On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

minister the grace of the baptism which gives salvation; and therefore my judgment is that those
who take refuge in the Church from the snares of heresy should be baptized by us, who of His
condescension are called the friends of God."1651
31. The answer to which is, That all are the opponents of Christ, to whom, on their saying,
"Lord, have we not in Thy name done many wonderful things?" with all the rest that is there
recorded, He shall at the last day answer, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
iniquity,"1652—all which kind of chaff is destined for the fire, if it persevere to the last in its
wickedness, whether any part of it fly outside before its winnowing, or whether it seem to be within.
If, therefore, those heretics who come to the Church are to be again baptized, that they may be
baptized by the friends of God, are those covetous men, those robbers, murderers, the friends of
God, or must those whom they have baptized be baptized afresh?

Chapter 19.—32. Felix of Bagai1653 said: "As when the blind leads the blind, both fall into the
ditch,1654 so when a heretic baptizes a heretic, both fall together into death."
33. This is true, but it does not follow that what he adds is true. "And therefore," he says, "the
heretic must be baptized and brought to life, lest we who are alive should hold communion with
the dead."1655 Were they not dead who said, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die?"1656 for
they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Those then who were corrupted by their evil
communications, and followed them, were not they likewise falling with them into the pit? And
yet among them there were men to whom the apostle was writing as being already baptized; nor
would they, therefore, if they were corrected, be baptized afresh. Does not the same apostle say,
"To be carnally-minded is death?"1657 and certainly the covetous, the deceivers, the robbers, in the
midst of whom Cyprian himself was groaning, were carnally-minded. What then? Did the dead
hurt him who was living in unity? Or who would say, that because such men had or gave the
baptism of Christ, that it was therefore violated by their iniquities?


Conc. Carth. sec. 11.


Matt. vii. 22, 23.


Bagai, in church province of Numidia. See on I. 5. 7. Among the many of the name of Felix in the letters of Cyprian,
lvi., lvii., lxvii; title 1, 6, lxx., lxxvi. bis, lxxvii., lxxix., title and text, it would be unsafe to decide a sure reference to distinguish
between this and the other bishops of the same cognomen in this council.


Matt. xv. 14.


Conc. Carth. sec. 12.


1 Cor. xv. 32.


Rom. viii. 6.