breaking their bounds, then sinking back to rest;
The Sun's eclipse, the labours of the moon;
The race of men and beasts, the storm, the fire,
Arcturus' rainy Hyads, and the Bears:
Why haste the winter's suns to bathe themselves
Beneath the wave, what stays its lingering nights.
Then, leaving things in heaven, and condescending to those on earth, you philosophize on minor points. You say: " Tell us what are the causes of the fountains, and of the wind; what makes the hail and the showers; why the sea is salt, the rivers sweet; what account is to be given of clouds and storms, thunderbolts, and thunder and lightning." You mean that if do not know all this, you are entitled to say you know nothing about the origin of souls. You wish to balance your ignorance on a single point by mine on many. But do not you, who in page after page stir up what you call my smoke, understand that I can see your mists and whirlwinds? You wish to be thought a than of extensive knowledge, and among the disciples of Calpurnius to enjoy a great reputation for wisdom, and therefore you raise up tile whole physical world in front of me, as if Socrates had said in vain when he passed over to the study of Ethics: " What is above us is nothing to us." So then, if I cannot tell you why the ant, which is such a little creature, whose body is a mere point, has six feet, whereas an elephant with its vast bulk has only four to walk on; why serpents and snakes glide along on their chests and bellies; why the worm which is commonly called the millipede has such a swarming array of feet; I am prohibited from knowing anything about the origin of souls! You ask me what I know about souls, so that, when I make any statement about them, you may at once attack it. And if I say that the church's doctrine is that God forms souls every day, and sends them into the bodies of those who are born, you will at once bring out the snares your master invented, and ask, Where is God's justice if he grants souls to those who are born of adultery or incest? Is he not an accessory to men's sins, if he creates souls for the adulterers who make the bodies? as if, when you hear that seed corn had been stolen, you are to suppose the fault to lie in the nature of the corn, and not in the man who stole the wheat; and that therefore the earth had no business to nourish the seed in its bosom, because the hands of the sower who cast them in were unclean. Hence comes also your mysterious question, Why do infants die? since it is because of their sins, as you. hold, that they received bodies. There exists a treatise of Didymus addressed to you, in which he meets this inquiry of yours, with the answer, that they had not sinned much, and therefore it was enough punishment for them just to have touched their bodily prisons. He, who was your master and mine also, when you asked this question, wrote at my request three books of comments on the prophet Hosea, and dedicated them to me. This shows what parts of his teaching we respectively accepted.
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 anti 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.
"Thou art that hero, well-nam'd Maximus,
Thou who alone by writing sav'st the state."
Unless you had come from the East, that very learned man would be still sticking fast among the mathematici, and all Christians would still be ignorant of what might be said against fatalism. You have a right to ply me with questions about astrology and the cause of the sky and the stars, when you brought to land a ship full of such wares as these. I acknowledge my poverty; I have not grown rich to this extent in the East like you. You learned in your long sojourn under the shadow of the Pharos what Rome never knew: Egypt instructed you in lore which Italy did not possess till now.
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.
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 month 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.
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 Aegean, 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.
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 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 be 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.
34. "But why," you ask, "did you accept my manuscripts which had been falsified? and why, when I had translated the Peri archôn 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 fall 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?
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 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?
36. 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.
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 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.
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 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 con-raining 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.
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 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 archôn 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 Graecia, 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 returns" 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 Aeneid in these words:
These, when the wheel full thousand years has turned,
God calls, a long sad line, in Lethe's stream
To drown the past, and long once more to see
The skies above, and to the flesh return.
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 Phaedo and Timaeus. 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 Graecia, and there learned the doctrines of Pythagoras from Archytas of Tarentum and Timaeus 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.
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 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 yon 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 yon 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 thing, 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 titter 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.
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 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.
"What words thou speakest, thou the like shalt hear."
One thing I should like to learn from one of such eminent sanctity and fastidiousness, (whose holiness is such that in the presence of your very handkerchiefs and aprons the devils cry out); whom do you take for your model in your writings? Has any one of the catholic writers, in a controversy of opinions, imputed moral offences to the man with whom he is arguing? Have your masters taught you to do this? Is this the system in which you have been trained, that, when you cannot answer a man, you should take off his head? that when you cannot silence a man's tongue, you should cut it out? You have nothing much to boast of, for you are doing only what the scorpions and cantharides do. This is what Fulvia did to Cicero and Herodias to John. They could not bear to hear the truth, and therefore they pierced the tongue that spoke truth with the pin that parted their hair. The duty of dogs is to bark in their masters' service; why may I not bark in the service of Christ? Many have written against Marcion or Valentinus, Arius or Eunomius. By which of them was any accusation brought of immoral conduct? Did they not in each case bring their whole effort to bear upon the refutation of the heresy? It is the machination of the heretics, that is of your masters, when convicted of betrayal of the faith, to betake themselves to evil speaking. So Eustathius the Bishop of Antioch was made into a father unawares. So Athanasius Bishop of Alexandria cut off a third hand of Arsenius; for, when he appeared alive after having been supposed to be dead, he was found to have two. Such things also now are falsely charged against the Bishop of the same church, and the true faith is assailed by gold, which constitutes the power of yourself and your friends. But I need pot speak of controversy with heretics, who, though they are really without, yet call themselves Christians. How many of our writers have contended with those most impious men, Celsus and Porphyry! but which of them has left the cause he was engaged in to busy himself with the imputation of crime to his adversary, such as ought to be set down not in church-writings but in the calendar of the judge? For what advantage have you gained if you establish a man's criminality but tail in your argument? It is quite unnecessary that in bringing an accusation you should risk your own head. If your object is revenge, you can hire an executioner, and satisfy your desire. You pretend to dread a scandal, and yet you are ready to kill a man who was once your brother, whom you now accuse, and whom you always treat as an enemy. Yet I wonder how a man like you, who knows what he is about, should be so blinded by madness as to wish to confer a benefit upon me by drawing forth my soul out of prison, and should not suffer it to remain with you in the darkness of this world.
43. If you wish me to keep silence, cease from accusing me. Lily 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 hook; 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:
"Foolish men, while they desire injuries, become impious and hate wisdom. Devise not evil against thy friend. Be not angry with a man without a cause. The impious exalt contumely. Remove from thee the evil mouth, keep far from thee the wicked lips, the eyes of him that speaketh evil, the tongue of the unjust, the hands which shed the blood of the just, the heart that deviseth evil thoughts, and the feet which hasten to do evil. He that resteth upon falsehood feedeth the winds, and followeth the flying birds. For he hath left the ways of his own vineyard, and hath made the wheels of his tillage to err. He walketh through the dry and desert places, and with his hands he gathereth barrenness. The mouth of the froward is near to destruction, and he who uttereth evil words is the chief of fools. Every simple man is a soul that is blessed; but a violent man is dis-honourable. By the fault of his lips the sinner falleth into a snare. All the ways of a fool are right in his own eyes. The fool showeth his anger on that very day. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord. He that keepeth his lips guardeth his own soul; but he that is rash with his lips shall be a terror to himself. The evil man in his violence doeth evil things, and the fool spreadeth out his folly. Seek for wisdom among the evil and thou shall not find it. The rash man shall eat of the fruit of his own ways. The wise man by taking heed avoideth the evil; but the fool is confident, and joins himself to it. A long-suffering man is strong in his wisdom; the man of little mind is very unwise. He who oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker. The tongue of the wise knoweth good things, but the mouth of fools speaketh evil. A quarrelsome man preferreth strife, and every one that lifteth up his heart is unclean before God. Though hand join with hand unjustly, they shall not be unpunished. He that loveth life must be sparing to his mouth. Insolence goeth before bruising, and evil thoughts before a fall. He who closeth his eyes speaketh perverse things, and provoketh all evil with his lips. The lips of a fool lead him into evil, and the foolhardy speech calleth down death. The man of evil counsel shall suffer much loss. Better is a poor man who is just than a rich man that speaketh lies. It is a glory to a man to turn away from evil words; but he that is foolish bindeth himself therewith. Love not detraction, lest thou be rooted out. The bread of lying is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel. He that gaineth treasures with a lying tongue followeth vanity, and shall come into the snares of death. Say thou nought in the ear of a fool, lest haply the wise mock at thy words. The bludgeon and the sword and the arrow are hurtful things; so is the man who beareth false witness against his friend. As the birds and the sparrows fly away, so the curse shall be vain and shall not overtake him. Answer not an unwise man according to his lack of wisdom, lest thou become like unto him; but answer a fool according to his folly, lest he appear to himself to be wise. He who layeth wait for his friends when he is discovered saith, I did it in sport. A faggot for the coals, and wood for the fire, and a man of evil words for the tumult of strife. If thine enemy ask thee aught, sparingly but with a loud voice, consent thou not to him, for there are seven degrees of wickedness in his heart. The stone is heavy, and the sand hard to be borne; but the anger of a fool is heavier than either; indignation is cruel, anger is sharp, and envy is impatient. The impious man speaketh against the poor; and he that trusteth in the audacity of his heart is most foolish. The unwise man putteth forth all his anger, but the wise dealeth it out in parts. An evil son—his teeth are swords, and his grinders are as harrows, to consume the weak from off the earth, and the poor from among men."
Such are the lessons in which I have been trained and therefore I was unwilling to return bite for bite, and to attack you by way of retaliation; and I thought it better to exorcise the madness of one who was raving, and to pour in the antidote of a single book into his poisoned breast. But I fear I shall have no success, and that I shall be compelled to sing the song of David, and to take his words for my only consolation:
"The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray even from the belly. They have spoken lies. Their madness is like the madness of the serpent; like the deaf adder which stoppeth her ears, which will not hear the voice of the charmers, and of the magician wisely enchanting. God shall break their teeth in their mouth; the Lord shall break the great teeth of the lions. They shall come to nothing, like water that runneth away. He bendeth his bow until they be brought low. Like wax that melteth, they shall be carried away; the fire hath fallen upon them and they have not seen the sun."
"The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance upon the impious; he shall wash his hands in the blood of the sinner. And man shall say, Verily, there is a reward for the righteous; verily, there is a God that judgeth those that are on the earth."
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.
Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (NPNF II/III, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.