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HIERONYMUS.

docia, and Cilicia, reached Antioch, where Inno-centius died of a fever, and he himself was attacked by a dangerous malady. A great change seems to have taken place in the mind of Jerome during this illness ; the religious enthusiasm first kindled upon the banks of the Moselle, assumed a more austere and gloomy form in the luxurious capital of Syria. In obedience, as he believed or pretended, to the warnings of a heavenly vision (JEp. xxii. ad Eus-toch.), which reproached him especially on account of his excessive admiration of Cicero, he deter­mined to abandon the study of the profane writers, and to occupy himself exclusively with holy toils and contemplations. From this time forward a devotion to monastic habits became the ruling principle, we might say, the ruling passion of his life. After having listened for some time to the instructions of Apollinarius, bishop of Laodiceia, whose errors with regard to the Incarnation had not yet attracted attention, he retired, in 374, to the desert of Chalcis, lying between Antioch and the Euphrates, where he passed four years, ad­hering strictly to the most rigid observances of monkish ascetism, tortured by unceasing remorse on account of the sinfulness of his earlier years. The bodily exhaustion produced by fasting and mental anguish did not prevent him from pur­suing with resolute perseverance the study of the Hebrew tongue, although often reduced almost to despair by the difficulties he encountered ; from composing annotations upon portions of Scripture ; and from keeping up an active correspondence with his friends. His retirement, however, was grievously disturbed by the bitter strife which had arisen at Antioch between the partisans of Mele-tius and Paulinus ; for having, in deference to the opinion of the Western Church, espoused the cause of the latter, he became actively involved in the controversy. Accordingly, in the spring of 379, he found himself compelled to quit his retreat, and repair to Antioch, where he unwillingly consented to be ordained a presbyter by Paulinus, upon the express stipulation that he should not be required to perform the regular duties of the sacred office. Soon after he betook himself to Constantinople, where he abode for three years, enjoying the in­structions, society, and friendship of Gregory of Nazianzus, and busily employed in extending and perfecting his knowledge of the Greek language, from which he made several translations, the most important being the Chronicle of Eusebius. In 381 Meletius died ; but this event did not put an end to the schism, for his partisans immediately elected a successor to him in the person of Flavianus, whose authority was acknowledged by most of the Eastern prelates. The year following, Damasus, in the vain hope of calming these unseemly dissensions, sum­moned Paulinus, together with his chief adherents and antagonists, to Rome, where a council was held, in which Jerome acted as secretary, and formed that close friendship with the chief pontiff which remained firm until the death of the latter, at whose earnest request he now seriously com­menced his grand work of revising the received versions of the Scriptures, while at the same time he laboured unceasingly in proclaiming the glory and merit of a contemplative life and monastic dis­cipline. His fame as a man of eloquence, learning and sanctity, was at this period in its zenith ; but his most enthusiastic disciples were to be found in the female sex, especially among maidens and

HIERONYMUS.

widows, to whom he was wont to represent in the brightest colours the celestial graces of an unwedded life. The influence exercised by Jerome over this class of persons, including many of the fairest and the noblest, soon became so powerful as to excite strong indignation and alarm among their relations and admirers, and to arouse the jealousy of the regular priesthood. He was assailed on every side by open invective and covert insinuation ; and even the populace were incited to insult him when he appeared in public. These attacks he withstood for a while with undaunted firmness; but upon the death of his patron and steadfast supporter Damasus in 384, he found it necessary, or deemed it prudent to withdraw from the persecution. He accordingly sailed from Rome in the month of August, 385, accompanied by several friends ; and after touching at Rhegium and Cyprus, where he was hospitably received by Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, reached Antioch. There he was soon afterwards joined by the most zealous of his penitents, the rich widow Paula, and her daughter Eustochium, attended by a number of devout maidens, along with whom he made a tour of the Holy Land, visited Egypt, and returning to Palestine in 386, settled at Bethlehem, where Paula erected four monasteries, three for nuns and one for monks, she herself presiding over the former until her death, in 404, when she was succeeded by Eustochium, while Jerome directed the latter establishment. In this retreat he passed the remainder of his life, busied Mrith his official duties, and with the composition of his works. Notwithstanding the pursuits by which he was engrossed in his solitude, the latter years of Jerome did not glide smoothly away. The wars waged against Rufinus, against John bishop of Jerusalem, and against the Pelagians, were prosecuted with great vigour, but with little meekness ; and the friendship formed with Augustin must have been rudely broken off by the dispute regarding the nature of the difference betwen St. Peter and St. Paul, but for the singular moderation and forbear­ance of the African bishop. At length the ran­corous bitterness of his attacks excited so much wrath among the Pelagians of the East, that an armed multitude of these heretics assaulted the monastery at Bethlehem; and Jerome, having escaped with difficulty, was forced to remain in concealment for upwards of two years. Soon after his return, in 418, both mind and body worn out by unceasing toil, privations, and anxieties, gra­dually gave way, and he expired on the 30th of September, a. d. 420.

The principal sources of information for the life of Jerome, of which the above is but a meagre sketch, are passages collected from his works, and these have been thrown into a biographical form in the edition of Erasmus, of Marianus Victorinus, of the Benedictines, and of Vallarsi. See also Surius, Act. Sanct. vol. v. mens. Septemb.; Sixtus Senensis, Bibl. Sacr. lib. iv. p. 302 ; Du Pin, His­tory of Ecclesiastical Writers, fifth century; Mar-tianay, La Vie de St. Jerome^ Paris, 4to. 1706; Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. vol. xiii.; Schrbck, Kirclien-gesch. vol. xi. pp. 1—244; Sebastian Dolci, Maxi-mus Hieronymus Vitae suae Scriptor^ Ancon. 4to. 1750 ; Engelstoff, Hieronymus Stridonensis, inter-pres, criticus, exegeta, apologeta, hisforicus, doctor, monachuS) Hafn. 8vo., 1797; Bahr, Gesch. derRom. Litterat. Suppl. Band. II. Abtheil, § 82; but perhaps none of the above will be found more gene-

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