On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)


Philip Schaff

Chapter 5.—8. Aurelius of Utica1767 said: "Since the apostle says that we ought not to be
partakers with the sins of other men,1768 what else does he do but make himself partaker with the
sins of other men, who holds communion with heretics without the baptism of the Church? And
therefore I pronounce my judgment that heretics should be baptized, that they may receive remission
of their sins, and so communion be allowed to them."1769
9. The answer is: Therefore Cyprian and all those bishops were partakers in the sins of other
men, inasmuch as they remained in communion with such men, when they removed no one from
the right of communion who entertained a different opinion. Where, then, is the Church? Then,
to say nothing for the moment of heretics,—since the words of this judgment are applicable also
to other sinners, such as Cyprian saw with lamentation to be in the Church with him, whom, while
he confuted them, he yet tolerated,—where is the Church, which, according to these words must
be held to have perished from that very moment by the contagion of their sins? But if, as is the
most firmly established truth, the Church both has remained and does remain, the partaking of the
sins of others, which is forbidden by the apostle, must be considered only to consist in consenting
to them. But let heretics be baptized again, that they may receive remission of their sins, if the
wayward and the envious are baptized again, who, seeing that "they renounced the world in words
and not in deeds," were indeed able to receive baptism, but did not obtain remission of their sins,
as the Lord says, "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your

Chapter 6.—10. Iambus of Germaniciana1771 said: "Those who approve the baptism of heretics
disapprove ours, so as to deny that such as are, I will not say washed, but defiled outside the Church,
ought to be baptized within the Church."1772
11. To him we answer, that none of our party approves the baptism of heretics, but all the
baptism of Christ, even though it be found in heretics who are as it were chaff outside the Church,
as it may be found in other unrighteous men who are as chaff within the Church. For if those who
are baptized without the Church are not washed, but defiled, assuredly those who are baptized

Utica, the well-known city in ecclesiastical province of Zeugitana. The Aurelius of Cypr. Epp. xxvii. 4, lvii. and lxvii.
(the first) are more likely to be identical with the bishop of Utica, than with the Aurelius of Chullabis, who delivers his opinion
the 81st in order.


1 Tim. v. 22.


Conc. Carth. sec. 41.


Matt. vi. 15.


Germaniciana Nova was in ecclesiastical province of Byzacium, and so called after the German veterans settled there.
An Iambus is mentioned as bishop in Cypr. Epp. lvii., lxvii.


Conc. Carth. sec. 42.