On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

and now further enlightened with the light of truth, should be received into the Church no longer
as enemies but as peaceful, for the unrighteous have no peace; no longer as strangers, but of the
household of the faith of the Lord, for to the unrighteous it is said, "How then art thou turned into
the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?"1699 no longer as bastards, but the sons of God, for
the unrighteous are the sons of the devil, partaking not of error but of salvation, for un-righteousness
cannot save. And by the Church I mean that rock, that dove, that garden enclosed and fountain
sealed, which is recognized only in the wheat, not in the chaff, whether that be scattered far apart
by the wind, or appear to be mingled with the corn even till the last winnowing. In vain, therefore,
did Cassius add, "With the exception of those who, being believers transplanted from the Church,
had gone over to heresy." For if even they themselves had lost baptism by seceding, to themselves
also let it be restored; but if they had not lost it, let what was given by them receive due recognition.

Chapter 30.—57. Another Januarius of Vicus Cæsaris1700 said: "If error does not obey truth,
much more does truth refuse assent to error; and therefore we stand by the Church in which we
preside, so that, claiming her baptism for herself alone, we baptize those whom the Church has not
58. We answer: Whom the Church baptizes, those that rock baptizes outside which are all they
who hear the words of Christ and do them not. Let all, therefore, be baptized again who have been
baptized by such. But if this is not done, then, as we recognize the baptism of Christ in these, so
should we recognize it in heretics, though we either condemn or correct their unrighteousness and

Chapter 31.—59. Another Secundinus of Carpis1702 said: "Are heretics Christians or not? If
they are Christians, why are they not in the Church of God? If they are not Christians, let them be
made so.1703 Else what will be the reference in the discourse of the Lord, in which He says, ‘He
that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad?’1704 Whence


Jer. ii. 21.


Vicus Cæsaris, probably of ecclesiastical province of Byzacium. This Bp. Januarius may be the second of that name in
Cypr. Ep. lxvii., and is to be distinquished from Bp. Januarius of Lambæse, ch. xiii. 20.


Conc. Carth. sec. 23.


Carpis (Carpos) was in ecclesiastical province of Zeugitana. See for Secundinus, note on chap. 18.


Fiant. Another reading in some Mss. of Cyprian (not found in those of Augustin) is, "quomodo Christianos faciunt,"
which is less in harmony with the context.


Matt. xii. 30.