On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

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Philip Schaff

never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity;" 1693 and yet, when they baptize, it is not
themselves that baptize, but He of whom John says, "The same is He which baptizeth."1694

493

Chapter 29.—55. Cassius of Macomades1695 said: "Since there cannot be two baptisms, he who
grants baptism unto heretics takes it away from himself. I therefore declare my judgment that
heretics, those objects for our tears, those masses of corruption,1696 should be baptized when they
begin to come to the Church, and that so being washed by the sacred and divine laver, and
enlightened with the light of life, they may be received into the Church,—as being now made not
enemies, but peaceful; not strangers, but of the household of the faith of the Lord; not bastards,1697
but sons of God; partaking not of error, but of salvation,—with the exception of those who, being
believers transplanted from the Church, had gone over to heresy, and that these should be restored
by the laying on of hands."1698
56. Another might say: Since there cannot be two baptisms, he who grants baptism to the
unrighteous takes it away from himself. But even our opponents would join us in resisting such a
man when he says that we grant baptism to the unrighteous, which is not of the unrighteous, like
their unrighteousness, but of Christ, of whom is righteousness, and whose sacrament, even among
the unrighteous, is not unrighteous. What, therefore, they would join us in saying of the unrighteous,
that let them say to themselves of heretics. And therefore he should rather have said as follows:
I therefore give my judgment that heretics, those objects for our tears, those masses of corruption,
should not be baptized when they begin to come to the Church, if they already have the baptism of
Christ, but should be corrected from their error. For we may similarly say of the unrighteous, of
whom the heretics are a part: I therefore give my judgment that the unrighteous, those objects for
our tears, and masses of corruption, if they have been already baptized, should not be baptized
again when they begin to come to the Church, that is, to that rock outside which are all who hear
the words of Christ and do them not; but being already washed with the sacred and divine laver,

1693

Matt. vii. 23.

1694

John i. 33.

1695

Macomades [in ecclesiastical province of Numidia.] Bp. Cassius is probably to be identified with the one in Cypr. Ep.
lxx.

1696

Flebiles et tabidos. This is otherwise taken of the repentant heretics "Melting with the grief and wretchedness of penitence;"
but Bishop Fell points out that the interpretation in the text is supported by an expression in c. 33, 63: Mens hæretica, quæ
diuturna tabe polluta est. Routh Rel. Sac. iii. p. 199.

1697

Adulteros. So all the Mss. of Augustin, though in Cyprian is sometimes found "adulterinos." In classical Latin, however
"adulterit" is sometimes used in the sense of "adulterinus." Cassius seems to have had in mind Heb. xii. 8, "Then are ye bastards,
and not sons."

1698

Conc. Carth. sec. 22.

689