On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

Chapter 16.—26. Nicomedes of Segermi1641 said: "My judgment is that heretics coming to the
Church should be baptized, because they can obtain no remission of sins among sinners outside."1642
27. The answer to which is: The judgment of the whole Catholic Church is that heretics, being
already baptized with the baptism of Christ, although in heresy, should not be rebaptized on coming
to the Church. For if there is no remission of sins among sinners, neither can sinners within the
Church remit sins; and yet those who have been baptized by them are not rebaptized.


Chapter 17.—28. Monnulus of Girba1643 said: "The truth of our mother, the Catholic Church,
hath continued, and still continues among us, brethren, especially in the threefold nature1644 of
baptism, as our Lord says, ‘Go, baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost.’1645 Since, therefore," he goes on to say, "we know clearly that heretics have
neither Father, Son, nor Holy Ghost, they ought, on coming to our mother, the Church, to be truly
regenerated and baptized, that the cancer which they had, and the wrath of condemnation, and the
destructive energy of error1646 may be sanctified by the holy and heavenly laver."1647
29. To this we answer, That all who are baptized with the baptism that is consecrated in the
words of the gospel have the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost in the sacrament alone; but
that in heart and in life neither do those have them who live an abandoned and accursed life within.

Chapter 18.—30. Secundinus of Cedias1648 said: "Since our Lord Christ said, ‘He that is not
with me is against me,’1649 and the Apostle John declares those who go out from the Church to be
antichrists,1650 without all doubt the enemies of Christ, and those who are called antichrists, cannot


Segermi church province of Byzacium. A Nicomedes occurs in Cypr. Epp. lvii., lxvii., lxx.


Conc. Carth, sec. 9.


Girba, formerly Meninx (Lotophagitis), an island to the south-east of the Lesser Syrtis belonged to church province of
Tripolis. For Bp. Monnulus, see Cypr. Ep. lvii.


In baptismi trinitate. "Quia trina immersione expediebatur, in nomine Patris, Filii, et S. Spiritus."—Bishop Fell.


Matt. xxviii. 19.


Erroris offectura. Other readings are "offensa" and "effectura."


Conc. Carth. sec. 10.


Cedias (Cedia) has been identified, but without sufficient reason, with Quidias, or Quiza, in Mauritania Cæsariensis for
both places have bishops at the Collation of 411. A Bp. Secundinus is mentioned in Cypr. Epp. lvii., lxvii., but whether these
refer to him of Cedias or him of Carpos (ch. 31) cannot be decided.


Matt. xii. 30.


1 John ii. 18.