On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

from the simplicity that is in Christ?"1797 When, therefore, Cyprian held the baptism of Christ to
be in common with such men, did he therefore betray the bride of Christ into the hands of adulterers,
or did he not rather recognize the necklace of the Bridegroom even on an adulteress?


Chapter 14.—26. Aymnius1798 of Ausuaga1799 said: "We have received one baptism, which
same also we administer; but he who says that authority is given to heretics also to baptize, the
same makes two baptisms."1800
27. To him we answer: Why does not he also make two baptisms who maintains that the
unrighteous also can baptize? For although the righteous and unrighteous are in themselves opposed
to one another, yet the baptism which the righteous give, such as was Paul, or such as was also
Cyprian, is not contrary to the baptism which those unrighteous men were wont to give who hated
Paul, whom Cyprian understands to have been not heretics, but bad Catholics; and although the
moderation which was found in Cyprian, and the covetousness which was found in his colleagues,
are in themselves opposed to one another, yet the baptism which Cyprian used to give was not
contrary to the baptism which his colleagues who opposed him used to give, but one and the same
with it, because in both cases it is He that baptizes of whom it is said, "The same is He which

Chapter 15.—28. Saturninus of Victoriana1802 said: "If heretics may baptize, they are excused
and defended in doing unlawful things; nor do I see why either Christ called them His adversaries,
or the apostle called them antichrists."1803
29. To him we answer: We say that heretics have no authority to baptize in the same sense in
which we say that defrauders have no authority to baptize. For not only to the heretic, but to the
sinner, God says, "What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my
covenant in thy mouth?" To the same person He assuredly says, "When thou sawest a thief, then


2 Cor. xi. 3.


Ahymmus. See Cypr. Ep. lvi.


Ausuaga was in ecclesiastical province of Zeugitana.


Conc. Carth. sec. 50.


John i. 33.


Victoriana was in ecclesiastical province of Byzacium. [The name Saturninus is found in Cypr. Epp. xxi. 4, xxii. 3, xxvii.
1, 11, lvii. ter. lxvii. bis, lxx. quinquies.


Conc. Carth. sec. 51.