On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

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Philip Schaff

less when they were hating those towards whom they were rewarding evil for good?1721 And yet
these men, though "renouncing the world in words and not in deeds," would not be baptized again,
if they should afterwards be corrected, but they would be made holy by the one living baptism.
And this is indeed in the Catholic Church, but not in it alone, as neither is it in the saints alone who
are built upon the rock, and of whom that one dove is composed.1722

Chapter 35.—67. Castus of Sicca1723 said: He who presumes to follow custom in despite of
truth is either envious and evilly disposed towards the brethren to whom the truth is revealed, or
else he is ungrateful towards God, by whose inspiration His Church is instructed."1724
68. If this man proved that those who differed from him, and held the view that has since been
held by the whole world under the sanction of a Christian Council, were following custom so as to
despise truth, we should have reason for fearing these words; but seeing that this custom is found
both to have had its origin in truth and to have been confirmed by truth, we have nothing to fear in
this judgment. And yet, if they were envious or evilly disposed towards the brethren, or ungrateful
towards God, see with what kind of men they were willing to hold communion; see what kind of
men, holding different opinions from their own, they treated as Cyprian enjoined them at the first,
not removing them from the right of communion; see by what kind of men they were not polluted
in the preservation of unity; see how greatly the bond of peace was to be loved; see what views
they hold who bring charges against us, founded on the Council of bishops, their predecessors,
whose example they do not imitate, and by whose example, when the rights of the case are
considered, they are condemned. If it was the custom, as this judgment bears witness, that heretics
coming to the Church should be received with the baptism which they already had, either this was
done rightly, or the evil do not pollute the good in unity. If it was rightly done, why do they accuse
the world because they are so received? But if the evil do not pollute the good in unity, how do
they defend themselves against the charge of sacrilegious separation?

Chapter 36.—69. Eucratius of Theni1725 said: "Our God and Lord Jesus Christ, teaching the
apostles with His own mouth, fully laid down our faith, and the grace of baptism, and the rule of
the law of the Church, saying, ‘Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the

1721

Ps. xxxv. 12.

1722

Cant. vi. 9.

1723

Sicca was in ecclesiastical province of Zeugitana. This is certainly not the Castus of Cypr. de Laps. c. xiii.

1724

Conc. Carth. sec. 28.

1725

Theni was in ecclesiastical province of Byzacene. A Eucratius occurs in Cypr. Ep. ii.

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