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Letter CXXIII.

(a.d. 410.)

[From Jerome to Augustin.]

There are many who go halting upon both feet, and refuse to bend their heads even when their necks are broken, persisting in adherence to their former errors, even though they have not their former liberty of proclaiming them.

Respectful salutations are sent to you by the holy brethren who are with your humble servant, and especially by your pious and venerable daughters.24112411    Paula, Eustochium, and other recluses of Bethlehem. I beg your Excellency to salute in my name your brethren my lord Alypius and my lord Evodius. Jerusalem is held captive by Nebuchadnezzar, and refuses to listen to the counsels of Jeremiah, preferring to look wistfully towards Egypt, that it may die in Tahpanhes, and perish there in eternal bondage.24122412    Two opinions have been advanced as to the signification of this enigmatical allusion to the events recorded in Jeremiah, chap. xliii. Some think that Jerome refers to Rome, then occupied by the Goths. Others find here a reference to the state of the Church at Jerusalem at the time; perhaps under the name of Nebuchadnezzar some heretical bishop is designed.

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