On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

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Philip Schaff

of Paradise, has been sufficiently set forth above;1739 and that "He who is the Shepherd of our flock
cannot give the water unto salvation to two different peoples," that is, to one that is His own, and
to another that is alien, I fully agree in admitting. But does it follow that because the water is not
unto salvation it is not the identical water? For the water of the deluge was for salvation unto those
who were placed within the ark, but it brought death to those without, and yet it was the same
water. And many aliens, that is to say, envious persons, whom Cyprian declares and proves from
Scripture to be of the party of the devil, seem as it were to be within, and yet, if they were not
without the ark, they would not perish by water. For such men are slain by baptism, as the sweet
savor of Christ was unto death to those of whom the apostle speaks.1740 Why then do not either
heretics or schismatics receive anything heavenly, just as thorns or tares, like those who were
without the ark received indeed the rain from the floods of heaven, but to destruction, not to
salvation? And so I do not take the pains to refute what he said in conclusion: "When the giver
has no ground to stand upon, surely neither can the receiver derive any profit," since we also say
that it does not profit the receivers while they receive it in heresy, consenting with the heretics; and
therefore they come to Catholic peace and unity, not that they may receive baptism, but that what
they had received may begin to profit them.

Chapter 41.—79. Also another Januarius of Muzuli1741 said: "I wonder that, while all
acknowledge that there is one baptism, all do not understand the unity of the same baptism. For
the Church and heresy are two distinct things. If heretics have baptism we have it not; but if we
have it, heretics cannot have it. But there is no doubt that the Church alone possesses the baptism
of Christ, since it alone possesses both the favor and the truth of Christ."1742
80. Another might equally say, and say with equal want of truth: I wonder that, while all
confess there is one baptism, all do not understand the unity of baptism. For righteousness and
unrighteousness are two distinct things. If the unrighteous have baptism, the righteous have it not;
but if the righteous have it, the unrighteous cannot have it. But there is no doubt that the righteous
alone possess the baptism of Christ, since they alone possess both the favor and the truth of Christ.
This is certainly false, as they confess themselves. For those envious ones also who are of the party
of the devil, though placed within the Church, as Cyprian tells us, and who were well known to the
Apostle Paul, had baptism, but did not belong to the members of that dove which is safely sheltered
on the rock.

1739

Ch. 21, 37.

1740

2 Cor. ii. 15.

1741

Muzuli is perhaps the same as Muzuca in ecclesiastical province of Byzacium.

1742

Conc. Carth. sec. 34.

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