On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

Chapter 42.—81. Adelphius of Thasbalte1743 said: "It is surely without cause that they find
fault with the truth in false and invidious terms, saying that we rebaptize, since the Church does
not rebaptize heretics, but baptizes them."1744
82. Truly enough it does not rebaptize them, because it only baptizes those who were not
baptized before; and this earlier custom has only been confirmed in a later Council by a more careful
perfecting of the truth.

Chapter 43.—83. Demetrius of the Lesser Leptis1745 said: "We uphold one baptism, because
we claim for the Catholic Church alone what is her own. But those who say that heretics baptize
truly and lawfully are themselves the men who make, not two, but many baptisms; for since heresies
are many in number, the baptisms, too, will be reckoned according to their number."1746
84. To him we answer: If this were so, then would as many baptisms be reckoned as there are
works of the flesh, of which the apostle says "that they which do such things shall not inherit the
kingdom of God;"1747 among which are reckoned also heresies; and so many of those very works
are tolerated within the Church as though in the chaff, and yet there is one baptism for them all,
which is not vitiated by any work of unrighteousness.

Chapter 44.—85. Vincentius of Thibari1748 said: "We know that heretics are worse than
heathens. If they, being converted, wish to come to God, they have assuredly a rule of truth, which
the Lord by His divine precept committed to the apostles, saying, ‘Go ye, lay on hands in my name,
cast out devils;’1749 and in another place, ‘Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’1750 Therefore, first by the laying on of hands


Thasbalte (Thasvalthe) was in ecclesiastical province of Byzacene. An Adelphius is mentioned in Cypr. Ep. lxvii.


Conc. Carth. sec. 35.


Leptis the Lesser was in ecclesiastical province of Byzacene, the Greater being in that of Tripolis. A Demetrius occurs
in Cypr. Epp. lvii., lxx.


Conc. Carth. sec. 36.


Gal. v. 21.


Thibari, perhaps the same as Tabora, in ecclesiastical province of Mauritania Cæsariensis. A Bp. Vincentius is mentioned
in Cypr. Ep. lxvii.


Mark xvi. 15-18.


Matt. xxviii. 19.