On Baptism, Against The Donatists

The Seven Books of Augustin, Bishop of Hippo, On Baptism, Against the Donatists

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

yet such an one even baptizeth within the Church. It is God, therefore, that gives the Holy Spirit
even when a man of this kind is baptizing.


Chapter 21.—29. But as to what he says, that "he who comes to the Church is to be baptized
and renewed, that within he may be hallowed through the holy,"1529 what will he do, if within also
he meets with those who are not holy? Or can it be that the murderer is holy? And if the reason
for his being baptized in the Church is that "he should put off this very thing also that he, being a
man that sought to come to God, fell, through the deceit of error, on one profane,"1530 where is he
afterwards to put off this, that he may chance, while seeking a man of God within the Church itself,
to have fallen, through the deceit of error, on a murderer? If "there cannot be in a man something
that is void and something that is valid,"1531 why is it possible that in a murderer the sacrament
should be holy and his heart unholy? If "whosoever cannot give the Holy Spirit cannot baptize,"1532
why does the murderer baptize within the Church? Or how has the murderer the Holy Spirit, when
every one that has the Holy Spirit is filled with light, but "he who hates his brother is still in
darkness?"1533 If because "there is one baptism, and one Spirit,"1534 therefore they cannot have the
one baptism who have not the one Spirit, why do the innocent man and the murderer within the
Church have the one baptism and not have the one Spirit? So therefore the heretic and the Catholic
may have the one baptism, and yet not have the one Church, as in the Catholic Church the innocent
man and the murderer may have the one baptism, though they have not the one Spirit; for as there
is one baptism, so there is one Spirit and one Church. And so the result is, that in each person we
must acknowledge what he already has, and to each person we must give what he has not. If
"nothing can be confirmed and ratified with God which has been done by those whom God calls
His enemies and foes,"1535 why is the baptism confirmed which is given by murderers? Are we not
to call murderers the enemies and foes of the Lord? But "he that hateth his brother is a murderer."
How then did they baptize who hated Paul, the servant of Jesus Christ, and thereby hated Jesus
Himself, since He Himself said to Saul, "Why persecutest thou me?"1536 when he was persecuting
His servants, and since at the last He Himself shall say, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the


Cypr. Ep. lxx. 2.


Cypr. Ep. lxx. 2.


Cypr. Ep. lxx. 3.


Cypr. Ep. lxx. 3.


1 John ii. 9.


Cypr. Ep. lxx. 3.


Cypr. Ep. lxx. 3.


Acts ix. 4.